100 Years of Chinese Posters

On view: January 16 to May 3, 2020

Poster House

100 Years of Chinese posters highlights the fascinating link between poster design and economic policy in one of the largest economies on Earth. The first posters appeared in China in the early 20th Century, when Western companies imposed broader trade relations and needed ways to advertise the cigarettes, beverages, and other goods they brought into the region. With little understanding of the market, these companies played on traditional Chinese paintings of landscapes and genteel ladies. In 1949, public posters made a stark turn towards Socialist Realism with the establishment of the People’s Republic under Mao. Later in the 1980s and 90s, Chinese graphic design embraced a more internationally modern look as globalism and the internet brought the far reaches of the world together.