Poster art tells story of modern China

A collection of rare Chinese propaganda posters feature in an exhibition at the University’s Adam House.

Image of a Chinese poster from 1964, depicting harvest scene with a caption reading 'Achieve great harvest every year'

The free exhibition showcases more than 130 original posters, which are being displayed in the UK for the first time.

The images offer a unique insight into the history and art of China from 1913-1997.

Poster Art of Modern China

The exhibition is open seven days a week. Admission is free.

Friday 6 June 2014, 10.00am

Saturday 12 July 2014, 6.00pm

Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1HT

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Find out more about Poster Art of Modern China

Rich heritage

Poster art has a long heritage in China, often used as an affordable means to persuade and engage the masses.

During the Maoist period (1949-76), propaganda poster art was almost the only available outlet for artistic endeavour.

The posters are exhibited in chronological order, reflecting popular artistic styles and influences of the time.

Distinctive and colourful images

One scene depicted in the display shows an army of ballerinas poised for battle.

Elsewhere a smiling community are gathered round a plentiful yield of crops under the strap line ‘Achieve great harvest every year’.

This poster was produced in 1956 during the Great Famine, when tens of millions of lives were lost.

Other works demonstrate the popularity of calendar girls in the early 20th century, while more recent designs encourage reform and modernisation, highlighting how much the country has changed in the last 101 years.

We are delighted to showcase this remarkable exhibition of poster art. We hope as well as being impressed by the quality of the striking images, the exhibition helps people gain a better understanding of Chinese history during the 20th century.

Professor Natascha GentzDirector of the Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh

The exhibition has been curated by The Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh.

The posters are on loan from the Propaganda Poster Art Centre in Shanghai.