John Lennon once sang “If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you aint gonna make it with anyone anyhow.” but clearly the mad Scouse bugger hadn’t seen a copy Taschen’s Chinese Propaganda Posters book. You put a copy of this down next to your pint of Stella and I swear you’ll be fighting them off with a shitty (chop)stick. To be fair, it’s only just been released so there’s no way Lenno could have ever seen all the fascinating Zedong heavy scenes featured in this little(ish) red book. In a similar vein to the way Putin and Kim Jong Un like to be portrayed these days, during the 50s and up to the early 80s Mao (AKA the Supreme Commander) appeared on some beautifully painted posters that appeared across the people’s republic of China as a beacon of smiling morality.
As with the Russian poster art of Koretsky you do finding yourself falling for the powerful charm contained within these images and tend to put all the horrible stuff going on behind the scenes to the back of your mind whilst viewing them all. Which I guess is a testament to the quality of the work isn’t it? Fortunately there’s some insightful words from the authors Stefan R. Landsberger, Duo Duo and Anchee Min to explain everything just in case you were worried about being overwhelmed by these images and buggering off to Bejing forever.
Buy a copy here comrade.