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Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center
Travel in Shanghai

 Poster In Shanghai Propaganda Poster Museum

Tucked away in the basement level of a nondescript apartment building, the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Museum is a remarkable private museum dedicated to documenting the collective spirit of Chinese communism as depicted on thousands upon thousands of striking posters in the years since the 1949 establishment of the People's Republic. A labor of love, the museum was founded by Yang Pei Ming, who grew concerned that both the art of the posters and the complicated history that they document were in danger of disappearing in a China that has increasingly embraced consumer capitalist culture since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976.

Poster In Shanghai Propaganda Poster Museum

Most visitors will recognize the basic style: Bold images of stolid young Chinese holding up copies of Mao's Little Red Book or of soldiers fiercely staring down cartoonish capitalist monsters, all printed with plenty of red ink. Upon closer inspection, however, one comes to realize how much artistry went into the production of these posters and how styles changed over the course of the years, reflecting subtle and not-so-subtle changes in China's political, cultural and economic climate.

altAlso, it's refreshing to see that it's not all stereotypical "imperialist running dog" bashing and blatant Mao worship—a number of posters depict everyday scenes of women buying stationery, children playing in villages, busy city streets and farmers bringing in the harvest. Yes, the style remains hyperbolic, but the popular Western image of a monolithic communist state softens and begins to dissolve as the visitor recognizes the individual human touch in many of the pieces, as well as the still-inspiring messages of universal brotherhood and justice that shines through in the best.

Yang Pei Ming is often on hand to discuss his collection and its historical significance—good, bad and ugly—with visitors, so don't be shy about asking for more information. If you're a fan of the genre or simply want a unique souvenir, bring a wad of RMB with you—many posters are for sale, with damaged or common pieces running around RMB150-450 and larger and rarer posters running well into the thousands of RMB.

altHow to get there
Room B-OC, 868 Huashan Lu near Zhenning Lu. You'll find an apartment complex on the west side of Huashan Lu; enter at the northern gate. The parking lot security guards can point you in the right direction usually. You have to take the elevator one floor down to the basement level in the middle building on the north side of the complex.

Phone: 021 6211 1845
Open Daily: 9am-4:30pm
Entrance fee: 20 Rmb
Address: Huashan Lu 868
Location: Building B, Basement, Changning (west of Wukang Lu)
More Information:

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

Tags: Travel in Shanghai     Travel in Beijing