Shanghai Posters: Design that Shaped an Era

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Coquettish and provocative, yet coy and demure, the art-deco
based design of the 1930s was perfected by fashionable young women in the promotional material of per-war Shanghai. Advertising and posters of the time defined the image of China’s most prosperous iconic city.

If the true power of advertising lies in seduction, here was a style that subtly hinted at much more than it revealed, even when promoting products as innocuous as lip-rouge, talcum powder, soaps, perfumes, cigarettes and the ubiquitous Shanghai movies.

Many of those same artists of the 1930s were quick to obey the doctrines of Chairman Mao in the 1960s, continuing to utilize the potential of women to produce blunt Communist propaganda based largely on the all pervasive images of an idealistic Soviet Union.

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