Red aesthetics, intermediality and the use of posters in Chinese cinema after 1949

Stephanie Hemelryk Donald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: This article focuses on the aesthetic and affective techniques of saturation through which posters legitimated the Party-State in Mao’s China by closing the gap between everyday experience and political ideology. Propaganda posters were designed to put into practice the principle of unity, as conceptualised by Mao Zedong. The argument posits that while the “poster” is normally a printed edition of a painting or design intended for mass distribution in this way, the term may fairly be deployed to capture other cultural objects that function as “posters”, in that they provide public, political information that expresses or constructs a political self in aesthetic form. This approach requires a metonymic understanding of a visual field in which cultural objects are interrelated and mutually reinforcing. The essay draws on recent in-depth interviews with poster artists of the 1960s and 1970s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-675
Number of pages18
JournalAsian Studies Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • aesthetics
  • China
  • intermediality
  • Mao
  • posters
  • PRC
  • red art
  • revolutionary film
  • slogans

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