(top) “We are fortunate to grow under the sunshine of Mao Zedong”, 1952

  • Print on paper
  • Anonymous loan

(bottom) Siming, the God of Fate, early 20th century

  • Woodblock print on paper
  • Gift of John H. Ross, 1982
  • E72991

These two posters were printed inexpensively and produced for mass consumption. Siming, the god of fate, has been an aspect of Chinese culture for over 2,700 years, predating Buddhism, Daoism or Confucianism. Mao Zedong (1893-1976) was the Chairman of the Communist party and first president of the Peoples Republic of China. Both posters are similar as they convey the concept of hierarchy through composition. The same principles of hierarchy present in landscape paintings from a thousand years earlier are apparent. Compare the composition of these images with a quote from an 11th-century painting theorist discussing landscape painting: “In its domination of the whole region, the great mountain, towering above the lesser mountains, trees, and men, is like a ruler among his subjects, a master among servants.”

View exhibitions of posters from post-1949 China:

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