Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Art Deco Chinese Advertising Posters

'Fun at the Pool' - Shanghai, 1930s

I don't want to say more than a couple of things about these amazing Chinese art deco advertising posters, mostly from the Shanghai of the 1930's. Introduced to me by a French friend temporarily living in Australia about 10 years ago.

Without judgment, they represent the new somewhat internationalized images of Shanghai China of the period - realizing the prevalent desire for modernity. From smoking ...

RenDan Drink - Shanghai, 1930s

... to using a telephone ...

Creme of Lait French Face Cream - Shanghai, 1930s

... and the art deco stylistic influence.

Something of course not restricted to the Middle Kingdom. And something not necessarily wide-spread within the then Republic of China. These posters were for local consumption - being 95% in characters, and 5% in Roman script (usually the name of the product) to give that sense of modernity.

Embassy Virginia Cigarettes - Shanghai, 1930s

What would be interesting to know is which were commissioned by European companies with interests in the concessions of the city, and which by local firms. As the degree of internationalization varies:

BeiPing Five Star Beer - Shanghai, 1930s

Chiyo-Yoko Photo Supplies - Shanghai, 1930s

Manchurian Thousand Happiness Liquor Factory, Japanese Sake

Kwong Sang Hong Company - Based in Hong Kong, 1928

Ai Er Camel Fabrics - Shanghai, 1930s

Twin Beauty brand cosmetics - Shanghai, 1930s

Shanghai Cigarettes - Shanghai, 1930s

Leopard Eng Aun Tong Pharmacy company - Shanghai, 1930s

Sa Bei Cigarettes - Shanghai, 1930s

You are all on notice - I will kill anyone who attempts to comment correct things 'lost in translation'!

No, I see you! Keep AWAY from that keyboard! (Jon!)

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