Propaganda art had become the most favoured vehicle for the conduction of the government’s ideology in China at the onset of the revolution. Between 1966-‘76, utopian images flooded the media expressing the wonderful quality of life for the working class. Smiling, ageless and bubbly peasants, workers and soldiers graced many of these posters as they effortlessly toil over their work. Leaders were glamorized as devoting followers would gleefully celebrate their presence. Gaudy colours expressed the joy that the labourers would behold on a daily basis. Clusters of the lower class would suggest strong communities and farmers worked in pleasant unison.
Images of the communist chairman Mao Zedong were glorified in a God-like state where he would be the centre of all happiness. Throughout the era this imagery was intensified and gradually he became further divorced from the masses. This augments the irony of the communist party’s supposed intent.
I personally view these posters as a pictorial oxymoron. Specifically “The Growth of all Things Depends on the Sun” by Wanwu Shengzbang Kao Taiyang which depicts a trail of doting labourers celebrating his presence (they bask in his presence as they would with sunshine hence the title). His robust stature is just off center with most of the workers eyes on him proving his significance. They are framed by a flourishing cotton field just like their amicable community. What seems to be consistent about these posters is that they are all generating a mythical lifestyle to aspire to, which unfortunately is highly unlikely to be the working class’ reality.