Chinese Graphic Design in the Twentieth CenturyBy Scott Minick and Jiao Ping
From posters and advertisements to book covers and magazines, this volume presents a dazzling panoply of graphics, brilliantly uncovered by the authors from long-forgotten sources, mostly in China itself, after surviving innumerable upheavals: natural catastrophes, war and revolution. Beginning with the basic traditions of Chinese graphics, the authors show how the writer and artist Lu Xun became the centre of cultural revival in the new China. We see Art Deco making its mark in the Shanghai Style, and the birth of a national design aesthetic, born of Russian Constructivism and Chinas own drive for new technology. The Socialist Realist art of Mao in turn adopted folk traditions to fuel the Revolutionary machine, while the continuing search for a new identity can be seen in the graphic images of protest from the summer of 1989. Throughout, creative design ideas are expressed with a freshness and vitality that recalls the beauty and character of Chinas own traditions. The results are not only a clear commentary on Chinas recent history and culture, but a revelation forWestern designers seeking to adopt traditional visual languages.