The name(s) of the artist(s) painting the original design is usually included in the information printed on the poster. Here we include only a selection of well known names that have appeared on posters we have actually owned. For a much fuller picture of the artists making posters please visit Stefan Landsberger's site at chineseposters.net
from where much of biographical information was sourced.
Cao Shu Qin
Born in Heilongjiang in 1943, Cao was taught art at the Lu Xun Art Academy High School (Lu Xun Meishu Xue Yuan Fuzhong) in Shenyang, graduating in 1963. She was then assigned to Liaoning.
In 1982 she graduated in Fine Arts from the Shenyang College of Education and became an art editor at the Liaoning Fine Arts Publishing House, Murals Department.
She produced New Years Pictures and Propaganda posters and seems to have retained her distinctive style well into the 1980s. Many of her poster designs include a central large smiling face with glowing complexion in yuefenpai (Calendar poster) style on a more abstract niave background.
She has won many awards for her works.
Born in Wenzhou in 1929, Chen Juxian graduated from the Department of Painting, East Branch of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan Huadong Fenyuan) in 1953.
She joined the Shanghai People's Fine Art Publishing House (Shanghai Renmin Meishu Chubanshe), New Year's Painting Section the same year. She was responsible for the production of many posters in the 1960's and 70's. Some were the result of her working partnership with Wu Xing Qing (see below), such as the one shown here.
She specialised in scenes with children, women and folk drama.
Born in 1909 in Jiangsu, Fan graduated from the Hangzhou National College of Art (Guoli Hangzhou Yishu Zhuanke Xuexiao) in 1933 with a major in Western Painting. Before 1949 she worked mainly in film and spent 3 years in Hong Kong. In 1951 she joined the Peoples Fine Art Publishing House in Beijing and designed nianhua and propaganda posters. She was known for her nianhua and paintings of children.
Born in Nanjing in 1937, his parents fled from the Anti-Japanese War to Sichuan. Gu graduated from Sichuan Art Institute (Sichuan Meishu Xueyuan) in 1960. He produced oil paintings, Chinese paintings and sculpture. He also won awards for designing a bridge and a ship. Gu Yue last worked at South Western Normal University as an art teacher. He was also a member of the Architectural Art Research Department there.
Born in Shandong in 1948, Huang began work as an artist at the Shandong Culture Centre in 1968. He worked while also studying at the Shandong College of Art (Shandong Yishu Xueyuan). He later became Head of the Juye Cultural Centre.
He paints nianhua.
Born in Shanghai in 1938, he joined the Shanghai Picture Press (Shanghai Huapian Chubanshe) in 1956 by passing an examination. He moved to the Shanghai People's Fine Art Publishing House (Shanghai Renmin Meishu Chubanshe) when the Shanghai Presses were amalgamated in 1958. Huang was self-taught and had no formal art education but became an Editor for Nianhua in 1973 and rose to vice-director of the Nianhua and Propaganda Poster Department.
Born in 1938 in Jiangsu, Fei graduated from The Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan), Dong Xiwen's Studio in 1962 and, in 1970, was assigned to the Hebei People's Publishing House (Hebei Renmin Chubanshe).
In 1979 he was reassigned to the Hebei Painting Academy (Hebei Huayuan).
He was one of the artists chosen to paint murals for the Beijing International Airport in 1979. In 1986 he went to Paris to study art and had a solo exhibition there. He specialises in Oil Painting.
Fu Zhi Gui
Born in Hebei, Fu graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan) in 1953 and joined the Propaganda Section of the Anshan Steel Works.
In 1955 he was made Head of the Fine Arts Department at Jilin Provincial Mass Art Centre (Jilin Sheng Qunzhong Yishu Guan) and Head of Fine Arts at the Jilin Art School (Jilin Yishu Zhuanke Xuexiao). In 1960 he joined the Oil Painting class at the Central Academy of Fine Art as a research student and, in 1963, joined the Fine Arts faculty at the Jilin Art Academy (Jilin Yishu Xueyuan).
Fu Zhi Gui's oil paintings are held in the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum.
Gao Zhong Yan
Born in Yunnan in 1942, and a member of the Bai community, Gao graduated from the Fine Arts Department of the Central Institute for Nationalities (Zhongyang Minzu Xueyuan) in 1968.
He worked in Yunnan Provincial Exhibition Hall and the Yunnan Provincial Museum.
After the Mao Period, in 1984, he studied oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan) without graduating and joined the faculty of the Yunnan Art Academy (Yunnan Yishu Xueyuan) Fine Arts Department.
Gu Yuan has very distinctive and unusual characters for his name and there is no indication that he used other versions during his career as an artist. The poster above is often attributed to Gu Yuan but, whilst the pinyin for the artist's name is the same, the characters are quite different (顾元).
In 1938 the Lu Xun Academy of Literature and Art (Lu Xun Yishu Wenxueyuan) was established in Mao's Yan'an Soviet, to teach artists regional and folk traditions and to instruct them on the skills needed to communicate political messages through their art. Gu Yuan was one of the first graduates (1940) and an important member of the founding generation of Chinese artists who used woodcuts to achieve these goals. He participated in the 1942 Yan'an Forum of Literature and Art which required art to be for the people and to prioritise political meaning that could be communicated.
Gu Yuan was born in Guandong and joined the Communist forces in Shaanbei in 1938. His bold, dramatic woodcuts captured the struggles of the people and the promise of revolutionary change. They played an important role in spreading Maoist ideas in rural areas before Liberation.
In 1959, Gu Yuan joined the printmaking department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan).
He later became President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts and his works, especially his woodblock prints, are in National collections and attract worldwide esteem.
Born in Liaoning in the Manchu community, Guang graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Lu Xun Fine Art Academy (Lu Xun Meishu Xueyuan) in 1964.
He was assigned to the Chinese Artists Association in Liaoning.
In 1980 he transferred to the Liaoning Painting Academy (Liaoning Huayuan) where he remained. In 1986 he was invited to Australia to do research art.
Guang Tin Bo's works are in the collection of the National Art Museum of China (Zhongguo Meishu Guan).
Guo Chang Xin
Guo was born in Liaoning in 1941. Taught art at the Lu Xun Art Academy (Lu Xun Meishi Xueyuan), Guo graduated in 1965 from the Department of Printmaking, aged 24.
He was assigned to work at Liaoning Fine Arts Publishing House (Liaoning Meishu Chubanshe) and in 1972 moved to the Liaoning Art Gallery. Seven years later, after the end of the Mao Period, he joined the Liaoning Art Academy (Liaoning Huayuan).
He often collaborated with another Lu Xun Art Academy graduate, Li Shu Ji (李树基, born 1943, graduated 1968).
Guo is known for his woodblock prints and his New Year pictures and has works collected by several Chinese museums, including the National Art Museum of China (Zhongguo Meishuguan), Liaoning Art Museum (Liaoning Yishu Bowuguan) and the Tianjin Art Museum (Tianjin Yishu Bowuguan).
Ha Qiong Wen
Born in Beijing in the Hui minority, Ha graduated from the National Central University Art Department in 1949 as an oil painter. He studied first in Chongqing, then Nanjing after the Japanese War, under the realist painter Xu Beihong. He joined the PLA and taught Art at East China Political & Military University.
In 1953, he moved to the Cultural Department of the PLA in Beijing, spending time with the Railroad troops of the Chinese Volunteer Army in North Korea.
In 1955, a year after it's creation, Ha moved to what was then called the Propaganda Department of the East China Peoples Fine Art Press (Huadong Renmin Meishu Chubanshe). The Press changed it's name to the Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House (Shanghai Renmin Meishu Chubanshe) in 1956. He was the major figure in the department and, together with Qian Daxin, he became one of the most prolific poster artists of the period. Ha is especially known for his ability to paint light into his works. In excess of 2.5 million copies were printed of his famous, and later denounced, 1959 poster 'Long Live Chairman Mao.'
Denounced during the Cultural Revolution as the most guilty for 'black' elements in his work, Ha was repeatedly publicly shamed and beaten. A suicide atempt left him blind in one eye. He continued producing posters until his retirement in 1992.
Ha's propaganda paintings and oil paintings are in Chinese museum collections, including the Shanghai Art Museum (Shanghai Meishuguan) and Shanghai Lu Xun Memorial Hall (Shanghai Lu Xun Jinianguan).
Hao Hui Fen
Born in 1944 in Hebei, Hao graduated from the middle school attached to the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan) in 1964 and was assigned to the Tianjin People's Fine Arts Publishing House (Tianjin Renmin Meishu Chubanshe).
Since the end of the Mao Period she has produced works in oil and gouache aswell as Chinese paintings. Her works have been collected by Tianjin Art Museum (Tianjin Yishu Bowuguan), the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan) and other collections.
He Kong De
Born in Sichuan in 1925, He received his art education at the National Chongqing Normal Art Department (Guoli Chongqing Shifan Meishuke), enrolling in 1943. He joined the Printing and Dyeing Department of the Sichuan Provincial Art School (Sichuan Shengli Yizhuan Yinranke) during the Civil War Period, in 1946.
That same year he enlisted with the PLA in their Culture Group and in 1951 went with the China Volunteer Army to the Korean War.
In 1955 he was one of the artists to study under the Soviet artist Maksimov at the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan). In 1957 he was assigned to the Art Section of the PLA Political Department before being reassigned to the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution (Zhongguo Renmin Geming Junshi Bowuguan) in Beijing in 1962 to produce artworks.
Working in both watercolour and oils, He is best known for his battle paintings, for which he received many awards. He retired in 1987 as Vice-Director of the museum. His works are collected by National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
In 1974 an exhibition of Huxian Peasant Paintings was organised in Beijing and was accompanied by posters reproducing their works and by features in newspapers and magazines around the country. The exhibition went to other cities in China and, in 1975 was sent overseas to Europe where it received a positive reception for the humanity and sensitivity in the works. In 1978 the works were exhibited in the US and were enthusiastically received.
The works featured landscapes, portraits of peasant workers, local and national heroes and picturesque scenes of rural production. They all, of course, carried clear political messages.
It was later revealed that the Huxian Peasants had received extensive help and guidance in the creation of these works from professional artists.
Huxian Peasant Painters
A peasant painting community since the late 1950's, Huxian in Shaanxi became a model for the innate cultural abilities promoted in Maoism in its rejection of elitism and conservatism. Jiang Qing, in 1974, selected them as a model to emulate "Maoist mass cultural production."
In the late 1950's the Gan Yu Mass Irrigation Project (Ganyu Shuiku Jihua) included setting up, with the assistance of the Xi'an Art Academy, an art school at Huxian to combine the work of the construction team with cultural production. Workers spent two-thirds of their time working and one-third studying art. The school closed in 1960 after the failure of the Great Leap Forward, but during the Socialist Education Movement (Shehui Zhuyi Jiaoyu Yundong,1962-66) peasant painting was revived and more art training was given. In 1966 Huxian was featured in the China Daily.
Cultural production stalled again during the early years of the Cultural Revolution but by the early 1970's peasant and worker painting was advanced as an opposition to the conservatism, particularly of Zhou Enlai, seen as revealed in an appreciation of professional, traditional artworks. The idea that anyone can produce art, rather than it being an elite, educated pursuit, was seen by the Gang of Four as an essential component of cultural production.
Jiang Bao Xing
Born in Shandong, Jiang joined the PLA when he was 15 years old. Seriously injured in the Civil War, Jiang studied oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan) in Beijing from 1960-1961. According to one account his recovery was miraculous.
Assigned as a painting instructor at Qingdao Workers Cultural Palace (Qingdao Shi Gongren Wenhuagong) he taught there until 1989 when he opened the Qingdao Oil Painting Academy, the first of it's kind in China (Qingdao Youhuayuan).
Jiang Bao Xing, also known as Jiang Ye, specialises in oil paintings and murals.
Jin Xue Chen specialised in the scenery and clothing in the posters, using a combination of Chinese painting and watercolour techniques.
For a discussion of the lives and works of Shanghai's calendar poster artists see Ellen Johnston-Laing, Selling Happiness: Calendar Posters and Visual Culture in Early-Twentieth Century Shanghai, 2004: University of Hawaii Press
Jin Xue Chen
Like Li Mubai Jin Xue Chen, who was born in Jiading, began his career as a designer of calendar girl advertising posters in Shanghai in the 1920's and '30's. He was self-taught and joined the Shanghai Commercial Press (Shanghai Shangwu Yinshuguan) in 1922. From 1925 to 1949 he worked with Li Mubai at the prestigous Zhiying Studio (Zhiying Huashi). As the popularity of these advertising posters spread around China the bright, clear and skilled pictures, full of beautiful people and landscapes became ubiquitous. It was this popularity that ensured the continuance of this style throughout the Mao Period, adjusted to suit the political climate.
Jin Xue Chen was assigned with Li Mubai to join the new Shanghai Picture Press (Shanghai Huapian Chubanshe) in 1954 to produce calendar poster style propaganda. In 1956 they, with Jin Meisheng and Xie Zhi Guang began teaching new artists in their studio there.
In the Cultural Revolution their style of painting was denounced by Jiang Qing and production ceased for several years. Jin and Li both survived and were honoured in the 1980s for their works. Jin's works are collected by the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Li Feng Lan
Born in Huxian, Shaanxi Province, in 1933, Li began her relationship with art as a paper cut artist. She began painting in 1958 after being involved in the Gan Yu mass irrigation project.
As a member of the Huxian Peasant Painters, her works, like 'Spring Hoeing' shown here, portray aspects of rural production. She continued to combine painting with farm work and Xinhua news photographs of the 1970s show her as an example of a peasant painter and a woman engaging in public work.
A member of the NPC and the Chinese Artists Association, Li also served as vice-chair of the Association of Huxian Peasant Painters.
Her work has been collected by the Shanghai Museum (Shanghai Bowuguan).
For a discussion of the lives and works of Shanghai's calendar poster artists see Ellen Johnston-Laing, Selling Happiness: Calendar Posters and Visual Culture in Early-Twentieth Century Shanghai, 2004: University of Hawaii Press
Born in Haining in Zhejiang, Li Mubai came to Shanghai in 1928 and joined the Zhiying Studio (Zhiying Huashi). It was here that his collaboration with Jin Xuechen (1904-1997) began and in the 1930s the Studio became the major producer of the famous commercial calendar posters. Some had Nationalist political content, like Mulan Joins the Army, but most featured young women They, together with Jin Meisheng, became known as the 'Three Pillars of Calendar Posters.' Li's speciality was the depiction of the youthful complexions of young women and children, and during the Japanese War period he worked as a portrait artist in oils.
In the early Mao Period, when the emphasis was on producing xinnianhua or New New Year's Pictures, the status of calendar painting technique was controversial. It was often called yuefenpai nianhua, Calendar Poster New Years Pictures, to show its ideological acceptability.
In 1954, Mao created the Shanghai Picture Press (Shanghai Huapian Chubanshe) to produce nianhua and calendar posters with their adjusted content, but their acceptability continued to be questioned until their popularity was affirmed for their beauty, bright colours and politically correct content. In 1956 Li Mubai and the other yufenpai painters were assigned studios to train young artists in propaganda art. Li Mubai's posters sold hundreds of thousands of copies, and by 1958, 20 artists were producing in this style.
Liao was born in Guangxi in 1932 and spent 4 years in the Wuhan Cenrtral China Normal University Art Department (Wuhan Huazhong Shifan Xueyuan Meishuxi), graduating in 1956. He taught at this school for 3 years.
In 1959 he was assigned to teach at the Hubei Art Academy (Hubei Yishu Xueyuan). He moved to the Hubel Provincial Art Academy (Hubei Sheng Meishuyuan) in 1965 to work as a professional artist.
Trained in Western Art, Liao shifted to Chinese painting in the 1960's. Since then he has produced portraits, landscape paintings and bird and flower paintings. His work has been collected by Tianjin Fine Art Museum (Tianjin Yishu Bowuguan) and The Great Hall of the People (Renmin Da Huitang).
This image was considered to be a fine example of Cultural Revolution Romanticism and appeared in newspapers and magazines all over the country, regularly accompanied by Mao's quotation 'No fear of sacrifice, overcome all difficulties to acheive victory.' Liu was only 17 years old.
Liu Bai Rong
Born in Shanghai, Liu first learnt to paint at Yangpu District Children's Palace. In 1969 he was sent to a village in Jiangxi as part of the Send Down to the Countryside Movement and returned to Shanghai after a few months to join the Jiefang Daily.
When the flood in the Huangshan area happened in 1969, Liu and his partner, Shi Qi Ren, were sent to interview local residents. They produced a series of black and white illustrations of the 11 Shanghai Students for the newspaper. Attracting the attention of Ha Qiong Wen at the Shanghai People's Fine Art Press (Shanghai Renmin Meishu Chubanshe) Liu was commissioned to paint in gouache this image for use as a propaganda painting.
He joined the PLA Art Troupe in 1971 before moving to Wuhan Military Region Political Department.
Liu Chun Hua
Born in Heilongjiang, Liu Chun Hua studied at the Shenyang Fine Arts Academy High School (Shenyang Lu Xun Meishu Xueyuan Fuzhong) in 1959. He gained notoreity after painting, in 1967, Mao Goes to Anyuan. He did this as a student in the Applied Arts Department of the Central Industrial Fine Art Academy (Zhongyang Gongyi Meishu Xueyuan Zhuanghuang Xi) where he had studied since 1963.
Produced as a poster Mao Goes to Anyuan sold 900 million copies. The painting was used by Jiang Qing to promote the ideal representation of Mao and it was the first post-1949 painting to be recognised as a Cultural Relic. The original work sold in 1998 to the Construction Bank for US$660,000.
Liu joined the Beijing Painting Academy (Beijing Huayuan) in 1979 and specialised in both oil painting and Chinese ink painting. His artworks have been exhibited in the United States, Japan, Soviet Union and other countries.
Liu Da Wei
Born in Shandong in 1945 Liu graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Inner Mongolia Normal University (Nei Mengguo Shifan Daxue Meishu Xi) in 1968. His family had been moved to Baotou when he was a teenager and he worked for the propaganda department there, producing artworks in ink and illustrations and story strips for the newspaper.
He focused on the lives of Nationalities living in the North West of China.
In 1978 he joined the re-opened Central Academy of Fine Arts (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan) for further study on ink painting and has continued to paint 'minority life' in his work, winning several prestigous awards. After graduation in 1980 he was assigned to the art department at the PLA Art College (Zhongguo Renmin Jiefangjun Yishu Xueyuan). He was made Head in 1987 and has served as President of the China Artists Assosciation.
His work has been collected by the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Liu Yong Huan
Born in 1940 in Sichuan, Liu graduated from the Drawing Department of the Sichuan Art Academy (Sichuan Meiyuan Huihua Xi) as an oil painter in 1964.
Liu was assigned to participate in the Revolutionary History Art Creation Drive for the Museum of the Chinese Revolution (Zhonggua Geming Bowuguan) from 1965-66. The Museum had opened in a new building on Tiananmen Square in 1961 and was strictly directed by the Propaganda Department. Artworks were commissioned to illustrate a view of history that accorded with Mao's Red Line by showing Mao as pivotal to the revolution's success and by giving the CCP a desireable image.
Liu's oil painting A Successful Operation, reproduced as a poster in 1975 as shown here, was included in the National Exhibition Celebrating 25 Years of the PRC.
Liu later worked in the Nanchong Region Film Development Company and has won awards for his film posters.
Born in 1949 in Tianjin, Liu Zheng graduated from high School and volunteered to go to Inner Mongolia to work in the countryside and became a school teacher. She returned to Tianjin in 1974 and then attended the Tianjin Art Academy, Drawing Department (Tianjin Meishu Xueyuan Huihua Xi).
After her graduation in 1977 she was assigned to work in the famous nianhua workshop area of Tianjin known as 杨柳青 Yangliuqing. She was employed at the Yangliuqing New Year Pictures Publishing House (Yangliuqing Nianhua Bianjishi), where she remained, in the position of Head since 1984.
Liu Zhi De
Born in Huxian in Shaanxi, Liu received art training at the Xianying County Mass Art Centre, the Shaanxi Province Mass Art Centre and at the offices of the Shaanxi Daily newspaper.
He participated in many local and national exhibitions, including the Huxian Peasant Painters Exhibition in Beijing in 1974. He also acted as Party Secretary in his village.
Liu made over 1,000 paintings and his work has been collected by the National Museum of Fine Arts (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Lu Xin Sen
Born in 1933 in Shanghai, Lu graduated from the Drawing Department of the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan Huihua Xi) in 1953.
Assigned to work in Hebei in a range of art editorial roles, he came to head the cartoon strip section of the Hebei Arts Publishing House (Hebei Meishu Chubanshe)
He was awarded Advanced Worker for Children and Youth by Hebei Province.
Born in 1940 in Hunan, Luo graduated from Senior middle school and became a dock worker, using his spare time to study art.
In 1964 he was awarded first prize in the National Worker, Peasant, Soldier Art Exhibition. This work was collected by the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
After the Mao Period he worked as a driver for Zhuzhou County and continued to paint as a hobby.
Lv En Yi
Born in Jiangsu, Lv had no formal art training, but was assigned as the Fine Arts editor for the journal Zhansi Duwu, Readings for Soldiers.
He was subsequently attached to the Fine Arts section of the Cultural and Political Department of the PLA Navy.
His artworks have been collected by the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
PAN HONG HAI
Born in 1942 in Shanghai, Pan graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Zhejiang Academy of Arts (Zhejiang Meiyuan Youhua Xi) in 1967.
Until 1987 he was the chief editor of the Fuchun River Pictorial
(Fuchun Jiang Huabao), which was a Worker, Peasant, Soldier Pictorial. He also held significant positions such as President of the Zhejiang Institute of Painting and Council member for the China Academy of Oil Painting.
His works are collected by the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan)
Born in 1935 in Shanghai, Pang Ka learnt to paint through private tuition at Hading Painting Studio (Hading Huashi).
He worked at the Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House (Shanghai Renmin Meishu Chubanshe) for most of his career. He made over 200 propaganda posters.
His works are collected by the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
In 1984 Pang Ka moved to live in the United States.
QING DA HU
Born in Shandong, Qin graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (Zhejiang Meiyuan Youhua Xi) in 1963.
He was assigned to Shanghai Fine Arts Design Company (Shanghai Meishu Sheji Gongsi) to paint portraits.
In the 1960s and 1970s Qin was a painter of revolutionary history, spending time in Shanghai and the Jinan Military Region. He became a Professor of Oil Painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts.
His works are in national collections, including the National Museum of Fine Arts (Zhongguo Meishuguan) and the Revolutionary History Museum (Geming Lishi Bowuguan).
Born in Fujian in 1949, Qiu was sent to the countryside after middle school in 1968.
He moved to the Jiangxi People's Publishing House (Jiangxi Renmin Chubanshe) in 1972.
Qiu's works, including oil paintings, murals and comic strips, are included in national collections, including the National Museum of Fine Arts (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Pei Jian Hua
Born in Wuhan, Pei graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Guangzhou Art Academy (Guangzhou Meishu Xueyuan Yaohuaxi) in 1964 after 5 years of study.
He joined the PLA and worked as an artist in the Political Department for Hainan Military Region.
In 1985 he was appointed as Director of the Shenzhen Art Gallery (Shenzhen Meishuguan).
Born in Shanghai, Peng joined the New Fourth Army in 1940. He had his first art training at the North Jiangsu branch of the Lu Xun Art Academy (Lu Xun Yishu Xueyuan Subei Fenyuan) and was involved in frontline propaganda art work during the Anti-Japanese War and the War of Liberation against the Nationalists.
In 1951 he was sent to the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan) and, in 1953, began work in the Art Section of the Political Department of the PLA.
Peng specialised in oil painting and produced several paintings of Mao, including probably the best known paintings of Mao alongside Hua Guofeng.
Qi De Yan
Born in Jiangxi in 1932, Qi graduated from the Lu Xun Art Academy (Lu Xun Meishu Xueyuan) in 1955.
Assigned back to Jiangxi, he became an editor of the Jiangxi Pictorial (Jiangxi Huabao) and also taught art at the Jiangxi College of Literature and Art (JIangxi Wenyi Xueyuan Meishuxi).
After the Mao period he moved to Chongqing Civil Engineering Institute (Chongqing Jianzhu Gongcheng Xueyuan) where he became Professor of Fine Arts and Environmental Design. He is President of the Chongqing Watercolourists Association and Council Member of the National Watercolourists Association.
A number of his works are in National museum collections.
Qian Da Xin
Born in Shanghai into a poor family, Qian, at 16, sold newspapers during the day and studied at night. He had no formal art training but learnt graphic art and design from his brother-in-law who worked in a publishing house. As a result he found work as a commercial artist, designing for several Shanghai studios, mainly in the yuefenpai style.
During the Pacific War (1941-5) his cicumstances forced him to move to Anhui Tunxi and then to Hangzhou. He continued to do advertising and other design work, as well as teaching in middle school in Hangzhou.
He was assigned to the East China People's Fine Art Publishing House (Huadong Renmin Meishu Chubanshe) in 1952, designing New Year pictures and propaganda prints. Like Ha Qiong Wen, he was a major influence on propaganda poster design in Shanghai, with his works showing an influence from his training in advertising.
A number of his works are in National museum collections. In 1983 Qian was given a National Propaganda Work Award.
Qiu Rui Min
Born in 1944, in Fujian, Qiu Ruimin graduated from the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts Technical Secondary School (Shanghai Meishu Zhuanke Xuexiao Zhongzhuanbu) in 1961. In 1965 he graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts (Shanghai Meishu Zhuanke Xuexiao Youhuaxi) established by Liu Haisu. In the same year he began work in the Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture Office (Shanghai Youhua Diaosu Chuangzuoshi).
Since the Mao Period Qiu has held several important positions in the art community including Professor of Art at Shanghai Academy of Fine Art, and Director of The China Artists Association.
Qiu Ruimin became Director of the Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture Institute. His works are in national collections, including the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan) and in the Long Museum's Collection of Revolutionary Art.
Shao Wen Jin
Born in Shandong in 1931, Shao graduated from the Department of Painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan Huihuaxi) in 1953.
The early 1950's saw artistic energy centred upon New Year's Pictures or nianhua, as encapsulating Art for the Masses. New style nianhua (xinnianhua) used the techniques and format of nianhua but adjusted the content to advance the new political ideas. Created by woodcut artisans in workshops in the traditional centres of nianhua, in Tianjin and Shandong and by trusted artists within the academies, they retained the theatrical scenes, black outlines and flat watercolour infill but removed the familiar gods and symbols of wealth.
As a nianhua artist Shao was assigned to the Tianjin Fine Arts Publishing House (Tianjin Meishu Chubanshe) where he stayed for many years. Later he moved to the Yangliuqing New Year Picture Publishing House (Tianjin Yangliuqing Huashe), Yangliuqing being an area close to Tianjin famous for its traditional nianhua.
Shi Dawei was still an amateur painter when he painted this poster in 1974, shown right, Everywhere in the Motherland is my Home.
He was born in Shanghai and graduated from Shanghai University Fine Art Academy, Chinese Painting Department, (Shanghai Daxue Meishu Xueyuan Zhongguohuaxi) in 1978 and worked in the comic strip department of the Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House (Shanghai Renmin Meishu Chubanshe Lianhuanhua Chungzuoshi).
In 1986 he became an artist at the Shanghai Chinese Painting Academy (Shanghai Zhongguo Huayuan).
His artwork is collected by The National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Shi Shao Chen
Born in 1939 in Zhejiang Shi graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Zhejiang Fine Art Academy (Zhejiang Meishu Xueyuan Youhuaxi) in 1964.
He was assigned, the same year, as a stage designer for the Jiangxi Yichun Dance and Drama Troupe (Jiangxisheng Yichun Zhuanqu Gewu Huajutuan), then, in 1968, joined the design team at Jiangxi Provincial Museum (Jiangxisheng Bowuguan).
In 1984 he began teaching at the middle school attached to Zhejiang Art Academy (Zhejiang Meishu Xueyuan Fuzhong), where he became Head.
Shi's principal medium is oil painting. His works are collected by the Museum of the Chinese Revolution (Zhongguo Geming Bowuguan).
Sun Wen Chao
Born in 1935 in Hebei, Sun received a formal art education in oil painting, 1953 to 1956, at North East China School of Fine Art (Dongbei Meishu Zhuangke Xuexiao Youhuazhuanye). In 1956 he embarked upon further training in oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan Youhuaxi).
In 1957 he joined the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Art (Lu Xun Meishu Xueyuan Youhuaxi) as an oil painting instructor and remained there for the rest of his career.
Sun Wen Chao's oil paintings are in the collections of the former Chinese History Museum (Zhongguo Lishi Bowuguan) and the Museum of the Chinese People's Revolutionary Army (Zhongguo Renmin Geming Junshi Bowuguan).
Tang Mu Li
Tang Mu Li learnt to paint from the age of 6, but his ambition was to be a physicist. His father was the Republican and Mao Period film director Tang Xiaodan. Sent down to the countryside in the Cultural Revolution, he worked on a dairy farm in the outer suburbs of Shanghai.
In 1972 he was commissioned to produce an oil painting showing the successful use of acupuncture as an anesthetic during a surgical operation. As he was working on a farm all day, he painted at night. This oil painting was exhibited in Beijing at a National Exhibition and reproduced as a poster. It was collected by the National Gallery of China (Zhonguo Guojia Meishuguan) and exhibited in 1998 at the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao as part of the China 5,000 Years Exhibition. He was commissioned by the Shanghai Government to paint On the March, to mark the first anniversary of Mao's death.
Following this Tang was reassigned as an artist. In 1980 he graduated with a Masters of Art Degree from the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan) and won the first nationwide competition to study abroad. He has studied at the Royal College of Art in London and was artist in residence at Cornell University 1985-1989. He was subsequently based in Canada.
Tang Xiao He
Born in Hubei in 1941, Tang graduated in 1961 from the Hubei Art Academy High School (Hubei Yishu Xueyuan Fuzhong) and then from the Fine Arts Department of Hubei Art Academy (Hubei Yishu Xueyuan Meishuxi) in 1965.
Assigned to work at the Hubei Provincial Art Institute (Hubeisheng Meishuyuan), Tang remained there throughout his career, becoming the vice-director and artist in residence.
Several of Tang's paintings and murals are in the collection of the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
WANG WEI SHU
Born in 1934 in Zhejiang, the Calendar Poster artist Jin Meisheng was one of his art teachers. In 1950 he studied in the Shanghai Modern Studio (Shanghai Xiandai Huashi).
In 1958 he joined the Shanghai People's Fine Art Publishing House (Shanghai Renmin Meishu Chubanshe) where he made yufenpai, calendar poster style nianhua. He became the Head of the New Year's Prints Editorial Office.
He is a member of the China Artists Assosciation.
Born in 1946 in Liaoning, Wang Yang graduated from the Fine Arts Section of Liaoning Normal Art School (Liaoning Shifan Yishu Xuexiao) in 1966.
He joined the General Headquarters of the Shenyang Military Region as an artist.
In 1986 he graduated from the Cadres' Refresher Course ran by the Oil Painting Department of the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Art (Lu Xun Yishu Xueyuan Youhuaxi).
WANG ZUN YI
Born in 1938 in Shandong, Wang Zunyi graduated from the Shandong Sports Academy (Shandong Tiyu Xueyuan) in 1960.
He joined the Propaganda Office of the Shandong Sport Committee, and in 1961 he became a set designer at the Jinan Military Region Vanguard Spoken Drama Troupe.
In 1969 he moved to the Cultural Office of the Political Department of Qingdao Garrison Command before returning to the Jinan Military Region Vanguard Cultural Work Group in 1980.
His works include oil paintings and gouache and have been collected by the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Born in Suzhou in 1942, Wu Jian studied art at Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts (Shanghai Meishu Zhuanke Xuexiao), established by Liu Haisu, in 1961.
He taught art in both Middle School and at Shanghai Jiaotong University (Shanghai Jiaotong Daxue).
Known for his oil paintings, in 1987, Wu, attended San Francisco Art Academy as a student.
Wang Xi Song
Born in Guizhou in 1941, Wang enrolled at the Art Department of Guizhou Institute for Nationalities, Fine Art class (Guizhou Minzu Xueyuan Yishuxi Meishuban) in 1958, then, in 1961, continued his art training at Guizhou University Art Department in the Traditional Chinese Painting class (Guizhou Daxue Yishuxi Guohuaban).
In 1965 he was assigned to the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and spent most of the remaining Mao Period engaged in art popularisation work. He finally became the head of the Cultural Centre in Shijushan City.
Wang is known for his Chinese painting and woodblock prints.
Wang Yin Chun
Born in Shanxi, Wang graduated from the Traditional Chinese Painting Department of Xi'an Fine Art Academy (Xi'an Meishu Xueyuan Guohuaxi) in 1966. She went on to produce oil paintings, Chinese paintings, and block prints.
In 1978 she joined the Portrait Section of the Traditional Chinese Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan Guohuaxi Renwuhua Yanjiuban) as a research student. Graduating in 1980, she joined the Chinese Painting Research Institute (Zhongguohua Yanjiuyuan).
Her works are collected National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Wu Xing Qing
Born in Jiangsu, Wu created many posters in collaboration with Chen Ju Xian (b.1929, Zhejiang) in the New Year Pictures division of the Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House (Shanghai Renmin Meishu Chubanshe). Both women had graduated from the same Art School, Wu from the Drawing Department of the East China Branch of the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan Huadong Fenyuan Huihuaxi) in 1954 and Chen from the Painting Department in 1952.
They both worked in the New Years Pictures (年画 nianhua) Division since graduation and they produced many posters individually (like the one shown here) and together, in the 1960s and 1970s. Several of her poster designs in both the 工笔 gongbi style of Chinese painting and in propaganda painting style have been awarded prizes.
They are included in the collection of the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Wu Zhen Xiang
Born in Changsha in 1935 in a Jiangsu family, Wu joined the PLA in 1953 as a radar operator and propagandist. He learnt to paint watercolours at a Fine Arts class at the Workers Cultural Palace in Shanghai (Shanghai Gongren Wenhuagong Meishuban) in 1958.
In 1973 Wu left the PLA to work as an artist in Hangzhou and, after the Mao Period, in 1980, formally studied Chinese Painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan Zhongguohuaxi). In 1987 he did further study at the PLA Art Academy (Jiefangjun Yishu Xueyuan) and joined the Political Department of the Nanjing Air Force, Creative Unit.
Wu is known for his Chinese paintings and his woodblock prints.
For a discussion of the lives and works of Shanghai's calendar poster artists see Ellen Johnston-Laing, Selling Happiness: Calendar Posters and Visual Culture in Early-Twentieth Century Shanghai, 2004: University of Hawaii Press
Xie Mu Lian
Born in Zhejiang, the nephew of the well documented calender poster and line drawing artist, Xie Zhiguang. He was taught art by his uncle and, by the age of 15 was painting calender women and assisting his uncle with his yuefenpai posters.
From 1938 onwards, he worked at several advertising companies in Shanghai, including Carl Crow's Kelaolai Guanggao Gongsi and the Xinyihang Advertising Agency.
In the early 1950's when Mao established 2 printing houses in Shanghai, he was assigned with his uncle, Li Mubai and Jin Xuechen to the Shanghai Picture Press (Shanghai Huapian Chubanshe) to paint yuefenpai nianhua. Whilst there was ideological struggle over the use of yuefenpai techniques, these artists taught many new artists their skills in studios created at the Press and it became one of the defining characteristics of Mao Period propaganda.
He later transfered to the Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House (Shanghai Renmin Meishu Chubanshe) as a yuefenpai nianhua artist.
In the Cultural Revolution Jiang Qing banned the use of yuefenpai techniques for 7 years, but Xie Mu Lian survived the period and was honoured for his contributions in 1985.
忻礼良 1912-after 1980's
Xin Li Liang
Born in Zhejiang, Xin Li Liang worked in Shanghai in the 1930's as a designer of commercial advertisements in the yuefeipang, calendar girl poster, style. He worked at the Shengsheng Fine Art Company, with which the well-documented commercial artist Xie Zhiguang, famous for his calendar posters and line drawing advertisements, was also associated. In the 1940's he took his skills to the Zhonghua Film Company, also in Shanghai, and designed film posters.
In 1955 he was assigned to the Shanghai Picture Press (Shanghai Huapian Chubanshe) to make yuefenpai nianhua, New Year's Pictures in calendar poster style and, in 1959, joined other yuefenpai nianhua artists at the Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House (Shanghai Renmin Meishu Chubanshe). He stayed there until 1962.
The yufenpai style was despised by Jiang Qing and banned for 7 years during the Cultural Revolution. Li Mubai, Xie Mulian and Jin Xuechen all survived this and were honoured in the 1980's. It is not clear what happened to Xin Li Liang, but his works are collected by the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Born in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, Xu studied in the middle school attached to Zhejiang Fine Art Academy (Zhejiang Meishu Xueyuan Fushu Zhongxue) and, from 1960 in the Academy (Zhejiang Meishu Xueyuan) itself. He graduated from the Block Printing Department in 1965.
He was assigned to the People's Fine Arts Publishing House (Renmin Meishu Chubanshe) in Beijing as an editor and artist.
Xu specialises in Chinese Painting and his works have been collected by the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
After the Mao Period Xu exhibited his works in both China and overseas.
Yang Li Zhou
Born in Shanxi, Yang graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Xi'an Art Academy (Xi'an Meishu Xueyuan Youhuaxi) in 1966. He went on to design books and produce oil paintings, chinese paintings, murals and block prints in various parts of Shanxi.
In 1978 he joined the Portrait Section of the Traditional Chinese Painting Department at the Central Academy of Fine Art (Zhongyang Meishu Xueyuan Guohuaxi Renwuhua Yanjiuban) as a research student. Graduating in 1980 he joined the Chinese Painting Research Institute (Zhongguohua Yanjiuyuan).
In 1984 Yang was made Head of the Fine Arts Section in the Ministry of Culture and, in 1989, Vice-Director of the National Museum of Fine Art (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Yang Wen Ren
Born in Shandong, Yang Wen Ren attended the Art Department of Shandong Normal University (Shandong Shifan Xueyuan Yishuxi) from 1957 to 1962.
He was assigned to teach in various institutions in Shandong and, in 1977, was assigned as an artist at the Shandong Art Museum (Shandongsheng Meishuguan).
His works have been included in many exhibitions of Chinese Paintings and New Years Paintings, and he has been the subject of several publications. His works have been collected by the National Museum of Fine Arts (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Yi Zhong, or Chen Yifei
Chen Yi Fei was born in Zhejiang and graduated from the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts (Shanghai Meishu Zhuanke Xuexiao) in 1965.
He worked with Wei Jingshan on an oil painting entitled 'The Destruction of the Palace of the Chaing Kai Shek family' (1978) which was strongly criticised for its depiction of a tired and battle-weary PLA. It is now in the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution (Zhongguo Renmin Geming Junshi Bowuguan). Chen appears as Zhong Yi on the posters he produced.
From 1980-81 Chen studied in the US and in the late 1990's created a clothing and lifestyle brand in Shanghai called Layefe. This led him to be made Art Designer for the fashion magazine Vision launched in 2001, sponsored by The Communist Youth League.
His oil paintings have received awards and are included in National collections and in the Long Museum collection in Shanghai.
Yin Pei Hua
Born in Jiangsu, Yin Pei Hua finished studying at the Suzhou Arts & Crafts Training College (Suzhou Gongyi Meishu Zhuanke Xuexiao) in 1962.
The same year he joined the PLA as a soldier artist and specialised in figurative painting and Chinese painting. His works are collected by the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution (Zhongguo Renmin Geming Junshi Bowuguan).
You Long Gu
Born in Fuzhou, she graduated as an oil painter from the Nanjing Central Academy Art Department (Nanjing Guoli Zhongyang Daxue Yishuxi) in 1949, a school strongly influenced by the academic style of painting of Xu Beihong.
She joined the People's Liberation Army as an art teacher the same year.
In 1955, together with her husband and classmate, Ha Qiongwen, she joined the newly established propaganda poster unit at the Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House (Shanghai Renmin Meishu Chubanshe).
When Ha was denounced during the Cultural Revolution, You Long Gu was 'sent down' to a reform and re-education farm.
Zhang De Jun
Born in Jiangsu in 1946, Zhang graduated from the Nanjing Art Academy (Nanjing Yishu Xueyuan) in 1968.
From 1970 onwards he worked in art and design roles in Jiangsu. He also worked at the Jiangsu Changzhou Mass Art Centre (Jiangsu Changzhou Qunzhong Yishuguan), but possibly not until after the Mao period. He also served as the curator for the Liu Haisu Art Museum (Liu Haisu Meishuguan) in Changzhou.
He has gained many awards for his accomplished New Year Prints.
ZHANG FU LONG
Born in Hebei in 1942, Zhang Fu Long began his art career in the Tianjin Fine Arts Publishing House (Tianjin Meishu Chubanshe) in 1958.
He worked there until 1979 when he moved to the Tianjin branch of the Chinese Artists Association (Zhongguo Meishujia Xiehui) before joining the Tianjin Art Academy (Tianjin Huayuan) in 1980.
He specialises in New Years Pictures and Chinese Painting.
ZHANG HE RONG
Born in Shanghai in 1932, Zhang He Rong went to Hong Kong to study sketching and oil painting at the Wanguo Art Training College (Xiang Gang Wanguo Yishu Zhuanke Xueyuan) in 1948.
Returning to the Mainland, he entered the Art Department of Nanjing Normal University (Nanjing Shefan Daxue Meishuxi) in 1952. After graduation he was assigned to Shandong, where he taught art in middle schools.
After the Mao Period, in 1982, he joined the Applied Arts Department of Shandong Textile University (Shandong Fangzhigong Xueyuan Shiyongmeishuxi). He specialises in New Years Pictures.
ZHANG HUI BIN
Born in Shandong in 1942, Zhang Hui Bin received no formal art education, having suffered an accident which left him with disabilities.
In 1969 he joined the Creative Section of Jinzhou Municipal Revolutionary Committee in Liaoning (Liaoning Jinzhou Shiwei Meishu Chuangzuozu) and, a year later, moved to the Guta District Cultural Centre (Gutaqu Wenhuaguan) also in Jinzhou. He remained there and specialises in portrait painting.
His artworks are collected by the National museum of Fine Arts (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Zhang Shao Cheng
Born in Guangxi, Zheng graduated from the Middle School attached to the Guangzhou Art Academy (Guangzhou Meishu Xueyuan Fuzhong) in 1963. He was then assigned to work in various art roles.
He worked as a cadre in the Guangzhou Arts Studio (Guangzhou Meishu Gongzuoshi), and in the Propaganda Team Fine Art Section of the Guangzhou Municipal Committee (Guangzhou Xuanchuanbu Meishuzu) and as a designer at the Guangzhou Industrial Art Unit (Guangzhou Qinggong Meishugonsi).
After the Mao Period he specialised in Drawing at the Guangzhou Painting Academy (Guangzhou Huayuan).
His works include Chinese Paintings and Oils, including collaborative works of leading poilitical figures such as Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Zhu De.
Zhang Yu Qing
Born in Zhejiang in 1909, Zhang Yu Qing began studying sketching at Shanghai World Publishers when he was 16. He went on to illustrate books.
In the 1950's he designed New Year prints, first at the Shanghai Picture Press (Shanghai Huapian Chubanshe) and later at Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House (Shanghai Renmin Meishu Chubanshe). He was a prolific poster artist in this style and his works contain a vast amount of detail.
He produced further posters in the 1980s, under the new political system, the one shown here, 'Splendid Shanghai,' being an example. His representation of Shanghai's Great World won third prize at the 4th National New Year's Pictures Awards in 1988. Zhang had first painted this subject as a New Year's Picture in 1962.
The 1988 work was acquired for the collection of the National Museum of Fine Arts (Zhongguo Meishuguan).
Zhao Guo Jing