- African textiles today
- In search of Classical Greece
- Sowei mask
- Bubbles and bankruptcy
- Ice Age art
- Line and spirituality
- Silver service
- Asian propaganda
- Arcimboldo to Kitaj
- Pompeii and Herculaneum
- Coins and the Bible
- Arab art
- Melanesia, Art and Encounter
- Women of the pleasure quarters
- Works by Frank Auerbach
- The Mostyn Tompion clock
- Beyond El Dorado
- Wise men from the east
- A Middle East menagerie
The art of influence
30 May – 1 September 2013
Recommend this exhibition
Explore the political art of Asia, uncover its lighter and darker shades, and discover the dynamics of the histories and cultures that created these striking works.
Covering the period 1900 to 1976, this exhibition presents a selection of the British Museum’s rich collections of unpublished and rarely seen political art from Asia.
Posters, prints and drawings, money and medals, teapots, textiles and other objects show how propaganda art reflects – and is shaped by – the political, social and economic circumstances of its production. Through these objects, the exhibition sheds new light on propaganda's collaborative and coercive aspects. Its distinctive ability to build nations, defy enemies, construct identities, change minds and educate populations paints a complex picture made from more than just lies and manipulation.
From the first breaths of revolution against imperial forces to Mao’s death and the conclusion of the Vietnam War, the exhibition will place political art in multiple contexts across the continent. The show is divided into five sections that explore early revolutionary messages (1900–1930), the Asia-Pacific War (1931–1945), post-war reconstruction (post-1945), new society (up to 1976), and key propaganda devices, such as the use or subversion of tradition and the insertion of propaganda into daily life. From a 1904 humorous Japanese print portraying the Russian navy as a limping fish to anti-American and anti-Churchill posters, the highly diverse and frequently arresting images reveal art as an agent of political culture.
Nguyen Cong Do (b. 1930), original artwork for poster Tat Ca Vi Hoa Binh (All for the sake of Peace) (detail). Gouache on paper, 1972
The catalogue The art of influence: Asian propaganda by Mary Ginsberg is published by the British Museum Press.
Highlights from the exhibition
Robespierre.Nam Juke Paik (백남준)(1931-2006)
Manchukuo Kimono. Asia-Pacific War (1931–1945)
All for the sake of Peace (Tãt Ca› Vì Hòa Bình) Nguyen Cong Do (born 1930)
Crime cannot be compensated by tears (범죄는 눈 물로 보상못한다)
Kali. Hindu goddess Kali standing over Siva
Inscribed propaganda painting. Signed Luong (unidentified artist).
Big tank battle (detail) (坦克大會戰)
Subhas Chandra Bose
Vietnam with Helicopters and Kids,no. 3 from the series Gift of America Sigmund Abeles (born 1934)
All sorts of vegetables.
Nowhere to run to escape.(Chay dău cho thóat) Signed Ta (unidentified artist)
Aimless Boats (Urouro-bune), from the series Hurrah for Japan! One Hundred Selections, One Hundred Laughs. Kobayashi Kiyochika (小林清親) (1847–1915)
Children of New China (Xin Zhongguo de ertong) Zhang Ding (張仃) (1917–2010).
Girls’ school catches monsters. Woodcut. Theatre. Ink and colours on paper.