Pictures of Persuasion: Hong Kong’s Colonial Travel Posters

Abstract

Hong Kong Baptist University recently purchased one of the world’s finest collections of vintage Hong Kong travel posters. The collection, which includes approximately one hundred posters dating from 1930-1980, is significant in many ways. These pictures of persuasion “offer a wealth of art, history, design, and popular culture for us to understand”. The posters provide a glimpse into evolving mid-century commercial art and the visual languages of Western modernism. Perhaps more importantly, however, they offer a valuable historical and social perspective on Hong Kong’s self-conception and its image in the West during the city’s late colonial period. The posters touch on many important historical themes, including a defence of colonialism, Hong Kong’s local and overseas identities and the ways people shared a now-lost urban environment. Hong Kong’s colonial travel posters belong to the collective memory of Hongkongers and the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Keywords: Colonialism, Commercial Art, Hong Kong, Identity, Travel Poster


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 12-25 (Download PDF)

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