The art of influence: Asian propaganda

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Recommend this exhibition

The Art of Influence is a visually striking exploration of the political art of Asia, showcasing powerful images designed to move hearts and minds. It met with critical acclaim when it was displayed at the British Museum from May to September 2013 and received over 140,000 visitors.

The exhibition uses a selection of highlights from the British Museum’s rich collection of unpublished and rarely seen political art to uncover the histories and cultures that created these bold works.

Darkly comic, tragic, inspirational and patriotic by turns, these objects reveal how art and imagery were manipulated by both rulers and ruled. The exhibition sheds new light on the collaborative and coercive aspects of propaganda, whose distinctive ability to build nations, defy enemies, construct identities, change minds and educate populations paints a complex picture, demonstrating that it is made from more than just lies and manipulation.

By focusing on the period from 1900 to 1976, the exhibition charts the transformation of an entire continent, from the first breaths of revolution against imperial forces to Mao’s death and the conclusion of the Vietnam War.