Ni Gengye

Calendar Poster for Qidong Tobacco Co.

year of birth and death unknown China

In the new year period, wood block prints of images of people and patterns representing good fortune are fixed to houses in China as a custom wishing good luck upon the house for the whole year. Following on from this, in the booming cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong of the 1920s and 1930s, a new form of new year pictures with calendars included emerged and foreign-affiliated companies distributed them as posters to advertise their products. The designs can be seen as a reflection of the changing times, from the Qing dynasty to the Republic of China, from good fortune images and patterns to stylish women. While these girls excited consumerist feelings they were also idols and role models. In this work, painted by popular poster artist Ni Gengye, against a backdrop of an aircraft, the ultimate modern mode of transport, a flight attendant in white gloves raises one hand. To many people the image of a passenger airliner and a working woman was a stark confirmation that a new era had arrived, giving women confidence and dreams. This poster can be regarded as a symbol of the modern age. (RT)

Work description

Title Calendar Poster for Qidong Tobacco Co.
Name of the Artist Ni Gengye
Year 1938
Medium offset on paper
Size 102.8×38.2 cm