The British Library is not alone in devoting space to the dark arts of propaganda this summer, as the British Museum also has a display — based on the same concept, but the two displays compliment rather than overlap.

While the Library mainly focuses on Western propaganda, the Museum looks east at how Asian propaganda developed through the turbulent 20th century.

A period that was marked by invasions, occupations, former colonial powers and revolutions — each calling for messages to rally the troops.

The art of influence Asian propaganda

There is something strangely alien about the art work though, as while you can look at some of it and nod in familiarity about the underlying concepts, much of the design and structure of the posters are totally different to anything we are used to.

In a way, being often militaristic propaganda presented in what seems a strange art form is therefore more profound and uncomfortable.

A version of the Japanese flag

Of course some of it looks familiar to our eyes, until you notice that Mao is also in the picture.

Mao as successor

The exhibition is in Room 91 at the rear of the museum, is open until the 1st September and is free.

The art of influence Asian propaganda

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