• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 02
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LOT 23

Ink on paper. 1 foot by 3 feet.

Pan Pianshou, son of an abusive German tax official and his Chinese wife, was born in the German protectorate of Shandong. Being what was labelled a “Mischling,” he was not accepted by either community. A drifting but talented 23 year old, he was caught up in violent protests from which developed the rabidly nationalist, anti-imperialist “PINYIN” movement.

PINYIN objected to the Chinese Government’s acceptance of the Versailles Treaty that – only 20 years after the Sino-Japanese war – ceded Shandong province to Japan.

Pianshou painted this poster in 1920. The wording at the top – Shao si diguo zhu de gou – translates as: “Burn imperialist capitalist running dogs.” On the left side, Shandong shi zhongguo means, “China owns Shandong.” The dominating troglodyte figure – almost eyeless on ill-formed red-trousered legs – with burning hair and whiskers, its hideous head engulfed in black smoke – is Pianshou’s vision of a Western imperialist.

Professor Lin Jennings, in her catalogue raisonné of Pianshou’s work, contends that this squat creature also personifies the artist’s hated father, whom Pianshou often referred to as chandu – “the toad.”

Only 2000 copies of the PINYIN poster were printed, each bearing – top-right – the red colophon of the short-lived Ho Zhing Press. Almost all copies were destroyed in the turmoil of the time. The poster was never reprinted.