It has been a very cold and rainy winter here in Shanghai. So when the weather cleared a bit, we were off!
We cheated by taking a taxi to Boxing Cat Brewery for lunch, then walked over to Huashan Road to find the Propaganda Poster Art Centre at #868. Number 868 was an apartment building complex. Hmmm....
When we started walking down the driveway, the guard at the gate came out with a business card-size piece of paper to hand us. It had directions to get to the poster museum, which is located in the basement of one of these nondescript apartment buildings!
There is plenty of English explanation, but no photos are allowed. Everything in the earlier collection which is organized chronologically, can be found on the website or in the catalog:
The building (opened in 2004) is said to resemble a combination of an ocean-going merchantman vessel and a Maya temple, to signify that tobacco came to China from abroad. The steps were certainly Mayan-like!
Tobacco originated in South America and quickly spread throught the Americas. Christopher Columbus brought it to Europe. Spain wanted to develop tobacco plantations in the Philippines, and from there tobacco entered China through Macao and Taiwan. Smoking tobacco was limited and done with various pipe-like implements.
In 1888, some American was selling Pin Head cigarettes in Shanghai. Maybe they should name cigarettes "Pin Head" again.
British and American companies set up factories in China and sold numerous brands:
However, there are counterfeit cigarettes, so we have our heroic relief statue of the counterfeit cigarette police: