Brave the wind and the waves, everything has remarkable abilities

Chengfeng polang gelei shentong
乘风破浪 各显神通
Brave the wind and the waves, everything has remarkable abilities
Shanghai renmin meishu chubanshe (上海人民美术出版社)
53x77.5 cm.
PC-1958-024
1958

A poster designed by no less than nine prominent artists, with several elements from other posters, merged to a new composition. The quirkiest new element, at first sight: a man sitting on a missile, reading a book.

The image refers to the 'Eight Immortals' (八仙, Baxian) who in Daoist mythology crossed the sea using their 'power tools'. Li Tieguai used his iron crutch (compare the steel worker at the head of the group), He Xiangu rode a crane (compare the man on the rocket).
"Derived from this, the Chinese proverb 'The Eight Immortals cross the sea, each reveals its divine powers' (八仙過海,各顯神通 , ge xian shen tong) indicates the situation that everybody shows off their skills and expertise to achieve a common goal" (Wikipedia).

Eight Immortals

Sources:

Andreas Seifert, Christine Moll-Murata, Aufbruch ins sozialistische Paradies – Propagandaplakate
der frühen Volksrepublik China
(Bochum: Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 2018) - online at https://www.rub.de/oaw/pdf/Veranstaltung/Katalog_Aufbruch_in_sozialistische_Paradies_web.pdf

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