Inspired by Propaganda Posters, Xinmei Liu Challenges the Norm in Model Citizen Guidelines
Be good at everything. Crying is embarrassing. Art is for people who are bad in math. Rich people are not your friends. Rather harsh lessons, but lessons which nevertheless peppered the childhood of illustrator Xinmei Liu while growing up in Shanghai.
Today, Liu is able to reflect on these moral nuggets from a global and critical perspective, having spent her college years in New York City, where she currently resides. Inspired by Chinese propaganda posters during the 80s and 90s, her series Model Citizen Guidelines illustrates the slogans from her youth, casting a wry and ironic look at the principles and platitudes she was taught as a kid and later found problematic.
Meant to be seen as pages of a fictitious schoolbook, the body of work “aims to use humor and sarcasm to provoke thought and raise questions about conventional ideas on what constitutes ‘good behaviour’ and ‘good values’ in society,” Liu says.