Gallerist Christopher Bailey amassed a treasure trove of vintage handpainted Hong Kong travel posters – and now they are available to the public.
Some are the last surviving examples of their species – hand-painted advertisements for Hong Kong that once hung on the walls of travel agencies around the world, enticing tourists with their promises of an exotic Far East adventure.
Now they are available for the public to see at Hong Kong Baptist University, which last year acquired Bailey’s collection. “It can honestly be described as the world’s finest collection of vintage Hong Kong travel posters,”
Bailey’s collection focuses on older illustrated works, with only a handful of particularly remarkable photo-based posters. “It’s comprehensive up to 1980 and selective thereafter,”
But many other artists in the collection remain unknown – victims of the lack of recognition suffered by many commercial artists who worked in a pre-Warholian era when advertising, graphic design and branding were considered inferior to fine art.