Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

Graffiti in Chinese Currency. Images - Texts - Contexts

Sep 16, 2022, 12:00 PM
Old Library - Hall 115-116

Old Library - Hall 115-116


Duoduo Zhang (IHAC)


Analyzing graffiti on current Renminbi banknotes this paper examines the reasons and socio-economic and cultural circumstances of the appearance of graffiti on Chinese money. Classified according to the currency value, graffiti on RMB appear on larger (50 yuan and 100 yuan) and smaller denominations of banknotes as well as on coins (below 20 yuan). Usually, names written on larger denominations testify of the need of payment verification. Graffiti on small denominations, however, owing to their higher circulation speed, have become a vehicle ? for advertisements. In this group the phenomenon of graffiti on coins is less attested, probably due to the inconvenience of writing on them; howevergraffiti with different political, social, or cultural-religious messages are frequent on low-value banknotes. From a historical perspective, graffiti on Chinese currency contribute to our understanding of the current social and cultural dynamics beneath the legal level that forbids any kind of alteration of currency.

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