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Chinateatern in Stockholm changes its logo after criticism of the image

The controversial logo features an illustration of a man wearing a conical hat, long mustaches and, according to several critical social media posts and comments, a “stereotypical East Asian appearance”.

The criticism of the logo is that they used a classic racist image of an Asian man. It has a very long and violent history here in the West, says Lisa Wall-Rim Siopilum, regardless of the intention of the Chinese when they decided to use it.

critical line

Wall-rim Shublom believes that the calligraphy has received criticism for its reference to stereotypical Western depictions of Chinese characters.

– Why do you feel compelled when something breathes “Asian” to always use bamboo fonts or fonts reminiscent of Chinese calligraphy? China is a huge country, not to mention Asia as a continent, and there, as in the West, there are thousands of expressions, you say.

Chinateatern has removed the image of the man from the main entrance as well as on digital platforms and the plan is, according to Chinateatern itself, to remove the image everywhere.

However, the line is the same.

“Not our intention”

Kulturnyheterna sought out Chinateattern, who chose to explain the decision in an email.

We started the change work when it was brought to our attention that he felt abusive. It was never our intention, we apologize for doing so in terms of logo design, wrote the theater’s operations manager Ulrica Ågren.

Ågren also writes that the logo has been around since before the current owners took over.

– The China Theater was designed by architect Albin Starck in 1926, inspired by his stay in China in 1922 when he was allowed to enter the Forbidden City in Beijing. Together with artist Edvald Dalskog, the stage was decorated with Chinese art. The Chinese Theater is a cultural monument and full of Chinese architecture.

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Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom believes that Chinateattern should consult Asian graphic designers on how to develop a logo.

I have no problem if they want to maintain the festive feel of something expectedly Chinese. Nothing has to be negative, but it should be done in a respectful manner, she says.