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he Shanghai World Expo, opening in 2010, is expected to draw the largest attendance 
of any world's fair in history. But, as the theme of the expo — "Better City, Better 
Life"— suggests, the host city is as much of an attraction as the fair itself. In her essay 
in this book, Wen-hsin Yeh writes: 

When the Expo opens in 2010, it will take place in a country in which over 
half of its people are newly urbanized (becoming residents in a territorial 
administration under a municipal authority). It will also take place in a city 
that is a shining example of China's engagement with the world. For a century 
and a half Shanghai has sat at the center of crisscrossing currents between the 
country and the city, the Chinese hinterland and the world beyond the sea. For 
decades, the tension between these poles had been acute. Shanghai became 
modern in the 1930s, with its stylish women and urban dreams, under the 
auspices of the colonial administrations in the foreign concessions. It show- 
cased the splendor of modernity on Chinese soil, although achieved at a site where the 
Chinese state had compromised its sovereign claims. Seven decades later, with gleam- 
ing towers rising on the eastern bank of the Huangpu and a multitude of the world's 
top financial and industrial brands vying for top spots above the recently plowed-under 
fields, a new Shanghai came into being under the auspices of the Chinese Communist 
state. Shanghai had joined the world, and so did much of the rest of China. 

The Shanghai Dream, which once inspired so many of the city's youths to strive 
to do their best, has become much more than a mere dream. . . . The city moves along 
with the rest of the nation, joining an ever-expanding world of international styles and 
globalizing technology. It adroitly takes its place in a new order on the banks of the 
Huangpu River — blurring memories of historical tension, confounding multiple lin- 
guistic practices, and producing, for the benefit of the tourist industry that is the life- 
line of affluence and happiness, poster-perfect pictures of the past as well as the future. 

Shanghai: Art of the City traces, through its art, the development of what is incontestably one of 
the world's most intriguing cities, from its mud-bank treaty-port origins to the dynamic, cosmo- 
politan metropolis of today. Along the way it considers the works of mid- and late-nineteenth- 
century artists who were torn between the traditions of long-established Chinese artistic prac- 
tices and the new influences that were increasingly felt in the rapidly growing, outward-looking 
city. It considers Shanghai as a locus for creative thinking in the early 1900s, and as an interna- 
tional center for a distinctive style known as Shanghai Deco in the 1930s. It charts the reactions, 
accommodations, and resistance of artists to the tightly controlled state-sponsored Socialist 
agitprop of the Cultural Revolution, and the rebound from those restrictions in the late 1970s 
and 1980s. Finally, it surveys the innovative conceptual and installation artists who are making 
Shanghai a focal point for bold new directions in contemporary art today. 

Featuring more than a hundred objects, including oil paintings, Shanghai Deco furniture and 
rugs, revolutionary posters, works of fashion, movie clips, and contemporary installations — 
drawn mainly from the collections of the Shanghai Museum, the Shanghai Art Museum, the 
Shanghai History Museum, the Lu Xun Memorial Hall, and the Shanghai Propaganda Poster 
Art Centre — Shanghai explores the tumultuous history that has resulted in the progressive and 
stylish city of today, through the mirror of its art. An American poet once wrote that "the artist 
is the antenna of the race." For more than a century and a half, Shanghai artists have been not 
only documenting the city's many changes but also leading its way into the future. It is impos- 
sible to understand the city without an awareness of its artists, or to understand its art without 
an awareness of the city's history. Lavishly illustrated, this volume presents, for the first time in 
English, an accessible and comprehensive approach to such an understanding. 





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tier, Britta] 
He Li, Li Lei, Shan Guolin, and Wen-hsin Yeh 

Copyright © 2010 by the Asian Art Museum of San Frani 

isbn: 978-0-9391 17-52-9 (cloth) / 978-0-9391 1 

The Asian Art Museum-Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is a public institution whose 
mission is to lead a diverse global audience in discovering the unique material, aesthetic, and intellectual 
achievements of .Asian art and culture. 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, electronic or mechanical, witl 
permissi no the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review. 

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Shanghai, co-organized by the Shanghai Museum and the Asian Art 
Museum— Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture. The exhibition was presented in San Francisco 
at the Asian Art Museum from February 12 through September 5. 2010. 

Presentation at the Asian Art Museum was made possible by Carmen M. Christensen. the Koret Foundation, 
the Bernard Osher Foundation, the MetLife Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts. Credit Suisse, 
and China Guardian Auctions Co.. Ltd. 

The museum gratefully acknowledges the underwriting of this catalogue by Fred M.and Nancy Livingston 
Levin, the Shenson Foundation, in memory of Ben and A. Jess Shenson and in honor of their family's passion 
for Chinese art. 

photo permissions: The Asian Art Museum extends its thanks to our partner institutions— the Lu Xun 
Memorial Hall, the Shanghai Art Museum, the Shanghai History Museum, the Shanghai Museum, and 
the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre— which have generously provided images of works from their 
collections for this catalogue. We are also grateful for additional image permissions as follow: Appearance of 
Crosses 1991-3 and Cloth Sculptures on the Street reproduced by permission of ShanghART Gallery' and Ding 
Yi. Augustine Heard and Company's Hong and Residence. Shanghai (M5131), House of Dent. Beak & Company 
(M3794), Shanghai (M10565), Shanghai: The Bund, within the Premises 0/ Russell & Company (AE85781), and 
View of the Shanghai Bund (E82723): photographs courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum. Can You Tell Me? 
and Shadow in the Water reproduced by permission of Liu Jianhua. Images from City Light. Honey, and Liu Lan 
reproduced by permission of ShanghART Gallery and Yang Fudong. The Dimension 0/ Jnle No. 1 reproduced by 
permission of Zheng Chongbin. Forest reproduced by permission of Li Huayi. Landscape— Commemorating Huang 
Binhong— Scroll reproduced by permission of ShanghART Gallery and Shen Fan. Mau-angdui 2009 reproduced 
by permission of Liu Dahong. MOCA Shanghai reproduced by permission of MOCA Shanghai. Images from 
The New Boofe 0/ Mountains and Seas Pan 1 reproduced by permission of Qiu Anxiong. Opening of the Gallery 
of the Shanghai Drama Institute reproduced by permission of Zheng Shengtian. Panda Couture reproduced 
by permission of ShanghART Gallery and Zhao Bandi. Shanghai Lily reproduced by permission of ShanghART 
Gallery and Zhou Tiehai. Un/Limited Space (4): The Shower reproduced by permission of Zhou Tiehai. Vestiges of 
a Process: Shanghai Garden, Vestiges of a Process: ShiKuMen Project 2007. and Zhang Jian-Jun at the '8} Experimental 
Painting Exhibition reproduced by permission of Zhang Jian-Iun. 


MetLife Foundation 



FRONT COVER: Detail, cat. no. 62; back cover: Detail, cat. no. 63 

HALF TITLE and elsewhere: Chinese characters for Shanghai. Shang means "upon or above"; hai means 

Therefore Shanghai can be translated as "Upon the Sea," an appropriate name for this port city. 

pages 11— m: Detail, cat. no. 121; pages rv-v: Detail, cat. no. 33; pages vi-vii: Detail, cat. no. 93; 

pages vm-ix: Detail, cat. no. 82; page xt: Detail, cat. no. 89: pages xii-xiii: Detail, cat. no. 10, leaf E; 

pages 2-3: Detail, cat. no. 65; pages 8-9: Detail, cat. no. 103; pages 24-25: Detail, cat. no. 37; 

pages 32-33: Detail, cat. no. 13; pages 246-247: Detail, cat. no. 26; pages 260-261: Detail, cat no. 13 


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ix Jay Xu 

xiii Chen Xiejun 

3 Shanghai: Alt of the Cit) lichael Knight an< 

9 A Tale of Three Cities: 

Shanghai from 1850 to the Presenl Wen-hsm Yeh 

25 Reaching to Heaven: 

Shanghai Architecture and Interiors Nancy Berliner 


35 inghai 




m fin x 

247 Chronology 

250 Checklist in Chinese 

256 Glossary 

261 Bibliography 

270 About the Authors 

271 Index 

Director's Preface 

I my hometown of Shanghai in the 

company of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and other 
members of a delegation from San Francisco. On that occasion, I joined 
my international colleagues in signing a memorandum of understand- 
ing between the Asian Art Museum and the Shanghai Museum, com- 
memorating our collaboration for the exhibition that this catalogue 
documents. This was the culmination of several years' work on an 
exhibition that celebrates the visual culture of Shanghai from its begin- 
nings as a trade port to its current status as an economic and artistic 
powerhouse that has captured the world stage. 

At the event, the mayor noted that "this exhibition was conceived 
to take place during the same year that Shanghai hosts the World 
Expo 2010 as a way to honor the long-standing relationship that our 
city and theirs have maintained for over 150 years." He added that the 
exhibition and plans for a citywide celebration of Shanghai provide 
"a wonderful opportunity for artistic, educational, and commercial 
organizations to unite around a common interest and present to our 
neighbors locally, across the nation, and across the Pacific the truly- 
international flavor that we collectively share." 

The history of the exhibition is tied to the unique relationship 
between the cities of San Francisco and Shanghai. In 1980 San Fran- 
cisco and Shanghai established a Sister City relationship, the first such 
relationship between a city in the United States and one in China. 
More than two hundred projects have been sponsored by the Sister 
City relationship during the past thirty years. Exchanges have included 
commercial, cultural, educational, governmental, and technological 
programs. One of the earliest cultural exchanges was the exhibition 
Treasures from the Shanghai Museum hosted by the Asian Art Museum 
in 1983. The two museums have cooperated on a number of projects 
since that time. 

Shanghai continues the tradition of cooperation between these two 
great cities. In 2006 Michael Knight, the Asian Art Museum's Senior 
Curator of Chinese Art, began discussions with the Shanghai Museum 
concerning an exhibition for 2010, the year in which Shanghai will 
host its World Expo. His vision was to invite our respected museum 

counterparts in Shanghai to partner with the 
Asian Art Museum's curatorial statl to prepare 
an exhibition focused on the visual and material 
culture unique to their city. 

As the project progressed, Michael found that 
Nancy Berliner at the Peabody Essex Museum in 
Salem, Massachusetts, was also working on an 
exhibition pertaining to Shanghai. Rather than 
compete, the two curators decided to cooperate. 
Dr. Berliner was invaluable in developing the 
core concepts for the exhibition, choosing the 
objects, and negotiating with our colleagues in 
Shanghai. The Peabody Essex Museum has lent 
five China Trade paintings with scenes of Shang- 
hai to the exhibition, and Dr. Berliner has con- 
tributed an essay to this catalogue. 

In Shanghai, Mr. Chen Xiejun, Director of 
the Shanghai Museum; Ms. Zhou Yanqun, the 
Shanghai Museum's Head of the Foreign Rela- 
tions Bureau; and Mr. Chen Kelun, Vice Direc- 
tor of the Shanghai Museum, arranged for loans 
from their own collection and enlisted the coop- 
eration of the Shanghai Art Museum, which is 
dedicated to modern and contemporary art; the 
Shanghai History Museum; the Lu Xun Memo- 
rial Hall; and other Shanghai cultural and artistic 
entities. We are immensely grateful for their 

Li Lei, Director of the Shanghai Art Museum, 
and Shan Guolin, head of the painting depart- 
ment at the Shanghai Museum, have each 
contributed an article to this catalogue. Britta 
Erickson served as the consulting curator for 
the contemporary section of the exhibition and 
provided an essay and entries for this catalogue. 
Our thanks to ShanghART Gallery in Shanghai 
for its assistance in arranging several loans from 
contemporary artists living in Shanghai. Wen- 
hsin Yeh, of the University of California, Berke- 
ley, served as an advisor to the overall project and 
contributed a substantive essay on the history of 
Shanghai, for which we are most grateful. 

The exhibition would not have been possible 
without generous contributions from Carmen M. 
Christensen, the Koret Foundation, the Bernard 
Osher Foundation, the MetLife Foundation, the 
National Endowment for the Arts, Credit Suisse, 
and China Guardian Auctions Co., Ltd. Fred Levin 
and Nancy Livingston also provided generous fund- 
ing that made this catalogue possible. 

Christine Taylor and her team at Wilsted & 
Taylor provided both editorial and design services 
for the catalogue, with its production overseen 
by Dany Chan and Thomas Christensen on the 
museum's staff. Dany has been vital in all aspects of 
the exhibition. She served as a liaison between the 
Asian Art Museum and the institutions in China 
and was critical in negotiating and maintaining the 
object list. She is one of the major contributors to 
this catalogue while also meeting the needs of all 
the authors and keeping them on schedule. 

Nearly all the museum's staff is involved in 
preparing a large exhibition such as this, and it is 
impossible to name all those whose work was vital. 
Special recognition, however, goes to Deborah 
Clearwaters and Allison Wyckoff in the Education 
department; Pauline Fong-Martinez and the staff in 
Visitor Services; Robin Groesbeck and her Museum 
Services team; Michele Dilworth and her col- 
leagues in Public Relations and Marketing; Cathy 
Mano and her colleagues in Registration; Katie 
Holbrow and her team in Conservation; exhibition 
designer Stephen Penkowsky, Head of Preparation 
Brent Powell, and the museum preparators; Amory 
Sharpe and the Development department team; 
museum librarian John Stucky and the library vol- 
unteers; photographer Kaz Tsuruta and Aino Tolme 
and Jessica Kuhn in Image Services; and many 
more. It is to the credit of such team effort that we 
have succeeded in bringing to San Francisco the 
dynamic visual culture of our sister city Shanghai. 

Jay Xu 
Director, Asian Art Museum 




^ \ 






Preface from the Exhibition's 
Shanghai Co-Organizers 


*s .4 


I since Shanghai opened in 1843, trie treaty 

port has grown rapidly to become China's major city of finance and 
trade. During that time the unceasingly turbulent political situation trans- 
formed Shanghai into a stage for all kinds of competing ideologies and 
cultural trends. The city's art and culture bustle with a multitude of devel- 
opments, the new constantly replacing the old. Their rich diversity of con- 
tent and forms strongly reveals a Zeitgeist and regional characteristics. 

Shanghai, an exhibition co-organized by the Shanghai Museum, 
the Shanghai Art Museum, the Shanghai City History Museum, the Lu 
Xun Memorial Hall, and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, presents 
artworks and historical documents of the past one hundred fifty years. 
Through these representative works, the exhibition draws a general over- 
view of the cultural evolution of Shanghai. 

Featured in the exhibition are Shanghai-school paintings that were 
prominent from the late Qing dynasty through the Republic period. Other 
pieces represent the different styles that emerged from the reform current 
beginning in the early twentieth century, which tended to absorb Western 
art techniques in attempts to modify traditional Chinese painting. 

The growth of business and the inflow of Western culture brought 
new arts such as oil painting, watercolor, gouache, and comics. Commer- 
cial and package arts, including advertisements, posters, book design, and 
illustrated publications, gradually became more popular. Illustrated calen- 
dars especially appealed to Shanghai townspeople, and woodcuts pointedly 
addressed political issues during the wars. 

The exhibition also encompasses works of ink and colors, oil, wood- 
cuts, and video from the late 1950s to the present day, depicting daily life 
and the fresh atmosphere of the new China. 

In 2010, while the World Expo takes place in Shanghai, the Asian Art 
Museum of San Francisco will host the exhibition Shanghai, thus providing 
a platform for the American audience to learn about and better understand 
Shanghai's history and culture. Recalling history and looking to the future, 
I hope the ideal "to make metropolitan urban life happy and beautiful" will 

find its way deep into people's hearts. 

Chen Xiejun 
Director, Shanghai Museum 


Art of the City 

by Michael Knight and Dany Chan 

Gtlut affects all aspects 
of contemporary life, including art, politics, commerce, and 
ecology. It has become a source of deliberation and discourse among 
world leaders and thinkers. In the humanities, the effects of globaliza- 
tion on the world's cultures have been both lauded and decried. One 
often-expressed fear is that cultural diversity will be supplanted by 
bland homogeneity; 1 another fear cited is the resulting fragmentation 
or wholesale destruction of local identities.- Those on the other side 
of the argument assert that cultural homogeneity is not necessarily a 
given with globalization; rather, countermovements have emerged in 
adaptation, interpretation, or outright resistance. Certain cultures have 
diversified their ideas and practices in response to global pressures, 5 
while others have sought reinvention of local identity, and still others 
have chosen indigenization in reaction to foreign influences. 4 

Shanghai: Art of the City examines and interprets these myths and 
realities of globalization within the context of the development of one 
city's visual culture. It presents the city of Shanghai as a case study 
of the politics of cultural globalization as traced over a period of 160 
years. How has Shanghai been affected by a globalizing history? Which 
responses were utilized, successfully or unsuccessfully? Shanghai 
proves to be an ideal object of study for two reasons: 1) it can be argued 
to possess the most internationalized history of all of China's cities, and 
2) the majority of images composing the city's visual culture stemmed 
from deliberate and self-conscious decisions on the part of the image 
makers. In defining "art of the city," several layers of meaning unfolded: 
on one layer, it means the images that depict the cityscape, of which 
there are many, or the works created by its residents, or simply the 
visual material one finds within the city's boundaries; on another layer, 
it intimates the role of art in creating a public persona for the city— 
in other words, "Shanghai-the-city" may have been first imagined in 
pictures before becoming political reality. 

Shanghai emerged as an international city due to a clash over 
trade between China and Great Britain. The Chinese had three prod- 
ucts for which a vast and unquenchable demand existed in Great Brit- 
ain, the United States, and other Western countries: tea, porcelain. 

and silk. The primary product the West had 
to otter in exchange, however, was opium, 
which the Chinese government attempted to 
ban. In 1840, the British declared war to force 
the Chinese government into accepting the 
importation of opium. In what is commonly 
known as the First Opium War, British forces 
quickly defeated the Chinese, resulting in the 
1842 Treaty of Nanjing that dictated the opening 
of five "treaty ports" — Ningbo, Fuzhou, Xiamen 
(Amoy), Guangzhou (Canton), and Shanghai- 
to direct trade with the West. Following British 
example, American traders, led by American 
merchants with a strong presence in China, such 
as Russell & Company (cat. no. 5), also pressured 
Chinese authorities to grant them special privi- 
leges in Shanghai. 6 France, Germany, and other 
nations soon claimed similar spheres of influence 
within China, with the French possessing their 
own concession in Shanghai. 

Despite its relatively small size and popu- 
lation, Shanghai was considered valuable to 
Western powers because of its excellent seaport 
and its access by river to the Yangzi River basin, 
China's wealthiest and most populous region. 
As Shanghai grew throughout the late 1800s, it 
developed into three distinct parts, each with its 
own governing body: the French Concession, the 
International Settlement (British and American), 
and the Chinese city. Only the Chinese city was 
governed by Beijing. The French Concession 
was administered by a consul who was appointed 
by the French government — loosely analogous to 
the British governor of Hong Kong. Its territory 
flanked and included parts of the old city. The 
French population in Shanghai was never large, 
and the French Concession became a residential 
district for many of the city's wealthy. The Inter- 
national Settlement was made up of the British 
Concession on one side of Suzhou Creek and the 
American Concession on the other; they were 
joined in 1863. The International Settlement was 
governed by a municipal council made up of nine 
men elected by the foreign property owners; Chi- 
nese were not allowed to hold office or to vote. 

This division from China and the Concessions' 
special form of government remained in effect 
for one hundred years. 

Shanghai was an attractive destination for 
many people for a variety of reasons. One was 
economic promise, and another was political 
refuge. For the former, such world events as 
regular service by the Pacific Steamship Com- 
pany (1867), the opening of the Suez Canal and 
completion of the transcontinental railroad in 
the United States (1869), and the opening of the 
Panama Canal (1914) all contributed to a surge 
of international trade and Shanghai's importance 
in this network. Traders and adventurers from all 
corners of China — and the globe — flocked to the 
city to make their fortune. Some were successful 
in their quest; many were not. 

Regarding political refuge, Shanghai became 
a haven for millions of Chinese forced to flee 
from major rebellions that erupted in the 
mid- to late 1800s. Two of them, the Taiping 
(1851-1864) and the Nian (1851-1868) Rebel- 
lions, threatened to overthrow the Manchu-ruled 
Qing dynasty. The most disruptive of these, the 
Taiping Rebellion, ravaged central China, killing 
as many as twenty million people and creating 
an enormous number of refugees. More than 
half a million of these refugees made their way 
to the confines of the International Settlement 
of Shanghai. By 1895, China was a country in 
utter turmoil, beset by internal strife, widespread 
famine, warfare, increasing demands of Western 
powers, and an imperial system in disarray. 

As a result of its atypical form of government 
and economic system, however, Shanghai was 
largely resistant to these events; in fact, it flour- 
ished into what many regard as a golden era, with 
the city's population exceeding one million by 
1910. In describing the appeal of Shanghai under 
the Nationalist government (1912-1949), Wen- 
hsin Yeh states: 

As urban middle class employees surveyed 
the landscape, they saw China's vast rural 
interior in the grip of famine, flooding. 

banditry, warring generals, marauding 
soldiers, rioting peasants, opium addicts, 
and gamblers. The city, by contrast, was 
not only a plan 1 of jobs and opportunity, 
but also a carefully constructed space with 
tree-lined boulevards, public parks, private 
gardens, neon lights, glittering shop fronts, 
bustling entertainment quarters, towering 
office buildings, and so forth. Urban inhabi- 
tants had access to various forms of modern 
culture: theaters, cinemas, concerts, sports, 
bookstores, publishing houses, newspapers, 
schools, and so on. It was also a more secure 
life because of the availability of doctors, 
hospitals, policemen, fire fighters, welfare 
agencies, and benevolent societies.' 

Shanghai's surging population included 
many distinct ethnic groups in addition to the 
Chinese. One example is the city's strong and 
influential Jewish community. Among the first to 

/e were Iraqi Jews, who came to the city 

in the mid-i8oos as merchants, their descen 
dants financed the building ol the ' 
House, also known as the Cathay I lotel ( now the 
I Vac e Hotel), and other ari hitectural landmarks, 
as well as much of the famous shopping district 
along Nanjing Road. A second group of Jews — 
at least thirty thousand i .line to Shanghai hum 
Eastern Europe in tin- late 1950s and early 1940s, 
seeking safety from the horrors of the Holocaust. 
Alter the lapanesc occupied Shanghai in 1937, 
a Jewish ghetto in Hongkew, just north of the 
Bund, was designated for this community. It 
was poor but thriving, with Yiddish radio sta- 
tions and newspapers. Other European groups 
who sought refuge in Shanghai included "White" 
Russians fleeing the turmoil from Russia's 1917 
Communist revolution. 

Because of its economic power and close 
contact with Japanese, Western, and other 
world cultures, Shanghai became a major 

elow left Map of Shanghai showing city districts, including the large Pudong New Area on the eastern 
shore ot the Huangpu River. hi Map of Shanghai showing the original walled Chinese city and the 

British, American, and French Concession areas (the former two combined as the Internationa] Settlemenl 
(Maps courtesy of Wen-hsin Yeh, modified by )ason Jose) 

/ \ Suzhou Creek J 

Huangpu River ^^r 


1 1 



Chinese center for creative thinking beginning 
in the early 1900s. Various political movements 
had headquarters in the city, including those that 
eventually led to the fall of imperial China, the 
establishment of the Republic of China (1912- 
1949), and the later establishment of the Peo- 
ple's Republic of China. For example, the First 
National Congress of China's Communist Party 
was held in the city in 1921. 8 When the Com- 
munist Party gained control in 1949, however, 
Shanghai's status as a wealthy, globalized enclave 
did not endear it to China's new leadership. The 
situation worsened for foreigners in the city 
during the ten years of the Cultural Revolution 
(1966-1976). During this period the city was 
closed to trade from the West, and Shanghai was 
transformed into one of China's key industrial 
and shipbuilding centers. 

From a visit in i960, Edgar Snow described 
the changes he observed from the Shanghai he 
had known in the 1930s: 

Gone the glitter and the glamour; gone 
the pompous wealth beside naked starvation. 
Good-bye to all that: the well-dressed Chi- 
nese in their chauffeured cars behind bullet- 
proof glass; the gangsters, the shakedowns, 
the kidnappers, the exclusive foreign clubs, 
the opium dens and gambling halls; the flash- 
ing lights of the great restaurants, the clatter 
of the mah-jongg pieces, the yells of Chinese 
feasting and playing the finger game for 
bottoms-up drinking, the innumerable shops 
spilling over with silks, jades, embroideries 
. . . the peddlers and their plaintive cries; 
the armored white ships on the Whangpoo 
[Huangpu] . . . the Japanese conquerors and 
American and Kuomintang successors; gone 
the wickedest and most colorful city of the 
old Orient; good-bye to all that. . . . The tall 
buildings are there, but the International Set- 
tlement and the French Concession, which 
used to be the heart of a modern megalopolis, 
are strangely quiet now and downtown after 
dark is as quiet as Wall Street on a Sunday. 9 

During the late 1970s and 1980s, Shanghai 
proved essential to China's financial health. Due 
to its earlier wealth, the city was tapped to be the 
single largest contributor of tax revenue to the 
central government, providing financial support 
for nationwide construction and the "experimen- 
tal" economic reforms of the 1980s. The conse- 
quences for Shanghai included the weakening of 
both city infrastructure and capital development. 
In addition, owing to its status as the nation's 
financial backbone, the city was prohibited from 
participating in any of the risky economic reforms 
that it was subsidizing, lest its revenue produc- 
tion be hampered by an experiment gone awry. 10 

In 1991, the central government permitted 
Shanghai to initiate economic reforms, and the 
consequent response has been remarkable. This 
time, with the Chinese at the helm, the city has 
become the world's largest port and is devel- 
oping at a dizzying pace to re-emerge on the 
international stage as a significant cultural and 
economic player. Despite a hiatus of fifty years 
that included a world war, Japanese occupation, 
and the Cultural Revolution, Shanghai's creative 
and mercantile energy could not be dampened. 
The world has rushed back to Shanghai, resulting 
in a construction boom from skyscrapers to art 
galleries. The city returns to its former status as 
an icon of globalization. 

By all accounts, Shanghai remains a globaJ 
city, possessing a heterogeneous population and 
a pluralism of cultures." In tracing the develop- 
ment of the city's visual culture, several facets 
render Shanghai unique: 1) the city is a power- 
house in the production of a range of culturaJ 
material, including oil paintings, lifestyle maga- 
zines, film, and interior design; 2) its produc- 
ers, comprising both Chinese and foreign-born 
residents, serve domestic and overseas markets of 
both Chinese and foreign-born consumers; and 
3) this visual enterprise has been, from the start, 
intended to be accessible to all. Through individ- 
ual object study and thematic considerations, this 
catalogue will explore Shanghai's responses to 
its globalizing history, predicated on the premise 

that Shanghai did resist such "ill fates" as cultural 
homogenization through reflexive awareness and 

active participation on the pari ol its producers, 
and consumers, in shaping the dynamic image 
of the city into what can be branded a "Shanghai 
Style" (or liaipni). 


1 Cohen and Kennedy, Global Sociology. 528 and 536 

2 Ibid., 51 and 507. 

3 Dikotti 1 1 '"'" I ommodities, 22. 

I ' 1 1] ind 1 'v. 331. 

1 in- idea "i .in "imagined 1 

by Anderson in Imagined Communities; cited in Lee, 
I li Modern," 113. 

6 Lockwood, "Augustine Heard and Company." 4. 

7 Yeh, Shanghai Splendor. 1 1 9 

8 Schoppa, Modem Chinese History, 72. 

9 Snow, Red China Today, 529-530. 

10 Shanghai Star, "Histc, iv. 

II Cohen and Kenned logy, 519 and 540. 

A Tale of Three Cities 

Shanghai from 1850 to the Present 
by Wen-hsin Yeh 

The Huangpu River (Huangpu Jiang) is the city's shipping artery both to the 

hina Sea and to the mouth o/the Yangzi River, which the Huangp 
..,. m | -, m iie north of downtown Shanghai, it has also become a demarcating 
line between two Shanghais, cast and west, past and future. On il u 
shore, the colonial landmarks of the Bund serve as a reminder o/Shanghais 19th- 
century struggle to reclaim a waterfront from the bogs o/this river (which origi- 
nates in nearby Dianshan Hu or Lake Dianshan); on the eastern shore, the steel 
and glass skyscrapers of the Pudong New Area point to a burgeoning /inancial 
empire o/the future. 

The Huangpu's wharves are the most fascinating in China. The port handles 
the caTgO coming out o/the interior /rom Nanjing. Wuhan, and other yangzi River 
ports, including Chongqing, 2,415km (1,500 miles) deep into Sichuan Province. 
From Shanghai, which produces plenty of industrial and commercial products 
in its own right, as much as a third of China's trade with the rest of the world is 
conducted each year. A boat ride on the Huangpu is highly recommended: Not 
only does it provide unrivalled postcard views 0/ Shanghai past and future, it'll 
afford you a closer look at this dynamic waterway that makes Shanghai flow. 
Between the stately colonial edifices along the Bund, the glittering skyscrapers 
on the eastern shore of Pudong. and the unceasing river traffic, there is plenty 
to keep your eyes from ever resting. (htrp:// 

Ta ship carrying a party of thirteen English 
traders and missionaries entered the Huangpu River. The trav- 
elers had sailed from Calcutta under Charles Elliott, who had been 
charged to open up Britain's consulate in Shanghai, which was to be 
the first European diplomatic post in the Qing empire. The Englishmen 
had come armed with the terms of the Treaty of Nanjing that con- 
cluded the First Sino-British Opium War (1839-1842), which opened 
Shanghai-along with Guangzhou (Canton), Xiamen (Amoy), Fuzhou, 
and Ningbo— as a port for European trade. Still, local residents of 
Guangzhou had rioted earlier to block the British from entering and 
establishing residence inside their walled city. As the ship approached 
the northern gates of Shanghai in the gathering dusk, Elliott ordered 
Ins compan) to spend the night aboard on the river. 

What the dawn revealed was not only a 
crowd of curious onlookers who had alerted the 
local magistrate about the presence of the strang- 
ers, but also that the English had moored against 
a swampy marshland of interconnecting water- 
ways. This muddy flat was plentiful with reeds 
and mosquitoes but not much else. To its south 
lay the Chinese established city, where the soar- 
ing eaves, painted roofs, and towering structures 
of temples, offices, guilds, and gentry homes and 
gardens punctuated a plane of teeming shops, 
narrow streets, busy markets, makeshift theaters, 
and numerous drinking and eating places. 

In a way and unbeknownst to themselves, 
Elliott and his fellow nineteenth-century travel- 
ers had cruised up the Huangpu River to two 
Shanghais, north and south, future and present. 
The southern Chinese Shanghai was a town that 
contained about four hundred thousand people 
and had enjoyed, for centuries, pride in and fame 
for its orchards, fruits, peach blossoms, seasonal 
crabs, and fish from local lakes. The gardens 
and guild houses adjacent to its curio shops and 
dumpling restaurants centering on the Temple 
of the City God, to which Elliott and his company 
were invited, would continue to draw tourists in 
the twenty-first century. Well before the arrival 
of the British, this city had produced its share of 
long-distance traders, shipping firms, and money 
shops, albeit all with a riverine or coastal orienta- 
tion. It was also home to gourmets and poets who 
celebrated the bounties of the land and eulo- 
gized the beauty and sophistication of an agrar- 
ian life enriched by the comforts afforded by an 
advanced monetary economy. 

The northern open expanse of watery flat, 
underdeveloped as it was, offered, in contrast. 
easier access to the Yangzi and the East China 
Sea. There was plenty of space for the wharves 
and warehouses for the maritime shipping that 
was to be Shanghai's future. With the advance 
of steamships and the opening of maritime trade, 
the northern swamp gained advantage over the 
southern town. Within a decade the British were 
not only to drain and build on this mud but also 

to secure their right to a permanent lease, over 
which they established a municipal council with 
its rate-payers board, court, police, fire brigade, 
volunteer force, paved roads, public utilities, 
church, hospital, school, library, newspapers, 
parks, race course, hotels, theaters, and clubs 
(see cat. nos. 1-5). To the south of the English- 
speaking International Settlement the French 
secured, in 1856, their separate French Conces- 
sion under the French consul and the Catholic 
Church. By the late nineteenth century there 
emerged a colonial port city distinguished by 
a line of stately buildings along the Bund that 
serviced the maritime shipping, trading, banking, 
and customs operations connecting East Asia and 
the European markets. There were also two colo- 
nial administrations, linguistically differentiated 
and territorially demarcated, each maintaining 
a police force and respectively exercising extra- 
territorial authority under the auspices of an 
expanding corps of consular officials. 

Anyone cruising up the Huangpu River for 
sights of the city today thus enters a stream of 
time that saw the construction of three Shang- 
hais between the 1850s and the present. The 
first Shanghai was the southern town (Nanshi) 
of cash crops, canals, and coastal trade, which 
the colonialists referred to as the "Native City." 
The second Shanghai, consisting of the Interna- 
tional Settlement and the French Concession, 
was the western colonial Shanghai on the bank 
of the Huangpu River. This Shanghai emerged 
in the decades after the First Opium War to 
become the leading center of modern-style 
finance, trade, manufacturing, printing, publish- 
ing, journalism, higher education, and mis- 
sionary enterprises in central China. Even as 
the Chinese resisted the colonial nature of the 
concession administrations, the minority rule of 
the colonialists in this second Shanghai gave rise, 
in the first decades of the twentieth century, to a 
Chinese middle-class society with its consumer 
culture, an urban working class armed with ide- 
ology and organization, and powerful organized 
gangs that dealt in opium, arms, intelligence, and 


labor. Shanghai urbanites strove both to indi- 
genize what had seemed foreign about the city's 
material culture and to fight the foreign domina- 
tion of the urban political order. The dialectics 
between the two — between a pragmatic recep- 
tiveness of European material culture and a per- 
sistent contest against its hegemonic power — was 
to characterize the nature of Shanghai's develop- 
ment for a whole century. 

European Shanghai survived and thrived 
when the rest of China went through the Repub- 
lican Revolution of 1911 and the Nationalist 
Revolution of 1927. In 1928 a Shanghai munici- 
pality was established under the Chinese Nation- 
alist government, which exercised full power 
and authority in the lands encircling the foreign 
concessions. In 1937 this Chinese sector of 
Shanghai fell into Japanese hands at the outbreak 
of the Sino-Japanese War. The besieged foreign 
concessions became isolated lone islets in a sea 
of Japanese occupying forces. In December 1941 
Japanese troops marched into the concessions 
at the outbreak of the Pacific War. Allied Brit- 
ish and American governments formally gave 
up their extraterritorial claims on all Chinese 
soils acquired in the nineteenth-century treaties. 
Steadily the Europeans departed, whether in the 
face of intensified Japanese military presence, in 
the turmoil of the Chinese civil war (1946-1949), 
or under the pressure of Socialist reconstruction 
in the early 1950s. 

In May 1949 the People's Liberation Army 
marched into Shanghai. For the next four 
decades lights went dim, and the voices and 
dances fell silent in the former colonial Shang- 
hai. The major buildings were either locked up 
or divided up by the winners of the civil war. It 
was only in the early 1990s that the city awoke 
from its buried past, and a new generation of 
Shanghai residents — a majority of them born 
and raised under the red flag — sought to recall 
Shanghai's former glamour so as to inspire the 
construction of a third Shanghai on the eastern 
bank of the Huangpu River. 

This newest Shanghai, with its soaring sky- 

scrapers of glass, steel, and unbound ambition, 
showcases a post-Socialist Chinese modernit) 
that was to transcend both the dull dustiness 
ol the Socialist present and the faded glamour of 
the colonial past (see cat. no. 121). This eastern 
Shanghai straddles the Yangzi and the Qian- 
tang Rivers and sits on the East China Sea. It 
encompasses more than twice the acreage of the 
old colonial Shanghai and consolidates under a 
single municipality the administrations of three 
former districts under the Qing. It was a product 
of central and municipal state planning, major 
overseas investment capital, and dramatic shifts 
in Chinese policies at the end of the Cold War. 
This newest Shanghai was both a great leap 
outward to join the global market dominated 
by Western countries and a reassertion of 
Shanghai's old place in East Asia in the 1930s. 

On a standard tourist map of today, the 
three Shanghais coexist contiguously in space, 
each offering something — the old temple in 
Nanshi, the long bar atop the glimmering 
Huangpu River, the sleek Maglev to the airport 
— for amusement and comfort. What this 
smoothness leaves out is much of the tension 
and the dynamics that had cut into the social 
landscape of the city in history. Colonial Shang- 
hai spurred the fastest urban growth in East 
Asia of its day and set in motion dynamics that 
profoundly challenged the established ways of 
life in its host environment. Wars and revolu- 
tions fragmented Shanghai's urban communities. 
Nonetheless a certain Shanghai lore and dream, 
born of the initial encounters between China and 
the West, lived on to inspire the imagination and 
production of a Shanghai style in art and place 
that is to be the city's enduring legacy. 

The Encounters 

In a fictionalized account set ialized in a Shanghai 
newspaper in the early 1900s. three educated 
young Chinese regard the lure of Shanghai from 
behind the high walls of their gentry compound 
in Suzhou at the turn of the last century. Suzhou. 

famed in Marco Polo's days as "Heaven on Earth," 
lights kerosene lamps on its streets that arc ten 
times brighter than the oil lamps used elsewhere 
in China. Yet the electric streetlights in Shang- 
hai's concessions are said to be yet another ten 
times brighter. Suzhou's better informed, famed 
as the most literate and learned in late imperial 
China, periodically read about the world in news- 
papers. They receive their newspapers via boats 
that travel inland for a whole week from Shang- 
hai. In Shanghai every commoner on the street 
learns about the happenings in the world on the 
same day the news gets printed. 

Master Yao, a fictional provincial degree- 
holder (juren) from Suzhou, takes these young 
men to Shanghai on a study tour. They arrive 
at the center of happenings at the International 
Settlement. They sit down for breakfast in a 
teahouse on a busy street behind the Bund, 
and Master Yao announces his study plan for 
his disciples. The plan includes meetings with 
fellow scholars and students, and visits to book- 
stores and publishing houses. There will be 
tours to Western-style schools as well as visits 
to public gardens and theaters, or public places 
where political commentaries and reform view- 
points are heard. They will fill their mornings 
and afternoons with programs, daily or thrice 
or four times a week. Even the meals will be 
educational, as different cuisines will be sampled 
and the etiquette for "Western food" is to be 
mastered. Weekends are for sightseeing, for rides 
in horse-drawn carriages, and for exploring the 
nooks and crannies of the city. The Zhang Garden 
(Zhangyuan) will be a highlight, since the gentry 
and elite assemble there for the soapbox and a 
fearless rally against the Qing under the protec- 
tion of European extraterritoriality. 

As the group makes its plans, a quarrel breaks 
out at the next table. A young woman, casually 
dressed in gaudy colors and wearing cheap jew- 
elry, sits in the company of three men. She has 
been pouring from their pot of tea, and she now 
begins to speak excitedly in a raised voice. She 
turns out to have attended some sort of mission- 

ary school and is now the mistress of the man 
sitting across from her, who works as a clerk 
in a European trading firm. Their companions 
include a coach driver who has brought the cou- 
ple together for a fee and a runner on the detec- 
tive squad of the Shanghai Municipal Police. 
Presently the young woman pounds on the table 
to underscore her point, the many gold bangles 
on her wrist clanking and clashing. In no time at 
all she jumps to her feet. Grabbing her estranged 
lover by his vest, she entangles him in a struggle. 
The detective jumps to his feet to separate them, 
and the coach driver leaps up to help. The two 
men then drag the couple downstairs to the 
street level where two waiting policemen, "one 
Chinese and the other a foreigner with a red tur- 
ban and a dark face," promptly step forward. The 
episode ends with the couple on their way to the 
court of the foreign magistrate and in the hope 
of a new kind of justice over their none-too- 
uncommon grievance, although the woman in 
this case rather than the man expects satisfaction. 

Master Yao, seasoned and respectable in 
the Chinese world, is scandalized by these trans- 
gressions of sexual propriety, social norms, and 
judicial authority. His curious disciples none- 
theless look on with intense interest. European 
Shanghai, alas, was no place for an upright, 
conservative Chinese man. A Western-looking 
man presently climbs the stairway and enters the 
teahouse. This tanned figure carries a walking 
stick, wears a suit, and sets his feet forward in 
a pair of expensive leather shoes. His presence 
prompts a shabby-looking man in a cotton gown 
with patched holes— known by the name "Yellow 
Countryman (Huang Guomin)" — to call out from 
a hidden corner. The suited person removes his 
straw hat to reveal a "full head of hair tied into 
a bun. rather different from the short hair of 
the foreigners." Instead of a Westerner, the new- 
comer is but "a transformed Chinese." 

What does it take to become a "transformed 
Chinese" who may pass, at least in Chinese 
eyes, as a European? "Ever since my adoption 
of Western-style clothing, I have changed all my 


habits i>l eating, drinking, sleeping, and wall ing, 
says the hybrid man. He eats two meals a day and 
refrains from having snacks in between. He has 
tried told showers and nearly dies of the practice. 
He endeavors to bathe every day as Europeans do 
Still, he needs European advice about whether he 
is to keep his hair long or short so as to live up to 
the guidelines ol a hygienic existence. 

I hese lr. 1 1 n mi .e epi -i >. I. . leer.lei .ill i. ■ 1 1 in il 
Without S( orn. some of the early moments of 
Sino-Western encounter and the emergence 
ot hybrids in the foreign concessions. Chinese 
women, against elite Confucian injunctions, 
openly consorted with men through arrange- 
ments made outside parental or lineage circles 
and stridently asserted their rights and pl,u em 
public. Chinese men endeavored, meanwhile, 
to adopt Western-style food, fashion, and furnish- 
ing in pursuit of health. Chinese educated elite 
learned about the world in Western-style schools 
and publications and found their political voice 
in gatherings protected by the concession author- 
ities from Qing officials. The West offered a full 
and radically alternative curriculum for Chinese 
students from the empire's cultural heartland. 
The learning experience required not only open- 
ness to new things but also critique and abandon 
ment of accomplishments of the past. 

For the Chinese who came to the city, colo- 
nial Shanghai was where happenings of novelty 
and license — which elsewhere would surely incur 
sanctions and discipline — could become doc- 
trines of modernity and freedom. Beyond the lit 
buildings and streets, the radios, gramophones, 
cameras, magazines, movie houses, and more, 
there sat the steamships and gunboats on the 
1 [uangpu with their foreign Hags, and a world ol 
nations and civilizations beyond the power ol the 
Qing. The "Shanghai style" in all its multifaceted 
dimensions, one might argue, was an articulated 
representation of a creative tension between Chi- 
nese aspirations loi the lieedom ami model iut\ 

in Western civilizations and a profound Chinese 
ambivalence about the emasculation ot tin- Chi 

nese si, lie from Western powers. 

The ( Kiwd in the < il\ 

Western present e in Shanghai began with the 
arrival ol the I nglish and the French in the mid 
nineteenth century. Ameni ans were the next 
to t ome. establishing permanent lease at the 
confluence of Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu. 
The British and the Anient ans soon joined Ion es 
to form the International Settlement. Other for- 
eigners continued to arrive. By the first decade 
ol the twentieth century Shanghai's foreign com- 
munity included nationals ot Japan, Russia, Ger- 
many, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Greece 
in addition to those from India, Indochina, and 
other colonial possessions ol the British and 
French empires. 

The overall number of foreigners in Shang- 
hai at any given point in time never exceeded 
150,000 individuals. Meanwhile, colonial Shang- 
hai's population reached nearly four million 
by 1945, thanks largely to an influx of Chinese 
from the surrounding countryside. From the 
1850s onward, each round of warfare and social 
unrest in the hinterland spurred massive Chinese 
flights into the safety of the foreign concessions. 
The first such movement took place in the late 
1850s, when the rebel troops of the Kingdom of 
Heavenly Peace (the Taipings), which ravaged 
eighteen provinces in fifteen years (1850-1864), 
swept through the lower Yangzi Valley, captur- 
ing major cities such as Nanjing, Suzhou, and 
Hangzhou. The Taipings did not take Shanghai. 
but the Chinese city was plunged into chaos 
by an uprising of the Cantonese and Fukienese 
dock workers and the sailors of the Small Swords 
Society against the Qing authority. Between 
1855 and 1865 the population of the International 
Settlement went from approximately twenty 
thousand to ninety thousand. The French Con- 
cession during the same period gained about 
forty thousand people. Foreign consuls and 
residents viewed this influx of Chinese with 
1l.11 in I he Municipal Count il ol the Shanghai 
International Set t lei net it was t reated in the sum 
tnerol 1854 as a response to the emergencies ol 

shelter, disease, and order that accompanied the 
Chinese influx. 

Newcomers to Shanghai in the 1860s 
included a large number of the affluent from 
major Yangzi Valley cities. Their spending capac- 
ity spurred the migration into Shanghai of cour- 
tesans, restaurateurs, opera troupes, storytellers, 
painters, craftsmen, jewelers, fabric dealers, silk 
and fur merchants, book vendors, writers for the 
popular press, curio collectors, and moneylenders 
from urban Jiangnan, transforming the districts 
behind the Bund into busy commercial centers. 

A second wave of migration occurred 
between 1915 and 1919, when war broke out in 
Europe, and Japanese and Chinese investors 
moved in to turn Shanghai into a manufacturing 
center. Textile and flour mills expanded along 
with the production of such goods as cigarettes, 
matches, light bulbs, cement, paper, pencil, and 
coal. Tens of thousands of workers from the sur- 
rounding countryside were recruited to supply 
labor for the industries. The unskilled among 
them, women in particular, were brought in 
from home villages on contractual terms by labor 
bosses who had secret society ties. Thousands 
of cotton mill workers were housed in factory 
dormitories, paid meager wages, and subjected 
to harsh discipline. Their concentrated presence 
and collective discontent greatly contributed to 
the rise of working-class agitations in industrial 
Shanghai in the 1920s. 

Single male workers often returned to 
their home villages to seek marriage partners. 
A majority of the married men left their wives 
and children behind in the countryside to avoid 
the higher expenses of living in town. The demo- 
graphic composition of Shanghai subsequently 
reflected these patterns in immigrant lives. 
During the Nationalist decade (1927-1937) 
less than 30 percent of Shanghai's population 
had been born in the area. The male-to-female 
ratio was 142 to 100, and nearly a quarter of 
Shanghai's population was younger than four- 
teen years in age. An estimated one out often 
women in Shanghai made her living as a sex 

worker. Mobility was high, with people moving 
in and out of crammed quarters shared with fel- 
low provincials who came from all over central 
and southeastern China. Following the ties of 
common native-place origins, neighborhoods 
and shantytowns sprouted up in back alleys and 
on the fringes of the concessions. Ethnic, social, 
and vocational hierarchies were evident in the 
workplace as well as in town, as the provincials 
struggled to understand each other's accent, 
dialect, and customs. Manual workers who car- 
ried night soil, dredged river mud, or served in 
bathhouses were among the most despised. They 
made do in conditions of squalor and tended to 
come from northern Jiangsu. These northern 
villagers, known as the Subei people, were par- 
ticularly looked down upon as uncouth, unintel- 
ligent, filthy, and untrustworthy— with little to 
share, in other words, with the superior stock of 
Chinese who hailed from south of the Yangzi and 
worked in banks. 

The third and most dramatic wave in popu- 
lation took place between 1937 and 1941, when 
the Sino-Japanese War broke out and the lower 
Yangzi region fell into Japanese hands. Hoping 
to find safety, Chinese refugees poured into the 
foreign concessions by the tens of thousands. 
Concession authorities bolted the gates and 
instead negotiated with the Japanese military 
command, the result of which was the creation 
of a demilitarized refugee zone in the old Chi- 
nese city. Chinese government agencies mean- 
while sought to use the concessions as a base to 
mount anti-Japanese actions. While the popula- 
tion in the Chinese city declined during the war, 
in the concessions it rose to nearly two and a 
half million, with a gain of 780,000 from 1937. 
In 1850 less than 1 percent of Shanghai's popula- 
tion was to be found outside the Chinese city. 
In 1941 over 65 percent of the people sought ref- 
uge in the two foreign concessions that together 
made up about 6 percent of the total area of 
metropolitan Shanghai. The push of social dis- 
turbance and the pull of economic opportunities, 
in short, combined to redraw Shanghai's map of 

1 1 

facing Detail, cat. no. 104 

social geography and democratic composition 
in the century after the First Opium War. 

This fast-growing industrial city of restless 
migrant workers was beyond the capacity oi 
minority colonial administrations to control. 
In addition, neither the International Settle- 
ment, the French Concession, nor the Chinese 
Shanghai municipality exercised full jurisdic- 
tion across the city. While migrants and work- 
ers crossed boundaries with agility, municipal 
authorities were hemmed in by territoriality. 
Against this international division in administra- 
tive structures the Green Gang, a home-grown 
secret society of rural origins built on ties of 
sworn brotherhood and generational hierarchy, 
rose to prominence as a broker and collaborator 
in the dealing of information, connections, and 
the use of coercion. 

Against this backdrop the legendary Du 
Yuesheng, the undisputed boss of the Green Gang 
in the 1920s and 1930s, enjoyed his reputation 
as the most dubious yet most powerful fixer and 
broker in Republican Shanghai (see cat. no. 16). 
Born in a poor village east of the Huangpu, Du 
was orphaned at a tender age and apprenticed to 
become a fruit grocer. He joined the Green Gang 
in his teens and rose quickly to be the confidant 
and right-hand man of Huang Jinrong, the Green 
Gang boss who led the detective squad of the 
French Concession police force. The team built a 
monopoly in the dealing of opium and arms and 
ran fancy brothels and casinos on the side, all in 
the safety of the French Concession, beyond the 
grip of the warring Chinese provincial military 
strongmen and their hunger for revenue. 

In the 1910s the Green Gang further 
expanded its organizational cells into the migrant 
laborers. Its influence among the industrial 
workforce expanded in tandem with the ship- 
ping and manufacturing boom of the 1910s and 
1920s. This labor presence gave Du the capacity 
to manipulate and settle strikes as no other man 
could, gaining leverage against the industrialists 
and the concession authorities. It also placed the 
Green Gang in head-on competition with radical 

young Chinese intellectuals, mainly of provincial 
origins, who convened the first congress of the 
Chinese Communist Party in the French Conces- 
sion in 1921 and, with Soviet advisors in tow and 
a united front with the Chinese Nationalist Party, 
plunged into the organization of industrial labor 
for the making of an anti-imperialist and Socialist 

Foreign Concession authorities were wary 
of Communist presence in industrial Shanghai, 
especially as the young Chinese radicals con- 
sorted with fellow anti-colonialists and Socialists 
from Vladivostok to Saigon. The service of the 
Green Gang proved to be invaluable not only in 
the supply of critical political intelligence but 
also in the organization of labor unions — the 
"yellow union"— that fought the red brigades 
of the Communists. As the Chinese National- 
ist Revolutionary Army marched on Shanghai 
in April 1927, Green Gang collaboration from 
within was crucial in the summary executions 
of suspected Communist labor activists that 
eased the Nationalist control of the city. The 
French writer Andre Malraux captured the dark- 
ness of these episodes in his 1933 fiction Man's 
Fate (La Condition Humaine), with scenes set in 
Shanghai and inspirations drawn from French 

Green Gang assistance in the purge of the 
Communists transformed Shanghai upon the 
inauguration of the Nationalist government 
in Nanjing (1928). Thanks to the new political 
backing, in the Nanjing decade Du Yuesheng 
emerged as a major figure in the city's respectable 
circles. He established his own bank, initiated the 
Pudong Native Place Association, organized yet 
another membership association, and accepted 
seats on the boards of directors of banks, compa- 
nies, charities, and even universities. Apart from 
banking, he represented his main business as 
philanthropy. He showed his patriotism by lead- 
ing fund drives to enhance the military budget 
of the Nationalist government. He rallied his 
followers to support the Nationalist government's 
wars against the Communists and the Japanese. 


1 [e joined the "National Goods Campaigns" 
wnli 1 1 'I low Chinese entrepreneurs: campaigns 
that urged patriotic Shanghai ladies to retrain 
from buying European or Japanese imports. He 
was on the board of the National Goods Depart- 
ment Store (Guohuo baihuogongsi ), .1 < ompany 
organized to encourage Chinese women to take 
pride in the line quality ol Western-style goods 
produced by a coalition of Chinese manufactur- 
ers. He burnished his image as a filial son and 
an upright man in traditional terms. He built 
a majestic Du Lineage Shrine at his birthplace, 
engaged the service of some of the most learned 
t lassicists of the time, and commissioned an ele- 
gant eulogy in ornate prose for his parents. The 
inauguration ceremony of the shrine, attended 
by thousands, amounted to one of the grandest 
social events in Shanghai in the 1930s. 

In The Shanghai Triad (Yao.yao. yaodao u'atpo 
qiao, 1995) the film director Zhang Yimou sought 
to capture the spectacle and charged atmosphere 
of the Shanghai gangster land in the 1920s. One 
may argue that the film was only partially suc- 
cessful with regard to the subtlety and complexity 
ol the historical character, if Du the Green Gang 
boss was in fact the figure who had inspired the 
production. The real-life Du, who moved in and 
out ol networks and formulated strategies on his 
feet, was no poster-image, gun-toting gangster in 
a scholarly gown. He was instead the master ol a 
tow n ut bounded legitimacy and boundless ambi- 
guity who was skilled in the exploitation of such 
discrepancy. The Du legend warmed the hearts 
of its contemporaries, as it offered a success story 
of Shanghai from the bottom up: a man who 
scaled hierarchy "in a city of forty-eight-storey 
skyscrapers atop twenty-four layers of hell." 

Tin Shanghai Dream 

A major landmark on the Shanghai waterfront 
was the giant clock above the Imperial Maritime 
Customs House. Made in England as an exact 
copy of the Westminstei < kx k. it s.u .it a height 
often stories atop the customs building, its four 

dials visible to all whoapproai hed the Bund on 

foot, by car, or by boat . rhe largest clod 

at the time, il 1 aimed quarterly and hourly, as did 

Big Heu. Moie than the ja// cone ei Is in ill 
park, the foghorns On the wain. Ol the bustling 

noises rising from the streets, the 1 himes drop 

ping 1 1 0111 1 he Customs I louse set the pace of 
urban life in Shanghai. To be pari of the modern 
crowd meant living within the temporal frame 
set by the clock and accepting the 1 omuiodilii .1 
tion of time as the new wave of life. 

An estimated three hundred thousand 
individuals worked in Shanghai's businesses and 
various enterprises in the 1920s. Hundreds ol 
trades thrived in all parts of the city. As a social 
class, these urban desk workers represented a 
highly diverse workforce. Few common factors 
united them except literacy, which was achieved 
at various levels. 

Contemporaries sometimes referred to these 
desk workers as "petty urbanites." They were the 
faces in the crowd in the amusement halls, tea- 
houses, pleasure quarters, and streets lined with 
shops. They made up the readers and listeners 
ol newspapers and radio. Their taste sustained 
the circulation of popular novels and comic 
strips. The bachelors among them might drink 
or gamble a little. The married ones might smoke 
a bit. They lived their days between work and 
home, fully immersed in local rituals as well as 

Young men with college degrees and on 
professional 1 1,1c ks in the fields of banking, 
customs collection, and railroad management 
stood at the pinnacle ol this class. Their high 
salaries and job security commanded the highest 
prices in the marriage market. Their purchasing 
power and informed consumption inspired the 
urban dream, written and read about in popu- 
lar journals, depicted in films and pictures, and 
manipulated in the pages ol advertisements. 

The Shanghai 1 )ie,ini < entered on an ideal- 
ized urban famil) i onsisting ol a married couple 
and then unmarried children. This "small house 
hold" was defined in opposition to the "big 

family," or the traditional extended family that 
continued to be the norm in vast areas of Repub- 
lican China. While the "big family," sanctified 
by Confucian ethical norms of filial piety and 
female docility, had functioned for centuries 
as the foundation of lineage power in the prov- 
inces, the "small household" — Western in inspira- 
tion and urban in its constituency — presented a 
direct challenge to that old authority. A unit of 
consumption instead of production, the "small 
household" emphasized the strength of emo- 
tional bonds between the conjugal couple over 
the filial obligations toward lineage members. It 
promised happiness to self-supporting men who 
earned their salaries on the basis of intellectual 
labor in the new economy. It also portrayed the 
city, with its modern institutions, facilities, and 
abundance of industrial products, as a cleaner, 
safer, and more advanced and enlightened place 
than the countryside. 

With the passage of a new marriage law in 
1931, men and women of eighteen years of age 
gained full rights to arrange their own affairs, 
to own property, and to sue for divorce. The 
enlightened way became to marry out of love 
and choice, to manage household finances with 
discipline and competence, to make intelligent 
consumer decisions based on scientific and tech- 
nological knowledge, and to raise children with 
an equal emphasis on intellectual and physical 
development. The Shanghai Dream was within 
the reach of any man and woman capable of 
arranging their lives in an enlightened fashion. 

However, not every woman raised in the 
"unenlightened," old-fashioned home had been 
prepared for a new life as an urban wife. The 
"big family" generally prepared women to be 
better companions to other women — mothers, 
grandmothers, sisters-in-law, aunts, cousins, 
nieces, maids, and female visitors — than to men, 
including husbands. The communal nature of 
property ownership prevented the development 
of a personal sense of financial accountability. 
And above all, social status usually mattered 
far more than financial means in the making 

of consumer decisions. An urban dream family 
required the presence of a different kind of mis- 
tress of the house. 

This ideal urban woman must combine 
a feminine appearance — stylish hair, tastefully 
made-up eyes and lips, earrings, bracelets, gowns, 
heels, and a smile — with a hard-headed com- 
petence about home economics and household 
management (see cat. no. 67). The old Confucian 
female virtues of being an "able wife" and a "good 
mother" still applied. This woman would comple- 
ment and support the work of her salary-making 
man, who as the provider and protector remained 
the center of the family. 

Yet unlike in the past or inside the walled 
compound of the big family, the new urban 
woman gained a public presence. She had shop- 
ping to do, deposits to make in the savings 
account, men and women to socialize with at 
sports and art events, walks in the parks, visits 
to the nursery and elementary schools, and the 
social calendar to arrange. Wives and daughters, 
in addition, appeared in charitable associa- 
tions and patriotic assemblies on behalf of their 
husbands and fathers. Appearances in public 
mattered, as they said much about knowledge 
and sophistication. Conversely, it mattered to 
the public how urban women made their deci- 
sions about their adornment and their household 

More than traditional wives, urban women 
drew public attention: their conduct and appear- 
ance were the subjects of much comment and 
scrutiny. Chinese manufacturers wanted these 
women to understand patriotism, to select 
"national goods" over foreign imports. Civic lead- 
ers lectured on discipline and economy, instruct- 
ing women to give to worthy causes rather than 
giving in to vanity. Chinese newspaper editors 
intoned on the severity of the national crisis and 
the importance of household saving rather than 
spending. New-style urban women were central 
to the Shanghai Dream. On the pillar of their 
feminine virtue — or the crumbling of it — the 
city would stand or fall. Urban women occupied 


.i space between the domestic and the public, 
the private and the civic. Ideally they would 
combine, in appearance as well as conduct, the 
"modi tii" and the "Chinese": Confucian in virtue 
while modern in practice, Western in < onsumer 
choices while comfortably Chinese in person. 
In their serene smiles would be the resolution 
nl the cultural contradictions thai the Chinese 
nation often grappled with. Shanghai's urbanites 
sought the fulfillment of their urban dreams in 
the poster images of these women (see cat. nos. 

The 1930s, to be sure, were hardly years of 
peace and prosperity. The decade opened with 
the Sino-Japanese Battle of Shanghai and ended 
with the tall of Shanghai into Japanese hands. 
in between it saw the effects of the global Great 
Depression and the American Silver Purchase 
Act. More than two hundred thousand casualties 
occurred in active fighting on the outskirts of 
Shanghai, many jobs were lost, and many homes 
and structures were bombed out or burned down. 

The urban climate shifted in the deepening 
crises. Women soldiers emerged to assume the 
pride of place in urban imagination. Women of 
sophistication without spartan virtue became 
vulnerable to charges of bourgeois decadence, 
capitalist parasitical existence, individualistic 
irresponsibility, and collaborationist politics. In 
the 1940s the foundation was laid for full equality 
between men and women — delivered, however, 
on the defeminization of all proper women. 

Under Socialist Reconstruction 

When the People's Liberation Army marched 
into Shanghai in May 1949, it presented the sight 
of peasant soldiers reclaiming for the Chinese 
people a Westernized city of colonial legacies and 
free-market enterprises, in a country in which 
under 5 percent of the population lived in cities 
For the remainder of the Maoist era (1949-1976), 
rural-based ambivalence toward Shanghai pre- 
vailed. Socialist Chinese culture, politics, and 
economic planning kept alive the notion that 

the city was a site of corruption, colonialism, 

and collaboration. Consumption was vice and 
production was virtuf. Victorious Communis) 
soldiers were alternately encouraged to and 
reprimanded for dining in Shanghai's fine res- 
taurants. Whether Shanghai's renowned cuisines 
deserved celebration as the achievement of the 
"people" or should be banished as the corrup- 
1 11 in nl capitalism was never satisfactorily settled. 
Within a decade Shanghai, "Paris of the East" and 
"Paradise of Adventurers," was set on its right 
course and transformed into the "Ruhr on the 
Huangpu," where no speculative adventurer or 
carefree consumer would go unpunished. 

Meanwhile, the city that the Communist lib- 
erators took in 1949 was on the brink of collapse. 
The final moments of the civil war were ruinous 
days in Shanghai, as astronomical inflation and 
ineffectual price controls wiped out savings and 
income along with the wage-earning classes. 
Departing Nationalist officials and business elite 
further emptied the major banking and manufac- 
turing enterprises of reserves and assets. It was 
up to Communist officials to put a bankrupt city- 
back in order. 

For much of the 1950s, the transformation 
of Shanghai involved the interconnected work- 
ings of three factors. First, a regime shift meant 
that Communist authorities stepped in to fill the 
positions of their departed Nationalist predeces- 
sors, "nationalizing " properties and enterprises 
previously held under the public authority of the 
Nationalist state and party. Second, economic 
recovery required the resuscitation of an econ- 
omy that had been much strained by wars and 
occupations for well over a decade. To restore 
Shanghai to its former level of productivity, Com- 
munist authorities pumped credit and resources 
into the city's banking and manufacturing sec- 
tors. To engineer a Socialist revolution, however, 
it was at the same time imperative that new laws 
be put in place with regard to property ownership 
and corporate governance, and that Shanghai 
be rid of its capitalist entrepreneurs and private 
business leaders. Urban economic recovery 


occurred in Shanghai in the 1950s when public 
authority changed hands and property rules were 
redrawn. The postwar economic recovery took 
place within the context of a Socialist revolution 
and a political takeover. 

The third factor had to do with the place 
of Shanghai in China's war and peace with the 
outside world. Colonial Shanghai had come into 
being as one of the initial treaty ports after the 
First Opium War, which opened China to West- 
ern trade. A century later, the outbreak of the 
Korean War in June 1950 brought an embargo 
upon China that was sanctioned by the United 
Nations and led by the United States. Within 
years, shipping in and out of the port of Shanghai 
diminished to a trickle, and Hong Kong emerged 
as the busiest free port in East Asia. Outbound 
cargo ships heading south from Shanghai ran 
the gauntlet of U.S. and Taiwan naval forces in 
the Taiwan Strait. With its aging fleet, limited 
tonnage, and much-curtailed trading agreements, 
the former European hub on the East Asian coast 
was barely able to maintain, for much of the third 
quarter of the twentieth century, shipping con- 
nections with ports other than those of Poland 
and North Korea. 

Formal diplomatic ties with the United 
States in 1979 and the Hong Kong communique 
with the United Kingdom in 1984 were impor- 
tant factors contributing to the relaxation of 
tension along the China coast. Previously, 
China had invested heavily to build railroads 
and highways that turned Shanghai into a hub 
of overland transportation oriented toward 
China's interior. The shifting tides of the 1980s 
brought back the banished connections of the 
maritime world and prepared the conditions for 
a reconnection with the suppressed histories of 
pre-1949 Shanghai. 

In 1988 the Shanghai writer Cheng Naishan 
completed her manuscript Tile Banker, which 
broke decades of silence on the subject of Shang- 
hai's pre-Socialist history. Based on the life 
experience of the author's grandfather Cheng 
Muhao, who had fled to Hong Kong, the book 

told the story of an eminent Chinese banker who 
led his bank and family through the dark days 
of the Sino-Japanese War. This fictional banker 
came across as a patriarch and patriot, who 
looked after an extended family that included 
his employees and their widowed and orphaned 
in an old-fashioned way. He shared his wealth 
like a Socialist, and he even risked his own safety 
to protect a young Communist agitator. In other 
words, a grandfather could be a banker and be 
almost as virtuous as a Socialist. Laboriously and 
painstakingly, Socialist Shanghai refashioned 
its urban tale and positioned itself to claim the 
buried colonial history of the city. 

Shanghai Rising 

In the early 1980s the Chinese Communist 
Party launched the "Four Modernizations" 
program and opened up the Shenzhen Special 
Economic Zone in the Pearl River Delta region. 
Shenzhen proved to be an enormous economic 
success. Student protests and worker unrest 
nonetheless gripped Chinese cities in the ensu- 
ing decade. Still, after the armed suppression 
of student protesters at Tian'an men Square in 
1989, the party reaffirmed, in 1992, its commit- 
ment to the "openness" policies. 

This second declaration spurred in Shanghai 
a "second high tide" in its search for a develop- 
mental strategy. Shanghai in the 1990s would 
reorient itself to "face the world, face modern- 
ization, and face the twenty-first century" — 
or, correspondingly, to turn its back on Chinese 
provinces, Socialist conservatism, and prevail- 
ing Socialist practices of the twentieth century. 
It would rise to become an "international center 
for economy, finance, and trade." This engine of 
growth would develop in leaps and bounds, and 
would take along on the developmental train not 
just the lower Yangzi Delta but also the entire 
Yangzi Valley. 

To "jump-start" so as to "ascertain a central 
place in international economy" within "as brief 
a period as possible," Shanghai adopted a "grand 


view Tin ompassing us urban sui roundings." 
Through strategic i om entrationsol 
materia], and economic resources, Shanghai 

would "alloc ale its limited resources dillci 

entially so as to better realize its comparative 
advantages in targeted anas. 

The farming counties east ol the llii.mgpu 
Riser and the former home districts of the Green 
Gang, which until the 1980s had lain idle under 

tin' Shanghai mimic i|ulity. represented an enor- 
mous amount of landed capital that could he 

"e\c hanged nil nc advanc eel modes i 'I i api 

tal" for the development of a greater Shanghai. 
Shanghai was to lease or rent its land to inter- 
national developers in exchange for the much- 
needed capital, which in turn would bankroll the 
city's leap into the new century. Under a massive 
regional development plan backed by the state 
council during the presidency of Jiang Zemin, 
the land-grant program in exchange of overseas 
capital and technology enclosed the entire lower 
Yangzi Delta from the mouth of the Yangzi to 
the bank of the Qiantang— an area that had been 
divided up under the jurisdiction of three coun- 
ties under the Qing. 

No land in the intensively cultivated lower 
Yangzi, of course, was without people. In the 
premier sectors of the former colonial Shang- 
hai, four decades of Socialism had seen little 
improvement in the sewage, running water, 
heating, power, and public transportation sys- 
tems of the city. Housing and traffic had become 
acutely congested. In some parts of the city each 
occupant took up, on average, a mere 3.6 square 
meters of living space. The premier sectors of the 
City in the Former International Settlement and 
the I rem h Concession - -Huangpu, I uwan. and 
Xiilnii had been weighed down in particular by 
a maturing population consisting ol multigenera- 
tional families, the winking population and their 
households thai had been multipK ing situ e the 
\ 11 ton ol the Com 1111 1 1 11st revolution in the mid- 
twentieth century. 

To achieve the leaps and bounds" and 

to make loom fol mil side in\ eStOl 'S and their 

developmental i apital, Shanghai simply had to 
reloc ate its established residents to the urban 
peripheries. The ramifications were hioad and 

far-reaching. Sue h a change meant, for instant e, 

breaking up the system that lor decades had pro- 
\ided .11 1 1 in 1 mi id. 11 ions to workers in c 1 impounds 
ne.ii iheu workplace. It meaiii. Furthermore, 
either relocating or shutting down Shanghai's 
state run factories in order to reduce pollution 
and make room loi c on i mere enlei pi ises on 
prime locations. It meant a thorough remaking 
ol the city, replacing factories with shopping 
arcades, restaurants, offices, hotels, and expatri- 
ate apartments; building rapid mass transporta- 
tion systems; and sending blue-collared workers 
away in favor of white-collared ones. It meant, 
in short, the construction of an outward-looking 
economy of consumption on imported capi- 
tal, which was to be layered on top of a rooted 
economy of industrial production. 

The social and political challenges ol the 
transformation were to be matched only In the 
magnitude and audacity of the economic vision. 
In the cryptic language of the official reports and 
the recommendations, the best possible scenario 
For the city's leap into the new century was thus 
"a modernized international city of Socialism, 
which achieves internationalism without betray- 
ing the principles ol Socialism." 

Beyond the Colonial Glamour 

Against this backdrop Shanghai historians, 
over the course of the next Fifteen years, resur- 
rected the city's pre-1949 past. They set aside 
the old-fashioned revolutionary orthodoxy and 
refashioned the city's urban identity, successfully 
supplying the critical historical justification 
in favor of the city's strategic repositioning 
in the 1990s. 

By shifting attention awa\ from the standard 
Part) si on ol colonialism, capitalism. National 
1st betrayal, and Communis! mart] rdom, new 

images emerged that described a middle class 

city of material comfort in everyday life that 


was making steady progress in the enhance- 
ment of wealth and health. Women, merchants, 
foreigners, and entertainers gained in visibility, 
marginalizing workers, martyrs, patriots, and 
revolutionaries in the Shanghai tale. Instead 
of dwelling upon the structural injustice in 
the "social relationships of production" under 
capitalism, innovative historians chronicled the 
scientific and technological advancement in 
the "modes of production" as the city was under- 
going modernization. There were plenty of 
achievements to be recorded in publishing, jour- 
nalism, education, architecture, fashion, theater, 
civil associations, local self-governance, custom 
reform, family life, women's status, migrant inte- 
gration, merchandising, shopkeeping, cuisine, 
and advertising. 

Colonial Shanghai regained its glamour in 
Chinese historical representations of the 1990s. 
Yet this was glamour with a difference. Accord- 
ing to a new generation of Chinese historians, 
pre-1949 Shanghai was the making neither of 
the colonialists nor of the large capitalists. It 
was, instead, the work of the petty urbanites 
who occupied those neighborhoods with stone 
portals and narrow alleys. In the words of Zhang 
Zhongli, president of the Shanghai Academy of 
Social Sciences, "The bottom line is: Shanghai 
was Chinese, Shanghai was Shanghainese. The 
city developed as a result of the people in Shang- 
hai making innovations on inspirations taken 
from the West." Shanghai, in other words, had 
always been Chinese thanks to the labor of the 
Chinese people. It did not have to await 1949 to 
become Chinese upon the triumphant march of 
the People's Liberation Army. 

In the mid-1990s construction cranes went 
to work at a feverish pitch in Shanghai. Between 
1992 and 1996 more than two thousand skyscrap- 
ers, financed largely by Hong Kong, Taiwanese, 
and Southeast Asian Chinese dollars, went up 
in the city. These buildings — the Jinmao and the 
Pearl of the Orient included — flank the banks of 
the Huangpu River, encircling the former for- 
eign concessions and transforming the farming 

fields of Pudong into a towering forest of steel. 
The gleaming structures dwarf the old colonial 
mansions on the Bund that once benchmarked 
Shanghai's modernity. 

Meanwhile, in the old colonial city, Shanghai 
builds a brand-new civic center. This one suc- 
ceeds the colonial-era administrative centers and 
replaces the Nationalist-era structures bombed 
out by the Japanese during the Sino-Japanese 
War. It boasts of world-class art museums and a 
glittering opera house that face the stately city 
hall across an expansive boulevard. Many more 
museums, shops, and restaurants enliven the 
scene, not to mention municipal parks and zones 
of green that landscape the municipal core. True 
to city plans and expectations, many of these 
projects were joint enterprises between local 
government offices and large overseas investors. 
The collaboration brought to Shanghai a new 
breed of sojourners. By 2005 at least five hun- 
dred thousand Taiwanese had set up residence 
in Shanghai. The sojourners and the locals once 
again commingle, amid signs of growing dispar- 
ity between the rich and the poor, the globalizing 
and the localized. 

When the Expo opens in 2010, it will take 
place in a country in which over half of its people 
are newly urbanized (becoming residents in a 
territorial administration under a municipal 
authority). It will also take place in a city that is a 
shining example of China's engagement with the 
world. For a century and a half Shanghai has sat 
at the center of crisscrossing currents between 
the country and the city, the Chinese hinterland 
and the world beyond the sea. For decades, the 
tension between these poles had been acute. 
Shanghai became modern in the 1930s, with 
its stylish women and urban dreams, under 
the auspices of the colonial administrations 
in the foreign concessions. It showcased the 
splendor of modernity on Chinese soil, although 
achieved at a site where the Chinese state had 
compromised its sovereign claims. Seven decades 
later, with gleaming towers rising on the east- 
ern bank of the Huangpu and a multitude of the 

world's hip tin. mi 1. 1 1 .nul In. mils vying 
for top spots above the recently plowed-under 
fields, a new Shanghai came into being under the 
auspices of the Chinese Communisl state. Shang- 
hai joined the world, and so did much ol the rest 
of China. 

The Shanghai Dream, which once inspired so 
many of the city's youths to strive to do their best, 
has become much more than a mere dream. A 
growing number of young Chinese have settled in 
urban homes with educated spouses and material 
comfort. The poster images of Shanghai women, 
inviting as they may be, hold no greater signifi- 
cance than a place in the city's nostalgia. Shang- 

hai modernity, which in the twentieth century 
set tin I him 1 1 mark of Chinese modernity, has 
become, in the twenty-first century in event in 
the larger story of Chinese modernity. 

Meanwhile, thecit) moves along with the 
rest of the nation, joining an ever-expanding 
world of international styles and globalizing tech- 
nology. It adroitly takes its place in a new order 
on the banks of the Huangpu River— blurring 
memories of historical tension, confounding 
multiple linguistic practices, and producing, 
for the benefit of the tourist industry that is the 
lifeline of affluence and happiness, poster-perfect 
pictures of the past as well as the future. 

Reaching to Heaven 

Shanghai Architecture and Interiors 
by Nancy Berliner 

Trias been a continual 
visual renegotiation between a Shanghai cultural status quo 
and newly arriving cultures, both from abroad and from within China. 
This highly urban, highly complex, ever-changing environment envel- 
ops the residents of the metropolis and contributes significantly to 
molding their unique and inultifaceted cultural attitude. 

Commentators from all generations and nations have noted the 
powerful visual impression of Shanghai: 

COSMOPOLITAN Shanghai, city of amazing paradoxes and fantastic 
contrasts; Shanghai the beautiful, bawdy, and gaudy, contradiction of 
manners and morals; a vast brilliantly-hued cycloramic, panoramic mural 
of the best and the worst of Orient and Occident. 

Shanghai, with its modern skyscrapers, the highest buildings in the 
world outside of the Americas, and its straw huts shoulder high. 

Modern department stores that pulse with London, Paris, and New 
York; native emporiums with lacquered ducks and salt eggs, and precious 
silks and jades, and lingerie and silver, with amazing bursts of advertising 
colour and more amazing bursts from advertising musicians, compensat- 
ing with gusto for lack of harmony and rhythm. 1 

\s the most Westernized city in China after Hong Kong, Shanghai is 
on the cutting edge of China's race for modernization. Almost a quarter 
of the world's construction cranes stand in this city of 15 million. On the 
other hand, architectural remnants of a strong colonial past survive along 
the charming, winding, bustling streets that make this city undeniably 
and intimately Chinese." 

Relive the past with a stroll along tree-lined avenues or a visit to a 10th- 
century monastery, or get with the hard-paced future in the citj 
growing forest of skyscrapers. ' 

Each of these authors, one writing in 1934 and the others in 2009, 
was seeing a different Shanghai— with a different skyline and disparate 
appearances of streets, parks, and building interiors under distinct 

lighting technologies. What were once consid- 
ered "modern skyscrapers, the highest buildings 
in the world outside of the Americas," are today 
dwarfed by edifices that loom ever closer to 
the sky. Yet while the city's buildings come and 
go— or stay, as the case may be— the character 
of the visual environment in this city remains 
constant, just as an individual's face changes over 
the decades, the same character evident in infant 
pictures appearing in a middle-aged portrait. 
The inner personality expresses and re-expresses 
itself on its exterior, over and over. 

The visual impact Shanghai has on those who 
grow up within it, and even those who come to 
call it home, is powerful and infectious. Those 
growing up within it absorb and inherit its char- 
acter, and as they build anew, they do so in a sim- 
ilar spirit. Thus, the writers quoted above, though 
seeing the city at different times, were reflecting 
on a similar and consistent visual character that 
penetrates the entire urban area and reproduces 
itselt in each generation. 

Artists and writers painting, photographing, 
or describing Shanghai have typically turned 
to the city's monumental architecture because 
it is the most articulable defining element. 
Architects designing for Shanghai have been 
unabashed in their aspirations to make a mark 
on the city and its inhabitants. Thus the Bund, 
with its expansive open foreground that allows 
for maximum photogenic exposure, became a 
dense assemblage of massive buildings. Artists 
and guidebooks often focus on these monuments, 
but between the colossal works of masonry 
are more intimate structures housing families, 
businesses, or both. These more modest build- 
ings frequently proffer a personality similar to 
their larger brothers' so that the macrocosm is 
reflected in the microcosm. Consider as well how 
previous generations' constructions shine next 
to one another, and the effect of the city's unique 
character multiplies. 

Instead of turning to the oft visually quoted 
and verbally pictured monuments of the city, let 
us glance first at a more modest edifice and its 

inhabitants depicted within the jangling streets 
of Shanghai over one hundred years ago. 

The illustrations by the well-known artist 
Wu Youru in the two volumes of Haishang bai- 
yantu (One Hundred Beauties of Shanghai, cat. 
nos. 27-34) published in the 1890s by Dianshi- 
zhai, the first publishing house in China to pro- 
duce lithograph-illustrated periodicals, portray 
Shanghai women, almost exclusively Chinese, 
and an occasional auxiliary man, in their homes 
or on the streets. More often than not, the 
interiors they inhabit are filled with typical late- 
nineteenth-century Chinese-style furniture — 
screens, chairs, luohan chuang (bed-couches), 
and tables with archaic bronze-inspired decora- 
tive stretchers and side rails — and the women are 
dressed in charming silk Chinese robes. But vari- 
ous details and accoutrements already display a 
definite European wink. A woman alighting from 
a palanquin wears a wide-sleeved, side-closing 
flower-patterned robe, her small feet just peeking 
out from below her lengthy, wide-cuffed pants. 
She and her companions, one of whom is carry- 
ing a stringed pipa, are about to enter a building 
with European-style shutters on the window 
exteriors. Inside one window, a European-style 
glass-domed lamp hangs from the ceiling. On the 
following page, another beauty, also accompanied 
by a young pipa player behind her, bends over her 
lattice balcony railing whose design incorporates 
the shou (longevity) character to gaze at two birds 
(cat. no. 32). The birds are perched upon the 
electric wires of street lamps (installed in Shang- 
hai in 1882), but it is the birds, not the marvel 
of light, that absorb her. Another well-dressed 
maiden (cat. no. 30) — adorned from her delicate, 
silver hairpins to the silk-embroidered shoes on 
her tiny feet in Chinese-style fashion — is seated 
on a European-style caned armchair, which has 
round, lathe-turned legs (previously unknown 
in China), at a round, three-legged, European- 
or American-style pedestal table. One female 
servant holds her child; another sits on a simple, 
low, utilitarian Chinese stool, next to the marble- 
inlay bed-couch, pulling a punkha, the horizontal 


fabrit bung from the i eiling Fi u fanning the air 

1 .1 dc\ ii e developed in lit- li.i Jin in" i In- Hi ii ish 
occupation that was then imported to Shanghai I 
On the wall, in .1 Western style frame, is what 
appeals In lie .1 pin 1 ki i I (it .1 European personage. 
Like her compatriot watching birds on the eaj liei 
page, the maiden does not turn her attention 
to these multiple foreign accoutrements; she is 
Completely focused on her Chinese solitaire game 
spread out on the table. 

Despite some oi these women's nonchalant e, 
a number of images do demand that the viewer 
focus on exotic imports. Several women play a 
game of billiards (cat. no. 27); two other daring 
dames don Victorian-style dresses for a garden 
outing under the caption "eye catching clothes" 
(cat. no. 34); elsewhere, a group gathers around a 
European oval dining table set with knives, forks, 
and spoons, a European-style fireplace — topped 
by a European-style clock — warming the happy 
bevy (cat. no. 28). Image after image in Haishang 
bniyantii bespeaks the polycultural layering that is 
still Shanghai today, in its monumental as well as 
its intimate architecture. 

An illustration of three beauties standing 
on a second-floor verandah (cat. no. 33; a work 
signed by Zhou Muqiao, though most of the 
other images in the book were painted by the 
far more celebrated Wu Youru, under whose 
name the collection was published 4 ) shows 
the range of architecture in a typical Shanghai 
neighborhood of the 1890s. The verandah here 
is a descendant of a style brought to Shanghai 
by Europeans who earlier had been building 
olfices and residences tor themselves in the more 
tropical environs of Hong Kong and India. (F. L. 
I lawks Pi itt describes the buildings erected by 
"loreigners" in Shanghai in the late 1840s: "Many 
oi them were bungalows and all had deep veran- 
dahs. They were adapted to a tropical climate, 
and the builders seemed to have had only the 
tin 11 mi nit lis ol hot weather in mind, and to have 
overlooked the need of sunshine 111 theii homes 
during the rest ot the year." ) By the 1S90S. build 
ings with second-story verandahs were 1 sing 

not only Europeans but also middle class Chinese, 
who were integrating and readapting the style to 
thru own tastes. 

The corner column in the verandah depii ted 
here is a lathe-turned post oi a form originated 
by European furniture makers and house build- 
ers. (Chinese carpenters traditionally did not 
use lathes and therefore never developed such 
forms.) The smaller spindles supporting the 
balcony railing on which the ladies < onfidently 
lean are also of the lathe-turned style. We page- 
turning viewers cannot but be aware of the enor- 
mous street lamp attached to their balcony, so 
prominently placed in the picture's foreground. 
Shanghai citizens were undeniably proud of the 
brightness of their streets after the installation 
of gas lamps and electric street lighting in 1882. 
The dazzling glow of the Shanghai streets was 
still a feature flaunted in many photographs 
of the 1930s and 1940s. In 1934, a guidebook 
to Shanghai noted, "At night this section of 
Nanking Road is a glittering fairyland with the 
brilliant display of multi-coloured lights which 
all Chinese adore and which illuminate the lofty 
towers of the three largest department stores in 
China."' 1 Another writer commented, "When a 
traveler arrives in Shanghai to-day he is struck 
by the fact that to all intents and purposes he 
might be in a large European city. The tall build- 
ings, the well paved streets, the large hotels 
and clubs, the parks and bridges, the stream of 
automobiles, the trams and buses, the numerous 
foreign shops, and, at night, the brilliant electric 
lighting." And Malu Tianshi (Street Angel), one 
of the most beloved films in Chinese history, 
produced in 1937, opens with bright neon signs 
and lights flashing against the night background. 
Our women on the verandah, however, are not 
so interested in the street light. They instead 
in peering into the distance through oh-so- 
fashionable modern binoculars. 

The partitions in the beauties' quarters 
separating the indoors hum the outdoors are 
Chinese-style screen panels, called geshan, most 
likel) luted with glass sheets wit Inn tin- 1 


wooden frames. Under the eaves, elaborately 
carved phoenixes loudly embellish the upper 
horizontal beams of their porch and the covered 
area below them. The brashness of the phoenix 
fastened to the building's exterior is a manifesta- 
tion of the cosmopolitan, mercantile character 
inherent in much of Shanghai architecture, large 
and small, whether the visual expression be more 
of Chinese or European origin. The artist has 
arranged the perspective of the building to allow 
the viewer a peek into the beauties' domicile. 
There again we see a fondness for both Chinese 
decor — a calligraphic couplet — and imported 
accoutrements, such as the framed mirror or 
painting upstairs and the gas or electric lamp 

The building abutting the residence is 
presented to contrast with the ladies' up-to- 
date abode. This lower structure, and the one 
just beyond it, would have been more typical 
of modest traditional Shanghai houses, having 
one story and a tiled roof with stepped walls 
(known colloquially as "horse-head walls") at 
the gable ends that separate one building from 
the next to prevent fires from spreading across 
a district. This architectural style was the vernac- 
ular throughout the rural and urban Zhejiang 
and Jiangsu regions around Shanghai long before 
and long after Europeans arrived and continued 
to be a part, if ever-diminishing, of the polycul- 
tural landscape of Shanghai. 

The picture draws the viewer's eyes first to 
the splendor of the ladies in the foreground and 
then to the soaring church steeple in the distant 
background. The steeple and the odd supplemen- 
tary steeples surrounding it overwhelm all the 
architecture in the area and may be the object 
of the women's intense scrutinizing through 
the binoculars. While the substantial European- 
style buildings on the Bund made an impressive 
sight from a ship in the harbor or a spot along 
the water's edge, Christian churches and other 
religious buildings, because of their proliferation, 
made an even more significant impact on the 

skylines and landscapes throughout Shanghai's 

As early as 1847, just five years after the Brit- 
ish began settling in Shanghai, members of the 
Episcopal community from England erected Trin- 
ity Church. In 1849, Spanish Jesuits made their 
mark on Shanghai's landscape with the establish- 
ment of their Dongjiadu (St. Xavier) Cathedral, 
which is still standing today, and five years later 
the American Episcopalians built the Church of 
Our Saviour in Hongkew. The non-Chinese popu- 
lation of Shanghai was just over two hundred, 
and yet the skyline had already been drastically 
altered by these new types of towers. The potency 
of spiritual beliefs and the necessity for commu- 
nity bonds that grow out of religious gatherings 
would ultimately result in the erection of many 
grand religious structures punctuating Shanghai's 

The visual rhythm and temperament of 
Shanghai conveyed in this late-nineteenth- 
century Haishang baiyantu appears generation 
after generation: fashionable, international 
architecture flaunting up-to-date accoutrements 
with soaring towers on the skyline accented by 
Chinese aesthetics. 

Early oil paintings commissioned by Euro- 
peans and Americans, pleased with their own 
creations, depict the Bund and other neigh- 
borhoods developed by the non-Chinese with 
dignified European-style masonry buildings (cat. 
nos. 1-5). Such paintings were rarely complete, 
however, without intimating the Chinese envi- 
ronment, either human or built. Many early 
images of the Bund include the Customs House, 
which for many years maintained a Chinese 
architectural style. The first British arrivals in the 
1840s, unable to immediately begin major con- 
struction, rented small Chinese houses for their 
own residences and established the Customs 
House in a Chinese temple. That building 
burned down in the 1850s and was rebuilt in 
1857, again in a traditional Chinese style. Both 
of these Chinese-style Customs Houses are 


prominent]) depi< ted in early oil paintings of 
tiu- Bund. Eventually the latei structure was 
replaced by a five-story Gothic-style edifii e, 
« hk li was demolished in ni-'s and replaced 
\\ ith .in even grander one designed in London. 

Despite this ultimate appearance of a 
European-style Customs House, the Chinese 
,u i ent ol Shanghai never succumbed to foreign 
influence. Returning to our libraries of images, 
and moving on to the early twentieth century, 
grand examples of international architecture and 
Style bait our attention, but they are still created 
and understood within the unique Shanghai Chi- 
nese context. The intersection of ever-growing 
commercial prosperity and international players 
brought more foreign styles to the city, but the 
guidebooks and their commentators, both Chi- 
nese and non-Chinese, insist on expressing the 
vision of the city as a polycultural realm. Shang- 
hai fengjing, for instance, a two-volume, English 
and Chinese photographic guide to Shanghai, 
published in 1916 and 1917, features a range of 
architectural styles (cat. no. 62); some pages 
present such traditionally Chinese sites as the 
ancient Longhua Pagoda, the Confucius Temple, 
and the Yu Gardens, while others illustrate the 
Bubbling Well Road with Tram, the Railroad 
Station, the Sincere Department Store, the 
Shanghai Club, and the blinding lights of Nanjing 
Road at night. Another page brings the viewer 
face-to-face with a natural product of the unique 
polycultural Shanghai, the estate home of Silas 
Aaron Hardoon. Hardoon, a Jewish merchant 
born in Baghdad around 1847, 8 settled in Shang- 
hai in 1868 and eventually amassed an enormous 
fortune there. (Many claim he was worth $150 
million at his death.) An embodiment ol the poly- 
cultural Shanghai spirit, he married a Eurasian 
woman (who was devoted to Buddhism), adopted 
orphans of various ethnic backgrounds, and was 
a major supporter ol both the Buddhist and the 
lew 1 si 1 communities in Shanghai. His contribu- 
tions to the Shanghai built environment were as 
varied in style as Ins personal interests. In 1909, 

he engaged a Chinese monk, I 

to design .1 twenty six acreChim 1 

111 Shanghai, complete with 101 keries, .lie. mis. 

and pavilions, ["he same Hardoon was rcsponsi- 
ble, according to man) estimates, foi developing 

up to 40 pen en 1 ol the buildings along Nanjing 
Road, including the classical European-style 

buildings of the Wing On and Si 

iiieni stores. The latter, built in 1 9 1 7, added yet 
another grand spire to the Shanghai skyline. 
In the 1920s, Hardoon supported the construc- 
tion of a synagogue for one of several Jewish 
congregations in Shanghai. F. L. Hawks Pott, 
a contemporary of Hardoon's, noted in his book 
on Shanghai history that "the erection of the 
beautiful new Synagogue, Beth Aharon, on 
Museum Road, and its opening on lime 30th 
attracted a large numbei of interested specta- 
tors. This building of Moirish [sic] and Byzan- 
tine architecture is one of the most striking in 
Shanghai, and furnished the Jewish community 
with a worthy house of worship.'"' Even a Brit- 
ish resident was so attuned and receptive to the 
polycultural facade of Shanghai that he was able 
to appreciate the distinct and probably unfamiliar 
appearance of this building. 

Two other Baghdadi [ewish merchant fami- 
lies, the Kadouries and the Sassoons, significant Iv 
influenced Shanghai's man-made landscape for 
generations. David Sassoon (1792-1864) opened 
David Sassoon and Sons in 1845 in Shanghai, and 
his financially successful descendants became 
primary participants in the community. Members 
of both families traveled between and inhabited 
such distant cities as London and Bombay. With 
a highly tuned sense of up-to-date architectural 
styles, a grasp of amalgamating cultures, and 
the affluence to support extensive construction 
— combined with the jazzy Deco-style design 
that was bursting onto scenes across the world — 
these families offered the Shanghai skvline 
buildings that successfully captured the city's 
bold energy. Mam Sassoon landmarks still stand 
today, evoking the classical zenith moment of 

Shanghai style during the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. 
The facade of the Cathay Hotel, opened in 1929, 
may initially impart the appearance of a fine 
New York establishment, but the designers in 
fact did not ignore their immediate cultural 
surroundings. Walking through a revolving door 
at the building's central entrance on the Bund, 
visitors climbing the symmetrical steps toward 
the second floor would encounter two massive, 
striking Deco-style stained-glass windows, depict- 
ing not biblical or European scenes but Chinese 
workers and farmers. Ascending by elevator 
to the top floor to take in the panorama of the 
Bund and the Huangpu River, they would arrive 
at a Chinese restaurant decorated in a distinctly 
Chinese-influenced Deco style. The Cathay, Gros- 
venor House, and the Metropole — all built by 
the Sassoons — with their elegant Deco flourishes 
and subtle Chinese gestures, became not only 
celebrated monuments and defining styles of 
the metropolis but also inspiration for more 
modest structures, including homes, shops, and 
even automobile garages throughout Shanghai. 

The opening scenes of 1937's Street Angel, 
which tells the story of the lower classes in the 
city, portray the sensation that was Shanghai at 
the time. Mesmerizing camera shots are mas- 
terfully edited with a fast-paced, jazzy rhythm. 
Throngs of rushing residents on automobile- 
filled streets are overlaid with shots of the grand 
range of architecture that crowds the air space of 
the city: skyscraping apartment buildings, spires 
of cathedrals and churches, domes of Russian 
Orthodox houses of worship, department stores, 
office towers, neon signs in Chinese and English, 
and street lamps, all seen from the air, or from 
a moving tram, or from a handheld camera that 
cannot hold still because, we imagine, the cin- 
ematographer is so awed by the towering Broad- 
way Mansions (cat. no. 40). Like the women 
looking through their binoculars forty years 
earlier, the 1930s residents were enamored of the 
ever-increasing heights of Shanghai buildings. 

The Chinese-international amalgamation that 
blossomed during the 1920s, '30s, and '40s and 

came to define Shanghai style manifested itself 
not only in architecture, large and small, but also 
in furniture, dress, and graphics. The qipao (cat. 
nos. 73-77) — the fashionable close-fitting dress 
worn by modern women that adorned cigarette, 
battery, and soap advertisement posters — epit- 
omized this Shanghai style, as did the striking 
book covers designed in Shanghai that seemed to 
reverberate with the jazzy rhythms that could be 
heard at the Cathay Hotel bar. 

The jazzy rhythm that lifted Shanghai into 
a frenzy of construction and thoroughly spread 
the Shanghai style into the details of daily life 
was hushed for a time after the city took on the 
Communist approach to lifestyles following 
1949. The great buildings of the former age that 
once visuaJly broadcast their mercantile ideals 
still stood, but now they were occupied by state 
offices and enterprises. And the state, which 
was primarily focused on transforming Beijing 
into a unique Chinese Communist-style built 
atmosphere, mostly ignored the development 
of Shanghai, offering the great city only one 
major architectural statement, the Sino-Soviet 
Friendship Building (now called the Shanghai 
Exhibition Center, or Shanghai Zhanlanguan) 
— built, ironically, on the land that had once 
been Hardoon's Chinese-style garden estate. 
Constructed in 1955, with the assistance of the 
Russians, the monument was created in the 
lavish architectural style known as Stalinism. 
The extensive, generously ornamented complex 
added yet another series of foreign-style spires 
— not unlike those in Zhou Muqiao's lithograph — 
to Shanghai's skyline. Though it is unlike any 
structure seen before in Shanghai, the Exhibi- 
tion Center even today can be considered con- 
tiguous with the Shanghai style. 

In the early 1980s, the twenty-two-story 
Park Hotel, originally built in 1932 and consid- 
ered one of the paramount examples of Shanghai 
Deco architecture, was still the tallest building 
in the city. In a short story published in 1983, 
just as China was emerging from the muting 
effects of the Cultural Revolution, aspiring 


young characters — jokingly referred to b) theii 
friends as "amateur overseas Chinese" because 
the) so yearn to appeal "foreign" — gather at 
the cafe m the Park Hotel to be seen and to 
drink expensive, imported Nescafe. Interestingly, 
young men and women in recent years have 
flocked to Xintiandi, a shopping, bar, and restau- 
rant district developed to recreate buildings and 
styles of the early 1900s. 

While the nostalgia for the 1930s success- 
fully manifested itself in the twenty-first century 
at Xintiandi, most developers and municipal 
planners continued to promote the hundred- 
plus-year-old vision of Shanghai's spires. Liu 
Jianhua's porcelain skyline. Shadow in file Water 
(cat. no. 121), does not look at the classical 
Shanghai Bund band of buildings. The artist 
instead turns his head, as if standing on the 
Bund — thereby acknowledging its respected pres- 
ence — to look across to Pudong, the new skyline 
of skyscrapers, all erected in the past two decades 
since Deng Xiaoping and the Chinese Commu- 
nist Party's Central Committee decided that the 
district be commercially developed. 

Most prominent in the sculpture and on 
the Pudong waterfront is the Oriental Pearl 
Tower (Dongfang Mingzhu Ta), 1 " completed 
in 1995. a tall television tower with large and 
small bulbous "pearls" arranged along its height. 
The design was said to have been inspired by a 
poem by the Tang dynasty poet Bai Juyi (772- 
846), who described the music of a pipa player 
as "pearls, large and small, on a jade plate fall- 
ing"; the greenery in the park around the build- 
ing was intended to suggest the jade plate. Some 
commentators have also compared the two 
bridges crossing the Huangpu, on either side 

of the tower, to two dragons playing with the 
"pearl," an ancient imperial motif. 

The Jin Mao Tower, completed in 1998 
(which also apprais m I ni's skyline), is a Skid- 
more Owings and Merrill building with a profile 
meant to evoke a pagoda, and an auspicious, 
according to Chinese tradition, number of 
floors — eighty-eight. 

In Street Angel, the two main characters find 
themselves in a lawyer's office in a Shanghai 

chen: Look, we're already standing above 

the clouds! 
wang: This is really heaven." 

No doubt, their image of heaven incorporated 
pearls and jade plates as well as tall buildings. 

1 All About Shanghai and Environs. 

2 Fodor's Travel, 

3 Harper and Eimer. Shanghai City Guide. 

4 Wu Youru, Wu Yburu Huabao Haishang Baiyantu, collec- 
tion 3, vol. 2, p. 14. 

5 Putt. A Short History, 22 (italics added). 

6 All About Shanghai and Environs. 

7 Pott. A Short History, l. 

8 Hardoon's exact year of birth is not known. Dates given 
in various sourn". range from 184710 1851. He died in 

9 Pott. A Short History. 304. 

10 The building was designed by Jia Huancheng of Shanghai 
Modern Architectural Design Company. 

11 Translated by Andrew F. lones. published at mclc.osu. 
edu/rc/pubs/angel/default.htm by MCLC Resource Cen- 
ter (copyright 2000). 




China Trade Paintings views of shanghai 

As with many travelers today, I taders and others 
visiting Shanghai during the nineteenth century 
desired a record of the place, something to take 
home to demonstrate the conditions in which 
they lived and worked. Prioi to the advent ot 
photography in the 1860s, paintings and draw- 
ings were the primary mediums for this type of 
memento. Traditional Chinese painting in ink on 
paper or silk was too foreign both in style and in 
its emphasis on the act of creation over the rep- 
resentation of actual places to fill this demand; 
rather, it was filled by a genre generally known as 
China Trade paintings. These works were created 
by Chinese artists in the Western mediums of oil 
on canvas or gouache on paper. The paintings are 
often so site-specific that many can be dated by 
the buildings depicted in them. 

Even though they worked not long ago 
for a largely Western clientele, relatively little 
is known about the artists who created these 
works. 1 China Trade paintings were outside the 
realm that the Chinese considered "fine arts" 
and had a larger impact on chinoiserie in Europe 
and the Americas than they did on later Western- 
influenced paintings in Shanghai. 2 Few records 
from the period on the artists' backgrounds, their 
training, or the methods of commission and 
distribution of paintings exist in Chinese or in 
Western languages. Those few descriptions that 
do exist indicate that the paintings were created 
in workshops generally known by the name of a 
single master. The names of these master artists 
are also a mystery. Most end with the suffix kwa 
(or quo), which appears as well on names of 
major Chinese merchants. Apparently this suffix 
has nothing to do with the Chinese name of 
the artist, and its use became a tradition inaitiK 
directed at Western patrons.' A miniature paint- 
ing that depicts an interior from around iHss 
provides the best visual record oi the workings 
of these shops.' In it. three- artists, one wearing 
glasses, paint at separate tables in a room filled 
with examples ol their work, rhe content and 

compositions of paintings of thesai icenecre 

ated by these workshops are remarkably similar. 

indicating that they were done in an assembly- 
line fashion, \\ ith details ,uMi'(\ as commissioned. 
Carl Crossman even suggests that for the water- 
colors created at these shops, the preliminary 
composition may have been created by a wood- 
block or other printing technique, the colors then 
filled in by skilled artisans. 5 Preliminary outlines 
and other mass-production techniques were 
likely used for oil paintings as well. 

The China Trade painting workshops in 
Guangzhou (Canton) are the best known and 
certainly the most numerous; by the 1800s this 
city had served as a center for Chinese trade with 
the West for centuries, and a number of Western- 
influenced art forms had developed there/' The 
artists active in Canton were also commissioned 
to create works for the new residents of Hong 
Kong when it was ceded as a colony to Great Brit- 
ain in 1842. These Canton-based artists likely cre- 
ated scenes of Shanghai and other treaty ports on 
commission as well. Scholars have proposed that 
inaccuracies in some scenes of Shanghai might 
be explained by foreign buyers having commis- 
sioned paintings from artists in Canton who had 
never seen the places they were depicting. 

The best-known Shanghai-based China Trade 
painter was Chowkwa (or Chowqua), whose Chi- 
nese name was Su Zhaocheng. Described as the 
"unrivaled master of Bund views," Chowkwa was 
active from around 1850 to 1880 and had his stu- 
dio first on Park Lane (which was renamed Nan- 
jing Road in 1862) and later on Hankow Road.* 
Four of the works illustrated here either carry his 
signature or are associated with this artist. 

The world depicted in these paintings is 
dominated by Western buildings and Western 
life. The patrons for these paintings and the 
companies they represented had little, other than 
econonm . intrust in the people they traded 
with; these were the companies whose insistence 
on trading in opium rather than silver had led to 
the Opium Wars and the establishment of Shang- 
hai as a treaty port. 

When British and American traders began 
to occupy Shanghai, they located man) oi then 

company buildings along an approximately one- 
mile-long stretch of the bank of the Huangpu 
River where it is joined by Suzhou Creek north 
of the old walled city of Shanghai. Initially 
the settlement was British; in 1863 the British 
and American settlements were combined in 
the International Settlement. This area was to 
become what is now known as the Bund; the vast 
majority of scenes in China Trade paintings of 
Shanghai are of this vicinity. Even the name Bund 
is an indication of Shanghai's globalized past; it 
means an embankment or an embanked quay and 
is likely based on an Urdu term. In use in India 
during the sixteenth century, the word came to 
Shanghai either with the British or with the first 
influx of Jews from Iraq. 

Very little has survived from the first sixty 
years of building along the Bund. The collapse of 
corporations, the changing needs of firms located 
there, and other changes led to the majority of 

the original buildings being torn down and new 
structures being erected in their place. These 
relatively frequent changes make it possible to 
date the China Trade paintings of the area and its 
individual buildings with some precision. 

The last great building boom along the Bund 
was from the late 1910s through the 1930s. Most 
of those buildings survive today. There are now 
fifty-two buildings, many first built as financial 
institutions in Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, 
Baroque, Neoclassical, Beaux-Arts, and Art Deco 
styles. Starting from the south, some of the most 
significant buildings, listed by address, are: 

The McBain Building 

The Shanghai Club 

The Union Building 

The NKK Building, which housed a Japanese 

shipping company 

The Russell & Company Building 


I In- Great Northei n Peli graph I i impan) 

The China Men hants Bank Building. I lie In si 
Chinese ow ned hank in China 
TheHSBC Building 

I hi' t i l^ti >ll is I louse 

i The Bank oi Communii ations Building 

5 The Bank 

1 The Bank oi Taiwan 

7 The North China Daily News Building 

The Chartered Bank « > t India. Australia, and 


I he Palace Hotel 

The Peace Hotel ( Sassonn I louse I 

The Bank of China 

The Yokohama Specie Bank 

The Yangzi Insurance Association Building 
27 The EWO Building 
:8 The Glen Line Building 

The Banque de l'lndochine 

Must ol these buili Lin inged ownei 

ship a numbi i "I time and main now serve put 
poses far different Iroin those originally inl 

Micliacl Knight 


i For a general discussion, see "The Port Views and Ship 
Portraits" in > Irossman Di 106-150. 

Politzer, "Changing Face," 70. 

3 dinner Export Wat 19.82 83. 

4 Crossman 'olorpl.64. 

5 Ibid.. 187. 

6 For a description ol the Western settlements in Canton 
and the establishment ol these workshops, see Chinas, 
Chinese Export Watercolours, 10-22. 

I'olll/i I ( ll I 

8 [bid., 70; and Crot e Irts, 197-198. 

15 16 17 

19 20 

24 26 

SIMON Hr I OIIOl SK 20(18 

China Trade Paintii 

Shanghai, approx. 1855-1862* 

Oil on canvas 
H. 45.4 

Peabody Essex Museum, M10565 

View of the Shanghai Bund. a PP rox. i862- l 86 5 


Gouache on paper 

H. 54.9 * w. 118.1 mi 

Peabody Essex Museum. E82723 

Changes in company fortune and historical events have erased almost 
all traces of the first buildings created along the Bund. China Trade 
paintings are the main records of the area's appearance from the late 
1840s to the advent of the common use of photography in the 1860s. 
It is possible to track the changes in the buildings along the Bund 
even in this early period by combining accounts in company records, 
local newspapers and gazettes, and related information. These details 
can then be used to approximate the date a particular view of the 
Bund was painted. 

The first painting illustrated here is a general scene of the Bund 
and can be dated no later than 1862, since in that year a tower was 
added to the buildings owned by Augustine Heard and Company and 
this view contains no tower. 1 Other details indicate a date no earlier 
than 1855. This painting provides a strong contrast to ink paint- 
ings created in Shanghai at roughly the same time (see cat. no. 10). 
Clearly the anonymous artist who created this work was well trained 
in Western techniques of oil on canvas. 

The second painting can be dated no earlier than 1862, since the 
tower on the Heard and Company building is clearly visible. The Brit- 
ish consulate, located on the far right of this painting, sold some of its 
adjoining property in 1862. By 1865 new buildings were completed 
on this property and are clearly visible to the left of the consulate in 
paintings and photographs dating after 1865.- These buildings do not 
appear in this view, suggesting it was painted before 1865. 

Differences between the ships depicted in these two paintings 
also indicate some of the changes that were occurring both in mari- 
time technology and in Shanghai itself. All the ships in the earlier 
painting are sailing vessels, a combination of Chinese-made junks 
and Western craft. The later painting shows a number of steamships 
with side paddles; one is quite small and likely meant for local trade. 
Two large covered craft appear as well, one in the center of the 
painting and one on the right side, which are likely to be opium 
hulks. Following the legalization of the sale of opium in China in 
i860, these hulks were pulled into Shanghai harbor from more 
discreet locations.' They are depicted in China Trade paintings 
of the mid-i86os. MK 

1 Politzer. "Changing Face," 70. 

2 Ibid., 78. 

3 Ibid. 

* Complete object data in Chinese appears 
in the Checklist in Chinese (page 250). 

Augustine Heard and Company's Hong 
[Warehouse] and Residence, Shanghai, 

By Chowkwa (active 1849-1880) 

Oil on canvas 

H. 31.1 x w. 42.5 cm 

Peabody Essex Museum, M5131 

The title and date appear along the base of this painting. 
Augustine Heard and Company was a Massachusetts- 
based company founded in 1840; it opened offices in 
Shanghai in 1S47. This painting depicts the company's 
first Shanghai offices, which were on lot 33 at the north- 
east corner of Park Lane and Church Street, next to the 
offices of Russell & Company. The company purchased 
lot 4 on the Bund from King & Company sometime in 
the summer of 1857 and vacated their earlier build- 
ing. Heard and Company failed in the spring of 1875, 
and their buildings were pulled down in the spring of 
1877.' The Sassoon family purchased the property after 
Heard and Company failed and had two office buildings 
constructed that can be seen in photographs and China 

Trade paintings dated 1879 and later. The Sassoons later 
had the Cathay Hotel built on this site. 

This work is one of the earlier depictions of Shang- 
hai, which had only been a treaty port for seven vears 
when it was completed. The streets, still unpaved and 
lined on one side with grass and brush, are occupied 
by a number of Chinese laborers and a pair of dogs. 
The imposing building in the background flying the 
American flag is the offices of Russell & Company 
(see cat. no. 5). which housed the American consultate 
in Shanghai." MK 

Politzer. "Changing Face," 70. 
Information was provided by Amv Huang 

House of Dent, Beale & Company, 

approx. 1857-1859 


Oil on canvas 

H. 42.9 x w. 65.7 cm 

Peabody Essex Museum. M3794 

Thomas Dent arrived in Guangzhou from England in 

I joined the firm of Davidson & Co. as a partner. 
When Davidson left in 1824, the company changed its 
name to Dent & Company. In 1826, Thomas Dent was 
joined by Lancelot Dent, who succeeded Thomas as 
senior partner when Thomas departed the company 
in 1831. Lancelot Dent was arrested by Chinese authori- 
ties in 1839 and forced to surrender his supply of 
opium, an event that contributed to the beginning 
of the Opium '•'- 

T. C. Beale joined the firm as partner in 1840 and 
the firm became Dent. Beale & Co. It once again became 
Dent &Ca upon Beale's departure in 1857. Dent was one 
of the first traders to open offu es in Shanghai. It had 

House. This image of the building can date to no earlier 
than 1857, since the greenhouse built in thai yeai is 

sible (the small outbuilding just to the right of 
the main building). However, this view does not include 

the new building structedin 1859. thus providing a 

probable date between 1857 and 1859. 

In 1866 the financial world was rocked by the 
collapse of Overend, Gurney and Company, a discount 
house on Lombard Street. London, causing a run on 
mans banks that in turn brought down numerous Other 
businesses. Dent was forced to shut its Hong Kong 
office, and its headquarters mined to Shanghai. 
The company officially folded in 1867. MK 

xx, "Changing I ■ 

China Trade Paintii 1 1 

Shanghai: The Bund, within the Prem 
o) Russell & Company, approx. 18S7 
By Chowkwa (active 18 19-1880) 

H. 50. S , . 

Peabod) Essex Museum, Museum pun ha 11 b) the fi 
I 1 eh, 11 Bai tletl md in honi irof 1 h H V. Crosby I 
2000, AE85781 

Founded in 1818 b) Samuel Russell "I Boston, Russell 

& Company was tor many years the foremost 'w 

merchant business opcialing on tin- ( Inn, 1,1 n 

was rivaled in Shanghai only by Augustine I leard and 
Company (cat. no. j I. Russell opened in Shanghai on 
September 1, 1846. on Park Lane and moved its Shang- 
hai offices to the Bund in 1852. On the Bund, Russell & 
Company occupied a large compound between 1 1 .1 1 
el low ami ( 'anion Roads neai the Customs House. I he 
complex was expanded in 1856 to include the partners' 
residence, known as the Stone House, together with the 
< ompany's offices anil warehouses (commonly known 
as godowns). These are depicted in ibis painting in 
meticulous detail, illustrating the stone facings and 
upper-floor verandahs, the gardens, the tea porters and 
the palanquin bearers, and the wooden construction <>l 
the Bund itself. 

The presence of the Stone House is one indication 

ol (he dale o! I his painting. Allot hei is the appi-.u. ■ . ,1 

the flag of the kingdom of Sweden and Norway. The first 
salaried consul ot the United States arrived in Shanghai 
in February 18^4 and lived in the Russell buildings until 
the summer of 1855.' Paintings predating 1857 should 
show the building flying the American flag. Russell's 
principal partner served as U.S. consul until 1857, and 
after that date Russell & Company often flew the Swe- 
den and Norway Hag. 

1 . Politzer, "Changing Face," 70. 

China Trade Paintii 

Chinese Export Silver 

Similar to China Trade paintings, silver vessels 
and luxury items were made in various parts of 
China for export. The tradition first developed 
in Guangzhou (Canton) during the seventeenth 
century. H. A. Crosby Forbes divides its devel- 
opment into three parts. The majority of the 
earliest group, which date between 1600 and 
1785, were in Chinese styles with landscapes, 
floral designs, and other patterns found on vari- 
ous export arts of the same period. The works 
catered to the chinoiserie craze that began to 
sweep Europe at that time. 1 

During the second period, from the 1780s to 
the 1860s, the Chinese specialized in interpreta- 
tions or copies of designs popular in the West. 
By this time, Chinese artisans in Canton had 
developed considerable skill in the medium and 
were able to copy almost anything. Carl Cross- 
man discusses how recent scholarship has begun 
to clarify long-standing confusion between fine 
pieces of silver made in China and the pieces 
made in the West on which they were modeled. J 
Forbes, Kernan, and Wilkins devote an entire 
section of Chinese Export Silver, 1785 to 1885 to 
providing clues on how to distinguish pseudo- 
European and -American marks or even fake 
marks appearing on Chinese silver.' 

The third stage, beginning around 1840 and 
lasting to the 1930s, has been called Chinese 
Revival and features a return to surface decora- 
tion and some forms based on Chinese tradi- 
tions. 4 While the centers of production during 
this final period spread to the newly occupied 
ports with foreign concessions and to Hong 
Kong, Cantonese styles and traditions remained 
dominant. 5 The two examples illustrated here 
were made in Shanghai and belong to this third 

The silver used to create these objects came 
from one of three sources: from locally mined 

silver, from deposits in Japan, or from the large 
amounts of silver currency used in trade for Chi- 
nese tea, porcelain, and silk. Silver bars or other 
unfinished forms were also shipped to China 
specifically for the use of Chinese silversmiths. 6 

The industrial revolution in Europe and the 
Americas impacted a number of trade-related 
arts in China, including this later group of 
silvers. By this time, Western factories were 
mass producing flatware and other silvers with 
relatively simple forms and surface decoration. 
These products competed with those produced in 
China, which relied on cheap labor to be eco- 
nomical. As a result, the Chinese began to focus 
on more elaborate forms and surface decoration 
that required a great deal of handwork. Labor in 
China remained so inexpensive that it was eco- 
nomically viable to ship raw silver from sources 
in Europe or America to China, have it worked 
there, and ship the final products back. 7 

In part, new technologies in shipping, includ- 
ing steamships and transcontinental railroads, 
made this practice feasible. Equally important 
were the skills and low cost of Chinese labor. 
However, competition for this market came from 
other sources, including India and Japan. After 
1884 the Japanese began to make more silver for 
export than the Chinese. 8 

Michael Knight 


1 Forbes, Chinese Export Silver, 5. 

2 Crossman, Decorative Arts, 338. 

3 Forbes, Kernan. and Wilkins, Chinese Export Silver, [785 to 
1885, 80-85. 

4 Forbes, Chinese Export Silver, 5. 

5 Ibid., 4. 

6 Crossman, Decorative Arts, 339-340. 

7 Ibid.. 347. 

8 Forbes, Kernan, and Wilkins, Chinese Exporr Silver, 1785 to 
1885. 79. 


Coffeepot with dragon spout. 

approx. 1875 

Shanghai, mark of Luen Wo workshop 


H- 22. b • DIAM. 12.4 cm 

Collection of Stephen J. and leremy W. Potash 

This coffeepot is typical of Chinese export silver pieces 
dating from around 1860-1930 that incorporated dragon 
designs for the handles or spouts and familiar Chinese 
motifs for the surface decoration. Coffeepots had no 
precedent in works made for use by Chinese patrons and 
indicate that the piece was made with a Western mai kit 
in mind. The decoration, however, is Chinese, perhaps 
indicating a continuation ol the chinoiserie movement 
in Europe and the Americas that by this time had been 
in existence for more than a century. The knob on the 
lid is in the form of a group ol pomegranates, a fruit 
that, due to us man) seeds, is associated with fertility 
in traditional Chinese dei orative arts, rhe main pattern 
on the body of the vessel depicts a group of scholars in 
a rural pavilion. Similar decoration can be found on 

ceramics, carved bamboo, and other wares made for 
both Chinese and export markets. 

This coffeepot has an LW mark and .1 Chinese ( har- 
acter associated with the Luen Wo company. Luen Wo 
appears m a directory from 1909 as a jeweler lot at d at 
42 Nanking (Nanjing) Road in Shanghai. 1 MK 

1 orbes, Kernan, 

ml Wilkins 

Bowl with dragon handles, a PP rox. 1875 

Shanghai, mark of Tuck Chang worl ihop 


H. 19.1 x diam. 26.4 cm 

( nil. , Hon of Stephen I and [erem) W Potash 

This large silver bowl combines elements of Western 
and Chinese design and decoration. The basic shape had 
little function in a Chinese context, a likely indication 
that the piece was made with the European or American 
market in mind. The handles take the form of two large 
dragons of a type frequently found on Chinese metal- 
ware and other decorative arts. These dragon handles 
are a feature of later Chinese export silver. The top band 
of decoration on the body of the piece consists of a series 
of smaller dragons, details of which are cut through the 
silver. The main part of the body is decorated with floral 
patterns surrounding a central cartouche. Such floral 
patterns, which here consist of bamboo and acanthus 

leaves, are commonly found on Chinese decorative arts. 
The central cartouche appears on ceramics and related 
arts created at the Qing court during the eighteenth 
century under the influence of the Jesuits. 

The bowl has a TC mark and Chinese characters 
indicating that it was made by Tuck Chang and Com- 
pany, which had offices in Shanghai at 1285-86 Broad- 
way, Hongkew, and at 80 Taku Road in Tianjin. The 
company created both jewelry and objects in gold and 
silver. 1 MK 

1 Forbes, Kernan, and Wilkins, Chinese Export Silver, 1785 to 
1885, 78. 


Modern Art and Culture in Shanghai 1840 

Shanghai is situated where the Yangzi Rivet 
meets the sea; hindered by the hast China Sea to 
the east and the Grand Canal on the north, the 
city is surrounded by rich, fertile lakes and rivers. 
Shanghai was listed as one oi Eve majoi trading 
ports following the First Opium War in 1K.40. It 
became a treaty port in 1843, and trade by sea and 
river grew rapidly. The treaty port expanded con- 
tinuously ovei the next sixty yeais, and loreign 
investors poured capital into Shanghai, building 
numerous banks and factories. At the same time. 
commerce by the local Chinese also grew, and 
Shanghai went from a seaside town to China's 
number-one city — an international financial 
and commercial metropolis. 

As China experienced an influx of Western 
philosophy, political theory, and art at the turn 
of the twentieth century, Shanghai became the 
place for the initial meeting of Chinese and 
Western thought and culture. Because Shang- 
hai was in the unusual position of being a treaty 
port subject to special rules, various schools of 
thought and "-isms" could be debated there with 
relative freedom. Democracy, science, and new 
cultural movements were promulgated in Shang- 
hai. From 1937 to 1945 the city fell under Japa- 
nese occupation, and anti-Japanese sentiment 
arose. All of these political events and societal 
changes had an enormous influence on Shang- 
hai's development. Looking back over this 
hundred-year period, we could say that in 
Shanghai various political and cultural ideol- 
ogies mingled, battled, and fluctuated, result- 
ing in art and culture that was multidimensional, 
abundant, and rich in local flavor. 

The objects in this exhibition reflect the 
period's vitality. They were chosen from the col- 
lections of the Shanghai Museum, the Shanghai 
Art Museum, the Shanghai History Museum, the 
In Xun Memorial Hall, and the Peabody Essex 
Museum, as well as from private collections. 
Although it cannot show the entirety of cultural 
development, this exhibition provides an over- 
vicw ot Shanghai's 1 ult 1 ire mik c the middle of the 
nineteenth i entuiy. 

The Teaching Improvement, and 
Evolution oi Traditional < Ihinese Painting 

In ih.' sc( olid hall (il the nineteenth i entury 
Shanghai's economy was booming, and newly 
prosperous employees of foreign traders, govern- 
ment entities, and wealthy men haul alone ■ n ; 
all kinds of urban classes created new art mar- 
kets. Painters from around the country flocked 
to Shanghai, selling art for a living. According 
to Huang Shiquan's Records <>/ the Illusive Dream 
of Shanghai (Songnan mcngying lu), written in 
the fifteenth year of the reign of the Guangxu 
emperor (1889), a group of artists enjoyed great 
fame during that time. "The landscape paintings 
of artists such as Hu Gongshou [Hu Yuan, 1823- 
1886 1 and Yang Nanhu [Yang Borun, 1837-1911]; 
figure paintings by Qian Jisheng [Qian Hui'an, 
1833-1911], Ren Fuchang [Ren Xun, 1835-1893I, 
Ren Bonian [Ren Yi, 1840-1896], and Zhang 
Zhiying [Zhang Qi]; flower and bird paintings 
of Zhang Zixiang [Zhang Xiong, 1803-1886] 
and Wei Zhijun; and portraits by Li Xian'gen 
enjoyed great repute near and far. Anyone from 
any level of society was proud to own even a 
shred of their work." 1 

Since the early Qing dynasty, Chinese paint- 
ing had been dominated by landscapes done in 
the style of the Four Wangs ' and by flower and 
foliage paintings in the style of Yun Nantian 
(Yun Shouping, 1633-1690). However, by the 
late Qing period, these techniques were becom- 
ing stagnant. Exhaustive efforts to imitate artists 
of old, striving only for simplicity and gentle 
beauty, resulted in a lifeless, spiritless style. Art- 
ists in Shanghai knew that to meet the needs of 
their city's new population, they had to make 
breakthroughs in all areas, including subject 
matter, technique, form, and aesthetics. A group 

of unconventional artists emerged around this 
time, the more famous oi \\ horn ini luded Zhang 
Xiong, Ren Xiong (approx. 1820-1864), Xu Gu 
(1824-1896), Zhao Zhiqian (1829-1884), Wang 
I 1 ' 1817-1885), Hu Yuan. Qian Hui'an, Ren 
Xun. Ren Yi, Wu Qingyun (1845-1916), and Wu 

Changshuo (1844-1927). These artists and others 
who worked in a similar style were later known 
as the Shanghai school. 

Xu Gu (cat. no. 10), whose secular name 
was Zhu Huairen, was once a low-ranking officer 
in the Qing army. Disenchanted with the poli- 
tics and war of the times, he became a monk 
at around the age of thirty-one and wandered 
around the Suzhou, Shanghai, and Hangzhou 
area, selling paintings for a living. He special- 
ized in flowers and plants, animals and birds, 
and fruits and vegetables. Xu Gu was adept at 
catching a subject's fleeting expression or move- 
ment, such as a squirrel skipping onto a tree 
branch, fish meandering among willows, or a 
red-crowned crane standing upright, full of life 
and vitality. At the same time, he produced many 
paintings of everyday objects with a flavor of the 
countryside, such as bamboo shoots, cabbage, 
loquats, grapes, and lotus roots in a style that was 
simple and approachable. He sometimes painted 
pines and cranes, as well as peaches, peonies, 
and Buddha's hand citrons, symbolizing wishes of 
blessings and good fortune. His work catered to 
the tastes and interests of the new urban classes. 
Xu Gu's landscape paintings were more realistic 
than traditional examples. His vibrant, energetic 
brushwork included new techniques, such as 
"pausing brush" (dotting), "broken" strokes, and 
guiding the brush against regular movements (up 
to down, and left to right), resulting in a forth- 
right style rich in movement and rhythm, one 
that swept away the fragility and shallow beauty 
of the Nantian (Yun Shouping) school of the late 
Qing dynasty. 

The brothers Ren Xiong and Ren Xun pro- 
duced art with a more urban flavor. Ren Xiong's 
style, traceable to that of Chen Hongshou (1598- 
1652), employed precise, forceful lines; figures 
in his paintings tend to be slightly exaggerated 
to emphasize personality and mood. His unusual 
landscapes contained bold lines and strong 
colors, making them rich in decorative appeal. 
Ren Xun, whose work was influenced by his elder 
brother, produced strongly realistic paintings. 

Ren Yi, notable for his creativity, was adept 
at painting all types of subjects, including figures, 
flowers and birds, and landscapes. He initially 
studied under Ren Xun, and therefore his work 
shows strong traces of influence from Chen 
Hongshou. Ren Yi moved to Shanghai in midlife 
and at one point, along with Liu Dezhai, studied 
figure sketching at the Art School in Tushanwan; 
as a result his portraits convey a sense of realism 
and show both a clear knowledge of facial struc- 
ture and effective use of light and shadow. His 
portrait of Feng Gengshan (cat. no. 11) is rep- 
resentative of this approach. Ren Yi was skilled 
at depicting legends and myths, historical tales, 
customs, plants, insects, and fruits as well as 
landscapes. Many of his works are direct portray- 
als of daily life, such as poor tradesmen, towns- 
people, artists, and fighters. His strong sense of 
national pride is apparent in his repeated use of 
themes related to a popular deity, Zhong Kui, 
traveling the Three Gorges, and historical tales. 
To meet the needs of businessmen and other city 
residents, he also created works with various 
auspicious themes, including wishes for good 
luck, professional success, and longevity. His 
flower-and-bird paintings — unique in concept, 
lively in form, and bright in color — evoke a sense 
of joy. Ren Yi's work shows a noticeable tendency 
toward common, everyday people. Clearly, Chi- 
nese art in Shanghai evolved to keep up with the 

During the end of the Qing dynasty and the 
early days of the Republic, artists such as Ni Tian 
(1855-1919) and Yu Ming (1884-1935) success- 
fully adopted the style and flavor of Ren Yi; this 
influence can be seen in Ni Tian's portrait of Wu 
Changshuo (cat. no. 14) and Yu Ming's portraits 
of Huang Jinrong and Du Yuesheng (cat. no. 16). 

Zhao Zhiqian (cat. no. 8) reached a high level 
of attainment in both calligraphy and seal carv- 
ing. He studied first the calligraphy of the Two 
Wangs (Wang Xizhi [303-361] and Wang Xianzhi 
[344-386/388]) and Yan Zhenqing (709-785) 
and later the Northern Wei (386-534) style; 
his work is imposing and magnificent. In his 


Bowei and plant paintings can be seen the intlu- 
.11. e "I the freehand styles of Bada Shanren (Zhu 
Da, 1626-1705). Slut. in ( 1(1. 12-1707), Chen Chun 

! 5 1 1 1, .mil \u Wei (1521-151)^) as well 
as Zhao's own calligraphic and seal-carving style, 
"ii. 1l1.1t is profound and strong, fleshy yet with 
definite structure. The strong colors and ink 
blend and mutually enhance, and the result is 
a new type ol How er-and- plant painting with 
an epigraphic (jinshi) flavor, full of simplicity, 
richness, and depth. 

After Zhao Zhiqian came Wu Changshuo 
(1844-1927), another master of the "epigraphic 
school" (jinshi pai) who was well known early in 
his career for seal cutting and calligraphy. Later 
in life, he adapted his carving and calligraphy 
techniques for use in painting. He was adept at 
flower-and-plant paintings (see cat. no. 15), plac- 
ing special emphasis on the essence of the scene, 
and in fact once said, "Kutie [his alias] captures 
the essence, not the form." His compositions are 
unusual; they contain a strong contrast between 
sparse and dense and an interplay of form and 
essence, conveying a sense of rhythm. With an 
even brush he applied strong, rich strokes in flow- 
ing ink. In his later years, in addition to ink and 
water, he incorporated fuchsia, lemon yellow, deep 
greens, and heavy browns to achieve an effect that 
was strikingly beautiful. His flowers and plants 
bore no trace of fragility or weak charm; they were 
instead vigorous and bold, the embodiment of 
the ability of the Chinese spirit to bolster itself in 
the midst of national weakness. Wu Changshuo 
mastered calligraphy, painting, seal carving, and 
poetry; in fact, his paintings combined and har- 
monized these elements. As a master of the four 
arts, he had many followers, and his influence has 
extended to contemporary art. 

In the late Qing, new art forms such as 
copperplate prints and religious paintings were 
introduced into China from the West. Although 
few in number, there were Chinese artists who 
were familiar with these works and experimented 
with Western art techniques; the most notable 
was Wu Youru (1839-1897), who in his early 

years worked primarily with traditional methods 
I lis .illiiini Ladies (cat. no. 26) depicted wealth) 
women at their toilette, playing the qin 01 
going loi a boat ride, and all dressed not in cloth- 
ing of earlier periods but in contemporary garb. 
In 1884 Wu was hired by the Shanghai newspa- 
per Shenbao as the chid ,ut 1st for its illustrated 
periodical, the Dianshizhai huabao. By the end 
of the periodical's print run in 1896, Wu and his 
assistants had created more than four thousand 
works, mainly on contemporary news and local 
customs, and reporting on important political 
and social events. (The periodical at times also 
included strange, unsubstantiated stories.) For 
the images in skillful line drawing (cat. mis. 
27-32), Wu utilized Western perspective and 
strove for realistic depiction of such features as 
architecture, furniture, and fashion. Although he 
did not adhere strictly to the rules of perspective 
and spatial distance, his work heralded a new 
practice of adopting Western methods to re-form 
traditional Chinese painting. 

Also noteworthy was Wu Qingyun (cat. no. 
12), who created landscapes after the style of 
Mi Fu (1051-1107) and Gao Kegong (1248-1310). 
using the splashed-ink method. After Wu's return 
from a visit to Japan, he incorporated Western 
watercolor techniques, placing emphasis on light 
and shadow. His depictions of Jiangnan's misty 
landscapes and the interplay of colors at sunset 
are especially lovely. 

The < iillision and I lanimm 
ol Easl and Wesl 

The revolution of 1911 toppled the Qing impe- 
rial court, and the changes taking place on the 
political front led to a reevaluation of traditional 
thought and culture. At the same time, cultural 
perspective expanded as numbers ol Students 
studied abroad in Europe, the United States, and 
Japan, bringing back with them Western philoso- 
phy, culture, and art. Liang Qichao described this 
as "the vast European winds whip[ping] the Asian 
rains." Then came the New Culture Movement. 

in which a group of forward-thinking intellectu- 
als heralded "science" and "democracy," attacking 
the political, moral, and ethical ideologies that 
focused on Confucianism. The art world was 
caught up by this movement, and in 1918 Kang 
Youwei (1858-1927) attacked traditional painting 
in his Catalogue of the Art Collection at the Hut of 
Ten Thousand Trees: "Up to the current dynasty 
traditional Chinese painting is completely degen- 
erate." 4 Chen Duxiu (1879-1942) added fuel to 
the fire, writing that "in order to improve tradi- 
tional Chinese painting, we must first revolution- 
ize 'imperial painting' (wang hua), because the 
improvement of Chinese painting cannot exclude 
the realism of Western art." 5 In 1920 Xu Beihong 
suggested that the way to improve was to "protect 
the strengths of the ancient methods, carry on 
the admirable methods, correct the bad, bolster 
the inadequate, and incorporate the useful ele- 
ments of Western painting." b Chinese painting 
found itself facing enormous challenges. 

Traditional Chinese painting has a long, pro- 
found history, and many aspects of it remained 
popular. Furthermore, various artists viewed 
traditional Chinese painting as the best medium 
for conveying national pride and insisted upon 
gleaning methods for improvement from within 
Chinese culture, choosing instead to revamp 
ancient teachings. The most notable traditional- 
ists of the Shanghai painting circles in the 1930s 
and 1940s were Wu Hufan (1894-1968), Wu 
Zheng (1878-1949), Wu Zishen (1894-1972), and 
Feng Chaoran (1882-1954), known as "the Three 
Wus and One Feng." Also of note were Zheng 
Wuchang (1894-1952), He Tianjian (1891-1977), 
Lu Yanshao (1909-1993), and Xie Zhiliu (1910- 
1997). All used tradition as a foundation for cre- 
ativity, simultaneously preserving the elegance of 
the painting of the educated elite and adapting to 
the needs of the populace, thus bringing new life 
to traditional painting. 

In the wave of artistic revolution, another 
group of artists proposed a merger of East and 
West, or a compromise between the two, basi- 
cally suggesting that Western techniques be used 

to improve traditional Chinese art. Two main 
approaches to this compromise existed. The first 
involved keeping the fundamental methods and 
forms of traditional Chinese painting while inte- 
grating the concepts of light and shadow, anat- 
omy, and color from Western painting. Cheng 
Zhang (1869-1938), Zhao Shuru (1874-1945), 
and Tao Lengyue (1895-1985), all from Shang- 
hai, were representatives of this type of selective 

The second approach was to employ Western 
theory and technique in the creation of Chi- 
nese painting. Obvious differences between this 
method and that of traditional painting were 
numerous, such as subject matter, composition, 
brushwork, and color. This approach caused 
major changes in the very substance of tradi- 
tional Chinese painting and became the model 
for new Chinese work. Successful proponents 
included Xu Beihong (1895-1953) and Lin 
Fengmian (1900-1991). 

Xu Beihong (cat. nos. 53 and 54) studied 
Western painting in Shanghai during his youth. 
In 1919 he studied in France. There and in 
Germany, he trained in Western sketching and 
oil techniques and studied famous oil paintings 
of Western realism. Upon his return home, he 
worked mainly in fine arts instruction. In his 
paintings, he focused on creative subject mat- 
ter rich in meaningful thought. Some examples 
would be Five Hundred Warriors Traversing the 
Fields, done in oil, and The Fool Wlm Moved the 
Mountain, done in traditional Chinese tech- 
niques. In each the focus is on the human. 
Correct anatomical structure and use of light 
and shadow are evident in his depictions of 
people and animals, and his landscapes adhere 
to the principles of realism. In all of his work 
he employed Western methods and theory, rein- 
venting Chinese painting on a large scale. 

Lin Fengmian (cat. nos. 20 and 21) worked 
while studying in France; he received training 
in sketching and oil painting, and he studied as 
well a large amount of Chinese art. thus gaining 
a deeper understanding of traditional Chinese 


painting. Upon his return to China, he brought 
with him the ideas ol French Postimpressionism 
and Fauvism. Lin Fengmian strongly emphasized 
the expression of subjective feeling in art. In 

his essay "Art for Art's Sake and Art for Society's 
Sake." he slated. "Art is really the outward expres- 
sion of human emotion. Art exists completely for 
the sake of art and contains no trace of societal 
function." He also pointed out, however, thai 
"after an artist produces a work, what is exhibited 
with this artwork will ultimately influence soci- 
ety. What appears in art will impact reality." In 
addition to nils, Lin liked painting in ink and col- 
ors on paper; his lines are reminiscent of various 
elements of folk art and were inspired by Han-era 
bricks with painted decorations, Song ceramics, 
ami traditional shadow puppets. Lin combined all 
this with brushwork inspired by the great Fauvist 
Matisse to create works with fresh, vigorous 
lines. The colors he used were at times strong 
and bright like those favored by Impressionists 
and at other times subtle like those in the paint- 
ing of the Chinese educated elite. Occasionally 
he used only ink and water with a touch of ochre 
in an abundance of rich layers. The women he 
painted were lovely and graceful, and his paint- 
ings of scenery were quiet and simple, calling to 
mind the "field and garden" lyric poetry of old, 
very much meeting the traditional Chinese stan- 
dard of "beauty of content and rhythm of poetry" 
in painting. His paintings in ink and colors 
convey both the essence of traditional Chinese 
painting and an air ot modern Western art in a 
unique, original style. 

Tlu- Rise dI New Art Forms 

and the Prevalence < > t 

( lommercial and Popular Art 

By the later Qing period, oil painting — a major 
medium in Western art— had already made its 
way to Shanghai. In the third year of the reign ot 
the Tongzhi emperor (1864), a Catholic church 
111 Xujiahui established the lushanwan Art 
Si hool. wliii li held classes in subjects such as 

pem il sketching, waten olors, and oil painting. 
In August 1910 Zhou Xiaug, having lived in Japan 
and visited France, established the East-West Art 
School, which specialized m the instrui tion of 
watercolor painting. In September ol the 
year he founded the Shanghai Academy of Oil 
Painting. By the twentieth century, numerous 
students who had gone to Japan and France to 
study Western art returned home, setting up 
classes in Western art instruction and starting a 
series of Western fine arts societies. In 1931 Pang 
Xunqin (1906-1985) and Ni Yide (1901-1970) 
founded the Storm Society (Juclan she) in Shang- 
hai, the first such organization dedicated to oil 
painting, and Shanghai became the home of 
the Western art movement in China. Notable 
artists of this period included Wu Shiguang 
(1885-1968), Chen Baoyi (born after 1893-died 
after 1945), Ni Yide, Liu Haisu (1896-1994), 
Xu Beihong, Lin Fengmian, Zhou Bichu (1903- 
1995), and Guan Zilan (1903-1986). These artists 
studied and referenced in their work various 
schools of art, including realism, Impressionism. 
Postimpressionism, Fauvism, and various types of 
Western modernism, which resulted in a kaleido- 
scope of styles. 

Other types of painting came from the 
West as well, including watercolor and gouache 
I shui/en ). Early Shanghai artists adept at water- 
color included Xu Yongqing (1880-1953), Zhou 
Xiang, Li Shutong (1880-1942), Li Yongsen 
(1898-1998), Zhang Meisun (1894-1973), Pan 
Sitong (1904-1980/81) and Chen Qiucao (1906- 
1988). Oil painters such as Zhang Chongren 
(1907-1998) and Wang Jiyiian (1893-1975) were 
also talented in watercolor. The early watercolor 
artists created a number of scenic paintings that 
are both historically and artist i< ally valuable. 

Gouache refers to a type of painting that 
uses color made by mixing water with powdered 
pigments. The colors are opaque and can be 
employed over large areas and to render precise 
lines. Gouache paints arc used not only in scen- 
ery, figures, and flowet and plant paintings but 
also in propaganda art. New Year's in. decorative 

\rt and Cult , 


paintings, commercial art, product packaging, 
stage sets, and handicraft design. A portrait 
of Kang Youwei's wife (cat. no. 53) is an early 
example of a painting in gouache by Xu Beihong. 

During the late-Qing and early-Republican 
period, Shanghai's prosperous economy com- 
pelled the need for art related to product pack- 
aging and marketing, such as commercial adver- 
tisements, posters, cigarette box inserts, and 
textile pattern design. At the same time, high- 
volume publication of books and periodicals 
created a demand for cover art and layout design. 
Posters — the majority of which were created in 
gouache — such as Nanjing Road — from Series of 
Views of Shanghai (cat. no. 62) and Great World 
Entertainment Center (cat. no. 63) serve as records 
of the wonderful architecture and flourishing 
commercial environment that was Nanjing Road 
in the early decades of the twentieth century. 

Calendar poster art derived from designs 
of early advertising posters. A calendar poster 
was composed of a central artwork, a calendar 
printed on either side of or below the artwork, 
and a product advertisement. Given to customers 
at the beginning of the year, it served both deco- 
rative and practical purposes. The earliest calen- 
dar poster was created with gouache, although 
some were produced using traditional Chinese 
painting methods. Shanghai was the birthplace 
of calendar art and its main place of production. 
Zhou Muqiao (1868-1923) was its pioneer, and 
Xu Yongqing and Zheng Mantuo (1885/88-1961) 
later improved and perfected the techniques. 
When painting fashion models, they first used 
fine coal powder to create light and shadow and 
then added subtle pastel colors to depict youth- 
ful skin. The beauty of calendar art made it 
popular with consumers, and at one point it took 
the city by storm. Notable subsequent calendar 
artists included Hang Zhiying (1899-1947), Jin 
Meisheng (1902-1989), Li Mubai (1913-1991), 
Jin Xuechen (1904-1997), and Xie Zhiguang 

Most calendar posters portrayed fashionable 
Chinese beauties and secular sensibilities; some 

depicted scenes from history and legends. For 
the posters of Chinese beauties (cat. nos. 64-72), 
women were set against suitable backgrounds 
and shown undressing, gazing in a mirror, or 
dancing. They usually wore the latest-style cloth- 
ing, often a qipao, which was popular during the 
Republican era. The calendar poster encom- 
passed the distinct features of Shanghai-style 
culture: the beauty of the models, their willowy 
figures and fashionable attire, and the bright 
colors matched the aesthetic requirements of the 
modern citizen— the pursuit of trends, the atten- 
tion to fashion and accessories, and the love of 
the ostentatious. 

What is known today as a cartoon was an art 
form that evolved slowly from the late-Qing and 
early-Republican period. At the time it had many 
names, such as satire, "implied art" (yuyi hua), 
farce, or jokes. Later, Feng Zikai (1898-1975) 
coined the term "cartoons," or "comics" (man- 
hua). Early cartoons were used for political 
critique or to satirize current events; hence they 
were dubbed "current-events cartoons." Later 
they covered such topics as everyday life, societal 
maladies, and funny occurrences. Chinese car- 
toons have played a central role in fights against 
imperialist aggressions, feudal corruption, and 
Japanese invasions. 

Most of Feng Zikai's cartoons were geared 
toward emotional expression, merging poetry 
and pictures. In them we find philosophy, 
humor, and food for thought. He created his 
cartoons with a brush using simple, concise 
lines in a unique style that is free and spontane- 
ous. Another artist, Zhang Leping (1910-1992), 
invented the cartoon character Sanmao, an 
impoverished boy. Zhang created serial com- 
ics such as Sanmao Follows the Army (cat. no. 
102) and A Record of the Wanderings of Sanmao 
to attack injustice and corruption. Sanmao as a 
character was laughable yet lovable, and the plots 
were exaggerated yet logical. The result was a 
creation that drew laughs from readers while at 
the same time plunged them deep into thought. 

The New Woodcut Movement 

Wood* ut prints had already appeared in Shang- 
hai In the late Qing period. Works such as 
Illustrations of the Dream of the Red I 'hamber by 

< Gai I 'I i 1774-1829), produced during the Jiaqing 
reign (1796-1820), and New Year's prints created 
during the Tongzhi reign (1862-1874) were used 
solely for book illustrations or seasonal decora- 
tion. The new woodcuts, however, were intended 
as an art form unto itself, an influence of Euro- 
pean woodblock-print artists. In 1931 a woodcut 
workshop was held in Shanghai to commence the 
new woodcut movement. 

The development of the new woodcuts 
closely paralleled political movements. In his 
briel preface to Selected Paintings from New Rus- 
sia, Lu Xun (1881-1936) stated, "In times of 
revolution, print art has the broadest use; even 
if one is in a hurry, it can be completed in an 
instant.' Alter 1927. with the rise of left-wing lit- 
erary movements arose left-wing art movements. 
The League of Left -Wing Artists was established 
in 1930 in Shanghai, and under its leadership the 
woodcut movement was launched through suc- 
cessive formations of woodcut organizations such 
as the M. K. Woodcut Research Society, the Wild 
Spike Society, the Unnamed Woodcut Society, 
and the Iron Horse Prints Society. Lu Xun gave 
his utmost support to the woodcut movement. 
Besides holding training courses on techniques, 
he published outstanding woodblock prints from 
abroad, such as the two-volume Selections of Mod- 
ern Woodcuts, which he published in 1929 with 
Rou Shi (1902-1931) and others under the name 
of the Morning Flowers Society. Lu collaborated 
as well on the publication of woodblock prints of 
the October Revolution in [ade-Arrracring Col- 
lection (1934), Selected Prims by FCathe Kbllwitz 

(1935). and Prints from the Soviet 1 faion ( 1936). 
He also held exhibition ;o that arti ts could view 
and contemplate important works. Lu Xun's lead- 
ership and assistance were instrumental in the 
development ol a number ol woodcut artists. 

During the years from the Manchurian 
Incident of 1931 until the end of the world war 
in 1945, woodcut artists from all over China 
produced huge amounts of anti-Japanese occupa- 
tion prints that awakened the fighting spirit of 
ses. From 1946 to 1949, woodcut artists 
again took up their tools to fight against civil war 
and hunger. This exhibition includes such works 
as Hu Yichuan's To the Front! (cat. no. 95) and Li 
Hua's Roar, China! (cat. no. 98), which sought, 
through jolting images, to ignite people to battle 
against Japanese invasion and occupation. Shao 
Keping's Street Comer (cat. no. 101) and On the 
Streets of Shanghai (cat. no. 100) brought into 
focus the sharp contrast between the suffering 
of the laboring masses and the luxury of the 
wealthy, powerfully exposing the injustices of 
society. The new woodcut movement led the art 
world in carrying out the adage of "art for the 

Shan Guolin 
Translated by He Li 

1 Huang Shiquan. Songnan mengying lu. 

2 Four orthodox masters of the earlv Qing dynasty: Wang 
Shimin (1592-1680). Wang Jian (1598-1677). Wang Hui 
(1632-1717), and Wang Yuanqi 1642-1715). 

; Liang Qichao, " laichou ungzhou yugpng jianhuai yi 
shorn 1 yuanyun." 

4 Kang Youwei, "Wanmu caotang canghua mu (jiexuan)." 

5 Chen Duxiu, "Meishu geming." 

6 Xu Beihong, "Zhongguohua gailiang lun." 

7 Lin Fengmian. 'Yishu de yishu \n shehui de yishu." 

8 1 11 Xun 

Modern Art and CultUl 

A pair of calligraphies in seal script, and a 
pair of calligraphies in clerical script, 1869 

By Zhao Zhiqian (1829-1884) 

Hanging S( rolls, ink mii 1 taper, set of four 

H. 176.3 x w. 47.0 cm each 
Collection of the Shanghai Museum 

These two pairs of hanging scrolls are written in ancient 
scripts, one in seal script and the other in clerical script. 
The pair in seal script records two unrelated events in 
Chinese history. The first (A) describes the emperor 
Qinshihuang (reigned 221-210 BCE) and his efforts to 
unify China after a long period of discord by establish- 
ing a regular system of government and standardizing 
weights and measures. The second (B) consists of three 
sentences from the Taoist text Bao Puzi by Ge Hong 
(approx. 281-341) that was contained in an encyclo- 
pedia entitled Taiping Yulan (Peace and Tranquility for 

Imperial Review), compiled between 977 and 985. The 
sentences summarize the fundamental Taoist view of 
the world: "The force of yin and yang concurs within the 
Tao. The sacred fluid nourishes nature with the five ele- 
ments. Its combination of supreme numinous elements 
repulses feebleness of the world." 

The second pair of hanging scrolls, written in cleri- 
cal script, is dated to 1869. It is an appreciation of the 
ancient technology and government that tied together 
two enlightened eras. The first scroll of this pair (C) is 
a passage from Annofations on the Water Classic (Shtii jing 
zhu) by Li Daoyuan ('-527). It introduces two famous 
weapons: the sword zhanlu cast by Wu-Yue (Zhejiang 
and Jiangxu) artisans (fifth century BCE) and the 
dragon-sparrow longque (bow and arrow) of the great 
Xia dynasty (approx. 2000-1500 bce). "Both could 
shuttle a long distance with a speed like the wind"; 
with their "matchless power the nine divisions could be 
vanquished." The second work (D) refers to the much- 
admired administration of the Western Zhou dynasty 
(approx. 1200-771 BCE), when the country was divided 
into states according to natural resources and "situations 
of mountains and rivers; then the nine divisions in their 
own inhabitancy were managed for individuals accord- 
ing to their specific conditions." 

The pair in seal script was probably executed during 
Zhao's artistic maturity, around the time of the 1869 
work. Both pairs testify to his calligraphic skill as well as 
his knowledge of classical texts. During the nineteenth 
century, Chinese academics were drawn to modern 
archaeology. Studies focusing on ancient inscriptions 
found on bronze ritual objects and stone stelae influ- 
enced the visual arts, inspiring scholars to explore not 
only history but also traditional aesthetics. This revival- 
ist movement — using ancient calligraphy as sources 
for new techniques — known as the bronze-and-stone 
school, played an important part in modern calligraphy 
and painting. 

Zhao Zl nvolved in this movement both 

as t scholar and as an artist. Zhao's biograph) stati : thai 
he started to draw lines with watei and brush on brick 
Boors at the age oi two. At four, he impressed bis teai bei 
bj rei iting texts and exhibiting .1 sensibility equal to 
thai 1 1 oldei ( lassmates. I le completed Ins education 
at thirteen, having studied nuisn . hoard games, writing, 
and painting. Aftei Ins homed is-. 11 ol Shaoxing. Zhejiang 
Province. \\as destroyed ami Ins lannly killed during the 
Taiping Rebellion, Zhao was often homeless and drifted 
from place to pla< e 

In Zhao Zhiqian's own words, the initiative to "open 
up a new direction" occurred while he was staying in 
Beijing from 1863 to 1864.' He developed and perfected 
the duplication of the small-seal script on bronze and 
ceramic measures and weights of the Qin dynasty 
(221-207 BCE), and the clerical script and seal script on 
bronzes, clay bricks, and stone stelae of the Han dynasty 
(206 BCE-220 CE). Zhao then made a living from carv- 
ing seals in these scripts tor antique collectors. He also 
became one of the most faithful interpreters of callig- 
raphy on stone si ulpture in Buddhist sites dating from 
the fourth through sixth centuries, especially those in 
Longmen, Luoyang; Yexian, Shandong; Yixing, liangsu; 
and Baocheng, Shaanxi. 

Zhao quickly earned the support of Shen Shuyong 
(1832-1873), a high official, calligraphy enthusiast and 
collector, and the owner of the Han Stone Inscription 
Studio. With Shen applauding his versatility and assur- 
ing him access to abundant firsthand materials, Zhao 
completed some of his finest works. His boldness and 
confidence are evident in his distinctive transformation 
of the seal script into the clerical script.- The calli- 
graphic and seal works he created became collectibles 
during his lifetime. 

The intense work took its toll. After serving less than 
six years as governor of Jiangxi Prefecture, Zhao died 
there at fifty-five of exhaustion. Zhao spent most of his 

lii ipiling ml e on the evolution ol the writ- 
ing system thai are till used in modem studies "f the 

1 lassii s. 

()n the seal si ripl work: From scattered Bun I'uzi in 

raiping Yulan. 
( )n the 1 lerical-script work: Painted al the reaui 

respectable brother Xiao.vian Sima. Zhao Zhiqian. 

in lunar eighth month in the yecu jisi 1N69] of the 
■ : reign 

Zhao Zhiqian yin (seal of Zhao Zhiqian); Zhao 
Ruqing 1 nil kname) hl 

Wang Chiat heng, "Zhao Zhiqian Zhuan," 79-81. 
Chen Chuanxi. "Cong 'wuzhong jinhua' dao 'bianzbong 
jinhua,' " 40. 


* J* m 


* 6 11 . 4- 


1 a^ 

nfi Sv 








Sceneries of the Earthborn-Cymbidium 
Orchid Thatched House, 1869-1884 

By twenty artists: Fei i igeng (active mid late 19th c), 
1 In Yuan (1823-1886), Qian Hui'an (1833-1911), Yang 
Borun (1837-1911), Zhang Xiong (1803-1886), Kin Xun 
(1835-1893), Zhu Shuyu (active mid late 19th ( .). Hu Yin 
(active mid late 19th a), Hu Tiemei (1848-1899), Wang 
Li (1817-1885), Zhu Cheng (1826-1900), Gu Yun (1835- 
1896), Sha Fu (1831-1906), Zhou Yong (active late 19th 
c), Zhu Quan (active mid-late 19th c), Li Xiguang (active 
mid-late 19th c), Wu Guxiang (1848-1903), Weng Tonghe 
(1830-1904), Yu Yue (1821-1906). and Xu Sangeng (active 
mid-late 19th c.) 

Set of twenty-two album leaves, ink and colors on paper 

1 ' 11. ions variable 

Collection of the Shanghai Museum 

Twenty artists, most of whom belonged to Shanghai 
artist circles, dedicated twenty-two works depicting the 
'"Earthborn-Cymbidium Orchid Thatched House" to its 
owner, Hu Yin, whose nickname Qinzhou literally means 
"Zither on a Boat." The country house depicted here 

is somewhere close to Lake Tai (Taihu) near Suzhou. 
Available biographical information indicates that Hu 
originally came from Linhai, Zhejiang Province. Before 
he settled in this house, he spent a short time exploring 
painting in Shanghai and probably came into contact 
with some of the city's artists. Documented sources note 
that from 1851 to 1874 Hu lived as a hermit. The inscrip- 
tions on these paintings, along with a letter by Wang 
Li kept in the album set, suggest that the reclusive Hu 
remained in contact with the Shanghai artists through 
letters. Wang himself, on Hu's request, created a paint- 
ing in Shanghai; others made their versions in different 
places at different times. 

The most novel aspect of all the depictions is their 
unique compositions. Each artist must have visited Hu 
in his thatched house and examined the home in detail 
from his singular viewpoint, which he later conveyed 
in a particular scene. The artists' experimentation in 
the modern art movement is apparent in their use of 
perspectives, although their simplified, thin brushwork 
is done in traditional textural strokes. 


it a Qinzhou dres led in .1 n d robi its by a 
tabli i» .i.l>' a >-. indov ol the thati bed 

1869 by Fei Yigi ng ho n '■■'■ u inj 

l'ni\ ■ . this jiu-i c is t Ik- earliest "I the dab d 

in this mi Fei's high degree ol finish and delii 

of colors reveal his training bj fiisfathei Fei Danxu 

(1801-1 851 >), apaintei ol figures and Elowei - Yigeng's 

Shanghai comic, imn might haie In-. -11 tl r.'h I lir 

senior Fei, who resided in Shanghi iell paintings 

from 1821 to 1850. 

Yubo huaji ("painted and recorded by Yubo Fei 

Leaf b Qinzhou, sitting in the centei ofthe house, 

looks at the scenery through the open door. I in Yuan, 
who executed this composition in the spring ol 1X70. 
in orded in the ins( ription that Qin/hou ai quired 
the property of the county governor and changed the 
name from Pavilion foi Bearing Dream, Shengmeng lou, 
to Earthborn-Cymbidium Orchid Thatched House, 
Gailan caotang. 

Seals Gongsfiou (Hu's nickname); Hengyun ("horizontal 
clouds," anothei ol Hu's nicknames) 

Leaf C Qin/hou, holding a Buddhist whisk, sits by a nar- 
row table in the house enclosed In stone walls. Beyond 
the walls, a boat is anchored in tranquil water. Qian 
Hui'an inscribed that he was "imitating the brushwork 
of Meidao ren [Wu Zhen (1280-1354]," in the ninth 
month of 1870. 

Qian led a movement to promote folk art and nar- 
rative painting. His views prompted him to change Ins 
technique from delicate brushwoi k to vigorous strokes 
with sharp angles. Well received in Shanghai artist 
circles, Qian became a close friend of Ni Tian (cat. 
no. 14): togethei the) sold figure, Bower-and-bird, and 
landscape paintings. Qian Hui'an w as 1 mi il the most 
outspoken advo< .itcs ol Shanghai artists' societies. In 
1862 he, Zhu Cheng, and Wu Dacheng (depicted in cat. 
no. 13) founded the Duckweed Society for Calligraphy 
and Painting. Pinghua shuhua shr. In 1909 Qian was 
i lei ted i li.urman ol the Benevolent Society tor Painting 
and Calligraphy, Shuhua shanhui, in Yu Garden 
sen Jisheng (Qian's nil kname 

Qinzhou, seated and holding a round fan, leans 
on a rock by a lake. Beside him. the bamboo-walled 
house is partially seen, a stool and a zither visible inside. 

In tins work, painted al the same nine as the pi 

piece, Qian Hui'an experimented with "the method ol 

Liuru |Tang Yin, 1470-1523]." 

lisheng; Wuyu royal desi endant ol the 

Wu Yue ri 

. '■•^^■yMl^i-^ ■ 

■ ^: 

Leaf E Sitting in a wooden chair, Qinzhou pursues the 
life of a member of the educated elite. He is surrounded 
by the scholar's assemblage of a vase, books, handscrolls, 
a zither, and an incense burner. This third work for 
Qinzhou by Qian Hui'an was created in 1873. 
Seal Jisheng 

Leaf F This view shows Qinzhou's house from a distant 
high vantage point. Tall green willows shade the house, 
and the far rice fields are connected by a tiny bridge that 
was executed with light brushstrokes. The work was cre- 
ated in the summer of 1871 by Yang Borun from Jiaxing, 
Zhejiang Province. Yang took up residence in Shanghai 

and supported his family by selling paintings. He rou- 
tinely used a long-tipped brush and light-colored hues to 
create the sensitive lines in his scenes of the country. 
Seal Nanhu (Yang's nickname) 

Leaf G Most likely in the same place and at the same 
time, Yang Borun's fellow villager Zhang Xiong adopted 
a similar viewpoint, looking down at the house and up 
toward the distant surroundings. Qinzhou sits in the 
doorway, and before him a path winds along the fore- 
ground. Hills, rocks, trees, and water frame the house in 
a horseshoe-shaped configuration. Zhang was said to have 
consciously modeled his style on that of Zhou Zhiyuan 


i ^ . A -S- 

.,* SK 


(active mid-late 16th c). a flowei and bird painter, a 
i ii made him extremely popular in Shanghai. 

I ii. ■ nil i i, mi. 

Leaf H Qinzhou looks down at a boy planting c ymbidi 
urns in the courtyard. Clusters of bamboo, rock-., and 
Bowers < reate a harmony of pink and light blue ink 
washes play a secondary role, serving as mist that per 
meates th< rhis work is more typical of the 

tradition of the educated elite than the decorative works 

nl the Shanghai * hool d, as the .mist himself, Ren 

Xun, iiis. ribed, be painted in the Wii si bool st\le ." 
Mtii training with bis brothei Ken Xiong I approx. 

1820-1864), Ren Xun began to sell his works in liangnan 
even before lie was twenty. lb easily manage selling and 
teaching painting hi iettled in Suzhou iround 1886 
■mil lived there until his death at the age of fifty-eight. 
1 In Ren brothers modeled their brushwork on that of 
Chen Hongshou : 1598- - !*"■>>- '■ whose exaggerated images 
and smooth arcing lines had the most profound impact 

anting 1 be Rens transformed Chen Hongshou's in unique ways, taking Chen's work as a point ol 
departure for new concerns with world!) pleasures. I he\ 
brought to late-nineteenth 1 entui 1 pail 
t.istr nl newly wealthy and sophistii ated townsp 
Ken Xun 


unusual, well-balanced composition of 1870 
by Zhu Shuyu shows Qinzhou, viewed from behind in 
profile, sitting on a riverbank as he waits to be ferried 
down the river. Only the thatched roof of his house 
appears in the lower right of the picture. 
Seal Shuyu 

Sitting outdoors on a rock next to a teapot. Qin- 
zhou tells a young boy a story of the cymbidium orchid 
that grows under a large rock. The setting is rendered in 

an excellent contrast of delicate and rough lines. But the 
painting's sweet, warm feeling is far more than a display 
of technical virtuosity. The work was executed in Shang- 
hai by Hu Yin, known as Juezhi. who was born in She 
County, Anhui Province. Hu and Zhang Gongjian, who 
came from Jiaxing, founded the Plum Pavilion Society 
for Calligraphy and Painting in Shanghai. Hu made trips 
to Suzhou and Hangzhou to study Buddhist art. which 
he later emulated with enormous success. 
Juezhi (Hu's nickname) 

: * rr 

Qinzhou, having just i tossed a bridge, walks 
toward the house built cm stilts along the opposite river- 
bank, various plants m flowerpots on the front platform 
mse indicate Qinzhou's cultivating skill. Revolv- 
ing around from tin- left are t"c k\ bills, and to the right 
the scene is enclosed by tall mountains ["his p 
, omposition was painted in the summei "l 18 
son ol llu Yin (see leal f) Hu riemei born in Poi 
Anhui), a specialist in plum .iikI Bowei painting 
lived in Shanghai and gained fame in lapan during 
several "I Ins travels there, 

Qinzhou meditates inside the house. Around the 
house, luxuriant vegetation is deliberately textured with 
light blue ink strokes. The work was executed 
in the seventh month of 1872 by one of the early Shang- 
ol painters, Wang Li (born in Wujiang, liangsu I, 
in his Shanghai studio. Wang practiced brush technique 
in the elaborate styles of I " '" (l598-l65 i ) 

and Yun Shouping (1633-1690). His remarkable gifts 
impressed Ins mentor, Zhang \iong(i8o3-iS.S' 
Shanghai school's key figure, who praised him tor bav 
D like iron." Ren Vi eat no. 11 was Plough 

affected In Wang's work, 

■ 1 Wang's mi kn.ime 

M Broad brushwork with dry ink and delicate col- 
ored hues captures the beauty of the landscape around 
Qinzhou's house as observed from a distance. The old 
trees in front of the house reinforce the harmony that is 
implied by the background of clouds and mists, moun- 
tain peaks, and fluid water. Zhu Cheng created this work 
in the fall of 1872. He began painting with his older 
brother Zhu Xiong (1801-1864), a native of Jiaxing, 
Zhejiang Province, and an accomplished artist in the 
Shanghai school. Later Cheng worked in Wang Li's radi- 
cal style in his flower and figure subjects, 
eal Chengyin (seal of Cheng) 

Leaf N Facing each other on seats in the tea room, 
Qinzhou and a servant carry on a conversation. Here the 
signature old trees appear on the right, and water runs 
to the left of the composition. The bamboo grove behind 
the lattice fence is meant to signify the hot season. The 
Suzhou painter Gu Yun presented this work to Qinzhou 
in the summer of 1874. Although he generally emulated 
the Qing court styles of the Four Wangs, Gu employed a 
freer, more spontaneous manner in this work. 

Gu made several trips to Japan and taught painting 
at private studios in Nagoya. His book, Forms and Styles 
of Southern School Painting, published while he was living 
in Nagoya, sparked an interest in the origin of Chinese 
painting among the Japanese. 3 

Ruobo (Gu's nickname) 

Sketched from an angle of looking down from 
the left, Qinzhou bends over a scholar's table to gaze at 
a flower vase in his house, which is covered, umbrella- 
like, by large willows. This dramatic composition is by 
Sha Fu, another Suzhou artist. 

Sha was a close friend of Ren Yi, who painted a 
portrait of him in 1868. 4 In fact, Sha's lasting friendships 
in Shanghai were with the Rens. He spent more time 
studying the Reus' works, especially paintings by Ren 
Xiong, than in any other art training. His practice was 
the foundation for his later development of figure paint- 
ing, in which he used fluid, curving lines to create soft 
contours and natural gestures. 
Seal Shanchun (Sha's nickname) 

Unlike the other works of this album, this 1879 
composition depfc ts Qinzhou's house within a dense sui 

rounding. Wat it begins ntai the light edge of the scene 
and continues past hills and midground bushes until it 
ends at haz] mountains in the bat kground. 1 he artist, 
Zhou \'< 'iiu- was clearly devoted to capturing the textural 
details ol mountain peaks. I be gifted Zhou, who died 
.11 age twent) eight, took calligraphy lessi ins from Gao 
Yi (1850-19.11) while studying the Foul Wangs styles ol 

the Orthodox scl I of thi eventeenth century. Ken Yi. 

( !ao Vi, and others enthusiastically admired Zhou 

which was remarkable incept and marvelous in ink, 

h nli the sui fai es built up with t< Zhou 

tble i" produ< e foui h in three 

111. ml I 

Zho 'i Zhou's mi kname 


Shanghai School Pail 

w ' * »T J] ^* * 




Qinzhou is portrayed in his thatched house. The 
garden is organized along diagonal walls, with a door on 
the left and stone stairways on the right. For foliage, colors 
and ink are reduced to light tonalities, suggesting the 
arrival of spring. Zhu Quan, born in the Jiading district 
of Shanghai, painted this in the second month of 1882. 
Landscape was the essence of Zhu Quan's expression. The 
influence of the Qing court artist Wang Hui (1632-1717) 
on Zhu's landscape endured throughout his career. Zhu 
used dense, textural strokes and dark ink, along with deli- 
cate colors. His mature landscapes were often mannered in 
composition and austere in execution. 
Zhu Quan zhiyin (seal of Zhu Quan) 

Leaf R Shuffling across a bridge toward a mountain gate, 
Qinzhou is featured as a woodcutter earning an ax on 
his shoulder. Ahead of him a stairway climbs up to his 
thatched house. The thick, mottled brushwork, the varied 
textural strokes, and the light, warm color tones are 
strongly oriented toward Northern Song (960-1126) land- 
scape models. Executed by Li Xiguang in 1884, this paint- 
ing exhibits the most complicated composition among 
these works for Qinzhou. A native of Hebei, Li lived in 
Nanjing, where he met Tang Yifen (1778-1853), an artist 
from Jiangsu. with whom Li experimented with incorpo- 
rating the characteristics of classical masters' work into his 
paintings, especially those of the Four Wangs of the seven- 
teenth century. Too few paintings by Li Xiguang survive to 
allow one to ascertain a direct influence on Tang Yifen. 

Gengjian (Li's nickname); Li Xiguang yin (seal of 
Li Xiguang); Laojianzhi er ma ("old, strong, and wise but 

Leaf S The mountain stream that in other paintings flows 
down the right appears here on the left. Inside the house, a 
flower vase on a charmingly centered small table symbol- 
izes the absent master. In this latest work in the album, 
dated 1884, Wu Guxiang applied gray ink in long, broad, 
flat strokes to depict the summer landscape. This work is 
a fine example of an unusual composition that the Jiaxing 
native Wu had made popular in Shanghai. 

In Beijing in 1892, Wu became acquainted with Weng 
Tonghe (1830-1904) and Wang Yirong (1845-1900). with 
whom he participated in a reform movement to modern- 
ize Chinese art. After the unsuccessful attempt, Wu moved 
to Shanghai and began to focus on the styles of the Ming 
educated elite and, later, Dai Xi (1801-1860); from both 
he learned how to translate depth and scale onto the sur- 
face of a painting. Wu Changshuo (cat. no. 15) described 
Wu Guxiang's art as capturing the "elegance of Wen 
Zhengming [1470-1559]" and the "spirit of Qiu Ying 
[approx. 1482-1559]." 5 
Seal Qiunong (Wu's nickname) 


Weng i 
Province) executed the tnst title i altigraph) in< lerical 
m ript: "Sceneries ol the Earthborn Cymbidium Orchid 
,1 llnusc.ii the request i hou, b) 

Ibnghe." Weng Ibnghe was well known foi his 
rank ol excellence .it the imperial examination in 1856 
and wis honored with several positions, ini ludi 
tary to the Grand Council in 1872 and [\itor to Emperoi 
Guangxu. Ml ol Ins peers considered il a great honor to 
have ' ' iphy. 

Seal Shuping (Weng's nickname) 

Leaf U Yu Yue (born in Deqing, Zhejiang Province) 
executed the set ond title calligraphy with the same 
content in .111 earlier seal script. Yu passed the (inshi 
degree in 1850 and served the court as lunior Compiler. 
His calligraphy, especially seal and clerical scripts, was 
avidly sought after by his contemporai 
Seals Yu Yue siyin ("private seal of Yu Yue"); Yin Fu 
(Yu's nickname) 

I Ik- same title was inscribed in seal script by Xu 
Sangengui the fourth month of 1872. Xu. a calligrapher 
from Shangyu, Zhejiang Province, admired and stud- 
ied the work of Zhao Zhiqian (cat. no. 8). This piece is 
one of Xu's least known, and yet it is of the same great 
lineage as the other two title calligiaphies, derived from 
the bronze-and-stone school. 
Seat Yuliang (probably Xu's nickname) hl 

- i* 


*+ fk. 

** «, 

.'. in Qingli. Zhongguo xiandui huihua -.hi. 

1840-19". 155 
[bid., 72. 

Ibid.. 38. 
Ibid.. 159. 
Ibid.. 40. 

o Scenes in Yangzhou. 1876 

By XuGu (1824-1896) 

Album, ink and colors on paper, set of twelv 

H. 38.3 x w. 52.5 cm each 

Collection of the Shanghai Museum 

This set of twelve small sketches depicts different sea- 
sons and locales in Yangzhou, a town on the bank of the 
Yangzi, downstream from Nanjing in Jiangsu Province. 
The artist Xu Gu has painted several of the city's famous 
scenic spots as personal gifts to Gao Yi (1850-1921), 
who served as district magistrate in Jiangsu Province and 
was a core figure in Shanghai art circles. Many artists 
came from cities such as Nanjing, Yangzhou, Suzhou, 
and Guangdong but were based in Shanghai; Xu Gu 
himself was a native of Yangzhou. Some of these artists 
were leaders in attempts to integrate Chinese traditional 
methods with elements from Western art. 

Xu Gu's sketchlike execution omits details and tends 
toward free brushwork and loose compositions. As seen 
in the plants in this album set, he frequently combined 
spontaneous brushwork with economical use of dry ink. 
In his landscapes he balanced heavy and dense elements 
by setting them against empty backdrops. His use of 
color is subdued and often diffused. 

As a youth, Xu Gu served in a local military defense 
unit that was involved in the Taiping Rebellion (1851- 
1864). With no wish to follow the Qing court's campaign 
against the rebellion, he escaped from the army in 

1852, seeking seclusion in a Buddhist temple on Mount 
Jiuhua in Anhui Province. Xu Gu referred to his monk's 
life as being nonvegetarian and nonworshipping of the 
Buddha — merely a self-indulgence in calligraphy and 
painting. Beginning in the 1860s, he traveled frequently 
between Yangzhou, Suzhou, and Shanghai and was 
accepted into Shanghai art circles. His painting and cal- 
ligraphy sold well in the tourist area around the Guandi 
Temple, in western Shanghai. Quiet and a loner, Xu Gu 
had only a few friends, though his relationships with 
Gao Yi, Hu Yuan, and Ren Yi remained warm through- 
out his later years. 

Xu Gu stands apart from the Shanghai artistic circle 
focused around the Rens; his painting style recalls the 
concise compositions of the monk-painter Hong Ren 
(1610-1683), a master of the Xin'an school. In fact, the 
Xin'an school was established by a group of seventeenth- 
century artists of the educated elite from Anhui, where 
Xu Gu spent time in refuge as a Buddhist monk. Later 
in his life Xu studied traditional Anhui woodblock 
prints and works by Yangzhou artists such as Hua Yan 


Flourishing bamboo grove 
Hit' original garden ol this house, called Shouzhi Yuan, 
was planted between 1692 and 1707 by the monk-artist 
Shi Tao (1642-1707), who had journeyed on fool into 
the mountains of Anhui. Shi Tao was a well-known artist 
and art theorist who painted in the manner of the Xin'an 
school. A wealthy nineteenth-century salt merchant later 
extended the garden into a dense bamboo grove in the 
form of the character gc (i^) — said to resemble a leafing 
stock of bamboo— and renamed the garden Ge Yuan. 

Nti>islii</i fcni; c ncJiiiMg (Thatched Cottage on 57 Peaks) 

1 E Old palace on silvery background 
Seal Sanshiqi feng 1 aotane | I batched Cottage on 37 

LeafC Thatched cottage under the light of earl) dawn 
Seal Xu Cu 

Leaf D House among clouds and green foliage 
Seal Xu Cu 

Leaf E Writing in a house by willows 
Seal Xu On 


I Thatched cottage with bamboo fence and mulberries 
Sanshiqi feng caotang (Thatched Cottage on 37 Peaks) 

Old temple sounds bells 
Seal Xu Gu 

I Icimits in autumn fori i 
Inscription Late masters mockingly compare themselves 
to wooded foliage. I as autumn wind blows day by day; 
only sparser and sparser. 

Seal Xu Gu 

Idling away in the shadows of shrubs 
Sanshiqi feng caotang (Thatched Cottage on 37 Peaks) 

it J Gazing into the distance from among reeds 
and arrowheads 

ion Leisure/); up on a slab bridge to look into the open, 
vast space. I In sight is boundless autumn water, overflowing 
reeds, and arrowheads. 
Seal Xu Gu 

Slow boating on blue lake 
Sanshi qifengcao tang (Thatched Cottage on 37 Peaks) 

ii L Surviving bamboo in early winter 

For the refined judgment of Master Yuzlu 
[Gao Yi], / His Excellency. Xu Gu in summer oftheyear 
bingzi [1876] 
Seal XuGu HL 

••• ■; »;•• -it. i»t 

Feng Gengshan, 1877 

By Ren Yi (1840-1896) 

Hanging scroll, ink on paper 

h. 127.4 * w - 55-2 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Museum 

Ren Yi, also known as Ren Bonian, created this por- 
trait of Feng Gengshan as a farewell memento for Feng 
before he journeyed to Japan in 1877.' The inscriptions 
on this painting are by four artists who were natives of 
either Shanghai or adjacent Jiaxing and Hangzhou. They 
indicate that Feng was closely associated with artistic 
circles in Shanghai. Three of the inscriptions were added 
by Hu Yuan (1823-1886), Zhang Xiong (1803-1886), 
and Wu Gan (active mid- to late nineteenth century); all 
were known to have earned their living selling artwork 
in Shanghai. The fourth artist, Chen Honggao (?-i884), 
traveled through Japan during his later years and prom- 
ised Feng they would make a trip there together. 

Ren Yi portrays his subject concentrating on a book 
in his left hand, leaning his right arm on rocks by water. 
The precisely drawn face, crisp outlines — some showing a 
triangular fold or a nail-like tip— sensitive shadows on the 
robe, and dark texture-strokes on the rocks lend the work 
a sense of reverence and peace. 

Born in Shanyin, Zhejiang Province, Ren settled 
in Shanghai with Hu Yuan's help during the winter of 
1868. Ren Yi found the new environment so inspiring 
that he began to move in a different direction in his 
painting. Some scholarship suggests that from 1872 to 
1S77 Ren Yi received training in sketching models at the 
Tushanwan Art School in the Xujiahui district^ There 
he learned methods of chiaroscuro, a step toward creat- 
ing his individual style. New acquaintances, including 
Xu Gu (cat. no. 10), Pu Hua (1832-1911), Wu Changshuo 
(cat. no. 15), and Gao Yi, shared their insights, experi- 
ences, and art collections, all of which contributed to 
Ren's painting technique.' His study of the works of Bada 
Shanren (1626-1705) and Hua Yan (1682-1756) were aJso 
key to his artistic development. His figure works com- 
pleted after 1872 show flowing, concise lines and washed 
shadows. Less evident is the line with a "nail-head and a 

mouse-tail" that Ren Yi employed during the 1860s. 4 The 
elaborate forms he used earlier became diluted, focused 
instead on expression and movement of the figure. 

The youngest yet most influential of the "four Rens" 
of the Shanghai school, Ren Yi was very involved in art 
training. He instructed a number of later prominent 
artists, including Chen Shizeng (1876-1923), Qi Baishi 
(1864-1957), Wang Zhen (cat. no. 17), and Pan Tianshou 

signature Bonian Ren Yi painted on the full-moon day of the 

lunar ninth month, the year dingchou of the Guangxu reign 


Seal Tiyin (seal of Yi) 

Colophons, from upper right 

By Hu Yuan 

A small portrait of Gengshan, Master Feng recites old poetry 
by flowing streams. Inscribed by Hu Gongshou from 
Huating, in fall, the ninth month of the year dingchou 

A poem by Chen Mantao (nickname of Honggao), cal- 
ligraphy by Tang lingchang 

A vast stretch of open mountains with barely a human trace — 

off and on between the gates birds chirp pleasantly. 

You, outstanding master, sit here alone, 

ho/ding a scroll, your mind at peace. 

A delightful breeze on this spring day, 

as streams whistle through the rocks. 

The flowing water sounds harmoniously, 

clear and ringing as tumbling jade. 

The secular life is bitter, uneasy. 

Poverty makes your red face haggard. 

Itching for decades of reading, 

the spirit of the late sages infuses your modest soul. 

You, humble gentleman, diligent to study the classics, 


resolve knotty problems on meager earnings. 

\ promise at farewell by mountain peaks. 

we shall travel hand in hand. 

For Gengshan, my dear friend. A poem by Master 
Chen, Manshou. written on a request by Xunbo 
Tang/ingchang, middle winter season o/the 

iiriljchou (1877]. 

By Zhang Xiong 

W hile rei iting a raoisl scroll, 

sitting on a rw fe to !i :ten to a /lowing stream, 

concerns of secular affairs are all washed out. 
Such a man is a true supernatural being. 
For your refined inspection, Gengshan, my dear 
friend. A 75-year elder Zixiang Zhang Xiong. 

By Wu Can 

With u volume in your hand among sounds 

of flowing water. 
Vigorous-looking yet still displaying a gi 1 

The times we used to drink together at the 

imperial sen-ice in the capital— 
remi mlnr. fourteen years have already pa 

J he sixth day after frost, inscribed by /utan 

Wu Can. 

1 Ding Xiyuan, Ren Bonian, 57. 

> Ding Xiyuan, Ren Be, man renwu hua zongshu." 56. 

lingxian, Ren Bonian qiren qm." 57 112. 
4 Shan Guolin, "Lun Haisbang huapai," 512. 

: Morning Sun Rising Over the Sea, 1891 

By Wu Qingyun (1845-1916) 

Hanging scroll, ink and colors on paper 

h. 32.0 x w. 33.6 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Museum 

This painting of a sunrise scene heralds a new direction 
for the painter Wu Qingyun. Wu has taken advantage of 
the morning light, choosing a low point of view below 
the range of mountains to effectively highlight sun- 
shine above ocean waves. In style and technique, this 
picture is characteristic of Wu's blending of Chinese 
and Western. He followed the traditional composition 
for landscapes, laying out rocky hills from opposite 
directions and leaving the central space for water. The 
foreground mountains with their detailed foliage are 
rendered in traditional texture strokes to give weight 
and substance. In his inscription, Wu describes the 
brushwork as being in the manner of the fourteenth- 
century painter Wang Meng. But Wu mastered certain 
aspects of coloring with an impressive skill not seen in 
Wang Meng's art. Using a light touch of red between the 
mountains, and covering the sky with grayish blue tones 
to suggest the amount of sunlight, Wu conveyed the 
sensation of sunrise. 

A native of Nanjing, young Wu Qingyun made his 
way to Shanghai, where his works were openly inspired 
by the Four Wangs of the seventeenth-century Orthodox 
school. One source has suggested that a trip to Japan in 
the 1890s or even earlier greatly influenced Wu's paint- 
ing. 1 Wu gradually turned away from the style of the 
Four Wangs, employing instead a combination of two 
extremes: Western watercolors and a classical Chinese 
technique associated with Mi Fu (1051-1107) and Gao 
Kegong (1248-1310). From Western watercolors and 
Impressionism he borrowed the use of diluted ink and 

color to make gradations of sky and sunshine in convey- 
ing the quality of natural light. In contrast, he main- 
tained traditional brushwork to draw mountains with 
dark layers of dots in the style of Mi Fu. 

Wu applied this work's depiction of water and cot- 
tage to two other paintings dated 1901 and 1914, also 
in the Shanghai Museum collection.- His sun and sea 
remain unique, rich in color and strong in contrast, 
effectively capturing brilliant light. His new versions 
met with success in the export market of this time 
and were especially favored by Guangdong merchants. 
In contemporary criticism, Wu Qingyun is generally- 
considered one of the most distinctive Chinese land- 
scape painters to employ Western methods in modern 


Morning sun rising over the sea 

To my kind brother Master Ziyou for correction 

After the brushwork ofHuanghe shanqiao [Wang Meng, 

Autumn oj the year xinmao [1891], Wu Shiqian [nick- 
name] in Bairia. 

Seal Qingyun yin (seal of Qingyun) hl 

1 Ding Xiyuan and Hui Laiping, Zhonggiio jindai minghuajia 
tujian, pi. 6. 

2 Shan Guolin, Preface, pis. 69 and 70. 

3 Xue Yongnian, "Bai'nian shanshuihua zhi bianlun gang," 3. 


3 Detail from Illustrations of the 
Antique Collection ofKezhai, 1892 

By Lu Hui (1851-1920) and Hu Qinhan (active late 19th c.) 

One of two handscrolls, ink and colors on silk 

h. 41.5 x w. 1696.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Museum 

This painting illustrates a scene in the residence of 
Wu Dacheng, also known as Kezhai (1835-1902), 
an art collector, seal carver, and calligrapher originally 
from Suzhou. Wu, a member of the Qing bureaucracy 
who served as governor of Guangdong and Hunan 
provinces, is best known for his studies of ancient 
Chinese art. His association with Shanghai began as 
early as 1862, when he became one of the twenty-four 
members of the Duckweed Society for Calligraphy and 
Painting. This society was located in the Guandi Temple, 
near the Yu Garden. 1 From the late nineteenth through 
the early twentieth century, several art societies were 
established in the temple, and it served as an intimate 
milieu for members to create, trade, and comment on 
their own artworks. 

In addition to creating artwork for friends, Wu 
compiled catalogues of his collections. This painting. 
Illustrations of the Antique Collection ofKezhai, or Kezhai 

jigu tu, presents a survey of his collection, with a focus 
on significant ritual vessels from the Bronze Age. Several 
examples are shown here with Wu's annotations. 

The fifty-eight-year-old (according to the Chinese 
lunar calendar) Wu Dacheng is depicted as an elegant 
gentleman being served tea by a young servant in a pri- 
vate setting. In his inscription on the left of the painting, 
Wu Hufan (1894-1968) states that Hu Qinhan painted 
the face of Wu Dacheng while Lu Hui executed the 
clothes, vessels, and surroundings. 

Little is known about the life of Hu Qinhan, but Lu 
Hui— like Wu Dacheng — came from Suzhou. He was 
known for his paintings of landscapes and domestic 
interiors. Chinese texts describe Lu as having mastered 
the style and technique of Wang Meng (1308-1385), 
one of the major artists of the Yuan dynasty. ' Wu and Lu 
became good friends at their first meeting, and Wu let 
Lu study his entire collection; he also generously eased 


Lu's financial burdens. Lu Hui later became the central 

person in various famous art salons of the educated elite 
in Shanghai. 

1. In the ■> 1140, at the request of Wu Hufan, 
Wang Tongyu (1855-1941 1, the liangxi |irovincial educa- 
tion commissioner, wrote the title 1 alligraphy, Illustra- 
tions of the Antique Colled Kezhai jigu hi). 

2. The inscription in 1936 by Wu Dacheng's adopted 
grandson, Wu Hufan. attributes the arl to Hu Qinhan and 
Lu Hui. whose seal appeals on the painting. Wu Hufan 

1 ounted up the 1 mini in ol vessels surrounding Kezhai, a 
total of thirty, to all of which he added thi titli 

istsi ripl by the Imperial 1 ditoi Wang Yirong 
(1845-1900). recorded in 1892, says thai Wu Da 
shared this work with him when Wu came to the capital 

to attend the ceremony for his inauguration at court 
as the governor of Hunan. Wang expressed his admira- 
tion and respect for Wu's studies in the classics. As an 
example, this handscroll is an assemblage ol Kezhai's 
portrait and rubbings ot the antiques that Kezhai had 
collei ted over thirty years. 

/ 11 Hui sum ("private seal ofLu I 

huwu i"l ibrary with 
a View ol Plums," the name ol Wu Hufan's studio); 
Gongzhuan cebaqyin Ron in reverent seal 

script for registering treasures," Wang Yirong's seal ) 

tin, I mi Haishang huapai 
1 1 elm tsing and Wan Qingli, Thongguojdandai huihua shi. 

mm\\ [ii L " 



teemed Wu lunqing 

at Age Sixty 

Hanging scroll, ink on paper 
H. 120..' 


This painting is another example "I the shared appre< ia 
tion, respe unication among one circle ol 

Shanghai .utisis. Ni Ran created tins portrait tor the 
group's senior member, Wu lunqing, bettei known by 
his nickname, Changshuo. Wu, who had just turned 
sixty-six when this work was painted, along with Ren Yi 
and Zhu Cheng (1826-1900), were the people who most 
influenced Ni's art and career in Shanghai. The work 
was probably painted in 1910, the same year that Ni Tian 

the executive secretary of the Shanghai Society 
for Calligraphy and Painting, in which Wu Changshuo 
was a core figure. Wu was also involved in several associ- 
ated societies. 

Ni Tian depicts Master Wu as a gentleman wear- 
ing the traditional clothing of China's educated elite: 
a full-length robe over baggy trousers and shoes with 
a trapezoidal toe box. Smoking a tobacco pipe held in 
his lelt hand, Wu strolls through stone caves, suggested 
b\ high rocks above and behind him. Ni's brushwork is 
evenly textured, and his lines are of uniform density and 
smoothness. The same structural approach is evident in 
the works of Ni's early instructor, Wang Su (1794-1877), 
and. later, those of Ren Yi (cat. no. 11). 

Born in [iangdu, liangsu Province, the young Ni Tian 
began to stud) painting with the Yangzhou nan.. 

Su (also known as Xiaomei). a painter of figures and Bow- 
ers who followed the Styli m school artist 
Hua Yan (1823-1886). Ni once even signed his teacher 
Wang Su's name on a painting, which he forged tor selling. 
Once the hoax was exposed, Wang's reputation 
aged, and Ni was immediately driven out of Wang's studio. 
Ni Tian left Yangzhou and settled in Shanghai, where he 
had no connections or suppirt. A painting of his displayed 
in Eront "t Cuixiu Hall in Yu Garden caught the eye of 
Ron Yi, who invited Ni to his home and into his Shanghai 
circle. Inspired by Reus work, Ni reestablished himsell 
as a painter of figural subjects and gained a reputation 
among his contemporaries. 

Inscription A small portrait of Guandaoren [ Wu's nickname] 
at age 66, on your request, in addition to a scenic background, 
Ni Mogeng [Ni's nickname]. 

Vfogene 1 Ni's ni< kname); Ni Tian zhryin ! "seal oi 
Ni nan") hl 

Red plum blossoms. 1916 

By Wu Changshuo (1844-1927) 
Hanging scroll, ink and colors on paper 
11. 159.2 ■ w. 7 6 
Collection <>t the Shanghai Museum 

This impressive exuberance of red blossoms and 
interlaced branches reveals the technical assurance Wu 
Changshuo had achieved by the time he painted it at 
age seventy-two. Wu was a distinctive artist who applied 
the lessons of calligraphy to flower painting; in fact, he 
blended the four classics of poetry, calligraphy, paint- 
ing, and seal carving. Instead of illustrating the flowers' 
delicacy, he demonstrated their graphic structure with 
deliberate calligraphic strength. 

Born in Anji, Zhejiang Province, Wu matured into 
one of the foremost artists in Shanghai, where he had 
settled in 1912 and remained until his death at age 
eighty-three. He was a scholar of bronze-and-stone 
inscriptions, following in the footsteps of his mentor, 
Zhao Zhiqian (cat. no. 8); he was also a master painter 
of the Shanghai school in the style of Ren Yi (cat. no. 
11), to whom Wu was apprenticed during his fifties. Ren 
Yi, judging Wu's plum and bamboo paintings inferior, 
advised Wu to "use seal script to draw flowers, and cur- 
sive script to outline stems." Upon hearing this advice, 
Wu worked even harder and went to Ren's home every- 
day for critique. 1 

Wu's self-estimate was modest: "I do the best in 
bronze and stone [seals], the second in calligraphy, the 
third in flower painting, but [I am] a layman in land- 
scape.'^ Ironically, it was his paintings, not other works, 
that fetched high prices. His close friend, the art critic 
Zheng Wuchang (1894-1952), noted that Japanese mer- 
chants made enormous profit by selling copies of Wu's 
paintings they brought from Shanghai.' 

A poem the artist inscribed on the upper left reveals his 

enthusiasm for painting plums. 

An iron wish-granting wand [ruyi] brofee corals into pieces 

[implying: My ruyi-like brush-pen splashes plum petals] 

Blowing east wind to scatter plums' pistils 

[implying: Ink on my pen is like wind flying off dot 

With whom can f share such spindled joy under a thatched 

Painting plums produces the same excitement as from 

bronze vessels. 
1, Kutie daoren, value plums as a bosom friend. 
[Kutie daoren literally means "bitter iron" and "Taoist 

priest"; both were Wu's nicknames.] 
In front of plums. 1 paint out long branches, 
And rosy petals chase up squiggling twigs for a dance, 
Using complete energy [to paint] as climbing up mountains 

and rocks. 
[I] used to visit brothels for drink and hedonism. 
There [I] stole rose powder to make colors [for paintingj. 
Rose-powder liquid that nurtures spring in Jiangnan [the 

south of Yangzi] 
Should not be restricted to a maple root in a hall. 
[implying: Paintings should be exposed to the world but 

not merely inside a studio] 
fnfe splashed in the summer, the fourth month of the lunar 

year bingchen [1916], briefly after brushworfe 0/ 

Huazhi siseng [Luo Pin, 1733-1799]. Wu Changshuo. 

Seals [unqing zhiyin (seal of lunqing, Wu 
Changshuo's nickname); Changshuo; Wuxu Wu 
("Wu without mission") HL 

Zheng Yimei, "Youguan Ren Bonian de ziliao," 1-2. 
Hui Lan. "Haipai huihua de jindaixing jiqi chuantong 
neifaxing yanjiu," 735"73&- 
Zheng Wuchang. Zliongguo huavue quanshi, 387. 



4. A 


4r ^ y™ 




At *.£ 

Huang Jinrong and Du Yuesheni 

In Yu Ming 1 1884-1935) 

5( roll, ink anil 1 olor-, .m paper 
11. 98.9 ■ w. |i jcm 
. oil 1 tion ol tin- Shanghai Musi urn 

This work by Yu Ming is the only known surviving por- 
trait "t the two most powerful chieftains ol tin- Shanghai 
nil. : world of the 1920s and 1930s. Theii relationship, 
based on shared ambitions to control the city's economic 
and political power, contributed to the complex nature 
of Shanghai society. However, lor this composition, the 
artist was not concerned by all ol the charged issues. The 

11 mg light-colored, long robes, gather casually 
111 a tasteful garden with clusters of bamboo and pine 
trees, symbolic of a lasting, staunch friendship. Sitting 
on rocks, Huang Jinrong (1868-1953) rests his left arm 
on the gnarled roots of an old pine tree; to his right his 
nineteen-year junior, Du Yuesheng (1887-1951), poses 
modestl) with his hands in his lap. In the light glow of 
daytime, the garden si ene evokes serenirj in reflecting a 
sense of the men's mutual trust and understanding. 

As a twelve-year-old. Huang Jinrong moved with 
his family from Suzhou to Shanghai. His father then 
established a teahouse near Yu Garden and sent the 
voting bo\ to the Cuihua Studio to learn paper mount- 
ing. 1 here Huang most likely became acquainted with 
busincsspeople, the educated elite, and artists from 
all classes. In 1892 Huang took up a new career in the 

n ilt. 1 being recruited to the police 

station in the French Concession. Du Yuesheng began 
his apprenticeship in a fruit guild at age sixteen. In 1911. 
seeking protection, he entered the same gangs that 
Huang belonged to. Huang and Du. along with Zhang 
Xiaolin (1877-1940), swore an alliance as brothers and 
founded San Xin (Three Gold) Company in 1925. Under 
the protective umbrella ol Huang, who was by then the 

I missioner in the FrenchO '! 

sum. the business grew rapid!) to ini lude joi ki 
bathing pools, theaters and 1 in hanks. 

industry, transportation, and the especially lui 
importing and selling ol opium. Their w.uh profit of 

million dollars earned them the mik 
name of the "Three Shanghai Tycoons." 

To pursue expanding business oppoi 1 
provided Chiang Kai shek (1887-1975)— commander 
11I militar) forces ol the national government and later 
the ' entral figure in the Nationalist Party, the Guomin- 
dang— with a superior financial base, which enabled 
Chiang to keep his opponents divided. In 1927 Chiang in 
1111 n appointed Du to be a military adviser to the navy, 
army, and air force; and Huang a major-general adviser 
to general headquarters. 

Yu Ming probably created this portrait as a commis- 
sion, to commemorate preparing for the founding of San 
Xin Company. The Wuxing-native artist began training 
in watercolor and drawing in Shanghai. Yu assimilated 
the popular styles of Chen Hongshou (1598-1652) 
and Ren Yi (cat. no. 11) and pursued refined, el 
brushwork known in Chinese as thegongbi style. Study- 
ing figure paintings by the two masters enhanced Yu's 
awareness of the capacity of facial expression, gesture, 
demeanor, and surroundings to communicate themes. 
One particulai commission made him famous. On a rec- 
ommendation from Jin Cheng (1878-1926), a member 
of Parliament under the Republican government , Yu 
went to Beijing to paint a portrait of Yuan Shik.u. the 
short-lived president (served October 1913-Iune 1916).' 
This work established Yu Ming's reputation for portrai- 
ture. He also painted historical figures as well as com- 
missions foi members of high society. Although at the 
tune the delicate gongbi style was not in favor. Yu Ming 
chose it for this portrait to convey dignity. 

Small portraits of Mr. Huang Jinrong and Du 
ninted b) W Ming the middle 
autumn in the year jiazi [i9 2 4l- 

in Ming HL 

1 LiClm tsing and Wan Qingli, Zhongguo xiandai huihua shi. 



Pang Yuanji Holding a Rabbit, 1927 

:hen ' 1X67-1938) 
Hanging scroll, ink and colors on paper 
H. L36.6 ■ » 69.0 1 m 

Collection oi the Shanghai Museum 

In this painting Pang Yuanji (1864-1949), a renowned 
Shanghai businessman, is presented as a virtuous 
gentleman holding a rabbit in the center of a garden 
of plum trees. 

Known in Chinese literature for its attributes of 
hardiness, vitality, purity, and faithfulness, the winter 
plum is considered a symbol of virtue. In Taoism it is 
often associated with the moon, as if the two together 
could yield powerful energy. According to Taoist texts, 
the secret recipe for combining the plum and the moon 
was known only to the jade rabbit, the servant of the 
moon goddess. When worship of Taoism reached its 
peak during the twelfth century, this subject matter 
was commonly depicted in a pictorial composition with 
plums under the moon, or with rabbits under flowering 
trees and the moon. 

Wang Zhen, a Buddhist, deliberately transformed 
this traditional theme into a realistic depiction of a liv- 
ing person while retaining the subject's meaning. Using 
rabbits — one held by the central figure, two others play- 
ing beside the rocks — and plum blossoms in contrasting 
white and pink as symbols, the artist expressed both his 
personal devotion and a sense of warmth and peace. 

Active throughout his life in finance and business, 
Wang Zhen was best known as an artist for his leader- 
ship role in the Shanghai school. At age fifteen Wang 
studied painting with Xu Xiaocang, a disciple of Ren 
Yi (cat. no. 11), at Yichun Gallery, where he began as a 
painting-mount maker. Xu soon introduced him to Ren 
Yi and Wu Changshuo, who gave him advice on brush 
technique. 1 

Pang Yuanji, the subject of this work, began a silk- 
weaving enterprise in Hangzhou before 1902 and later 
moved to Shanghai, where he cofounded the paper- 

manufacturing Dragon-Seal Company; he served as the 
company's president until 1937. Successful in banking 
and in running a pawnshop and businesses of wine, rice, 
and medicine. Pang had already established himself as 
an important art patron and collector when Wang Zhen 
painted this work in 1927. By that time Wang, then 
chairman of the Shanghai Commercial Association, had 
acquired the ability to display rhythmic strength through 
his brushwork. Wang and Pang are considered to have 
been largely responsible for the promotion of art in 
early-twentieth-century Shanghai. 

1. The inscription on the right is a poem by Wang Zhen. 
Age and enlightened being enjoy the vital spring; holding 
the rabbit. Xuzhai [Pang Yuanji's nickname] speaks of joy 
and warmth. Fragrant plums under cypress shadows will 
leave a trace; auspicious clouds welcome new arrivals at the 
door. Bailong shanren [WangZhen's nickname] painted 

in Haiyun lou [Ocean-Cloud Pavilion], the newyearof 
dingmao [1927]. 

Wang Zhen dali ("great fortune to Wang Zhen"); 
Yiting (Wang Zhen's nickname) 

2. A long inscription on the upper left by Wu Changshuo 
describes Xuzhai; celebrating-long-life being [who] holds 
the jade rabbit in his immortal hands; sets foot on the way to 
the celestial palace. 

{Curie ("bitter iron," Wu Changshuo's nickname) 

Li Chu-tsing and Wan Qingli, Zhongguo xiandai hu 
1912-1949, 14-16. 


Plum blossoms under the moon, 1933 

By Tao Lengyue (1895-1985) 

Hanging scroll, ink and light colors on paper 

H. 24(1.0 * W. 123.8 cm 

Collection "I the Shanghai Museum 

The full moon gets a unique treatment in this painting by Tao Lengyue, 
one thai is relevant to its symbolism of virtue, peace, and eternity. Taos 
distim tive work with ink and composition transformed this popular 
topic of traditional painting. He used ink and colors to fill shadows with 
reflected light: pure black or bluish gray here, whitish gray or green- 
ish gray there. The dramatic dark branches against moonlight show 
the influence of Western art. The moon's soft, cold light reinforces 
the poetic atmosphere of the painting. Tao did not show the entire 
tree from roots to tips; instead, he cut out the lower trunk, giving the 
impression that the upper part was stretching into the vaulting blue. 
The artist sought to capture the effects of moonlight on floating clouds 
and interlacing pronged branches not usually found in traditional 
depictions of moonlit scenes. 

Born to a family of the educated elite in Suzhou, Tao (whose origi- 
nal given name was Shanyong) consistently ranked among the best stu- 
dents at art and literature during his boyhood. He and schoolmates Wu 
Hufan (1894-1968) and Yan Wenliang (1894-1988) began painting with 
ink in Suzhou elementary school. Tao first became exposed to West- 
ern art at age eighteen when teaching at the Wuxian county school. 
From 1918 to 1921 he taught in Yali University, a private institution 
in Changsha, Hunan Province. There he was given a new name — 
Lengyue or "Cold Moon' — in honor of his painting specialty, night 
scenes under the moon. After returning to Suzhou, he was frequently 
invited to assume teaching and administrative positions at various uni- 
versities, including National Jinan (Zhejiang), Nanjing College of Arts, 
and Sichuan University. By the time he turned thirty, Tao had found 
success as a "Chinese-and-Western blender" in his first solo painting 
exhibition in Wuxi. Tao was then selected to present paintings at the 
World Fairs in London, Philadelphia, and Tokyo. Tao refused to serve 
under the Japanese military government during the Japanese occupa- 
tion of Shanghai, which began in 1937. 

Tao's later years were darkened by the One Hundred Flowers Move- 
ment, which eventually gave way to the anti-rightists' purge in the late 
1950s. As measures against intellectuals grew harsher, Tao was charged 
with being a "rightist," and his art lost favor among the academies. Not 
until 1978, at age eighty-three, could Tao Lengyue show his art again. 1 
Recently, his cold moon works have been rediscovered and praised as 
distinctive art that introduced Western techniques to twentieth-century 
Chinese painting. His ink, with its loose, expressive brushstrokes that 
heighten light and shade, has been particularly lauded. 2 

Signature By Lengyue Tao, the winter of the year kuiyou [ 1933 ] 

Seals Wuliu houren ("descendant of five willows," Taos nickname ): 
Wumen Tao Yong huaji ("painted and recorded by Tao Yong [his original 
name] from the Wu school"); Xinji shuangqing ("tranquil and unper- 
turbed spiritually and physically") HL 

Zou Mianmian. "Tao Lengyue nianbiao." 263. 

Lang Shaojun. "Ershi shiji shanshuihua de chengyu bian." 27. 


Bird .mil flowei blossoms 1943 

B) Xie Zhiliu 1910 199 

1 1 1 1 1 ■ 1 t . - 51 it'll ink and colors "11 p tpei 

Collect! F the Shanghai Muse 

Born in Wujin, liangsu Province, Xie Zhiliu spent most ol Ins 
1 areet in Shanghai, where he was known foi his works in the ua 
ditional medium ol ink and color 1 guohua I. I ike man) ( Ihinese 
flower-and bud paintings, this work is steeped in symbolism. 

I In' |>.l|io\. 1 I'd 1 ainrlli.i I 'loss s ol spiniL'. stmngh nasi 

with the white-lobed winter plum petals. A 1 one shaped mck 
between the trees in the center "I the picture prov ides .1 coun- 
terpoint of color and shape. Ait 1. u 1 rd In tlir beautiful Sowers, 
a Chinese wagtail, .1 huamei whit li literally means "painted 

eyes" — has perched on a plum branch, as it in 1 thei olorful 

blossiiiiis in .111 exuberant celebration ol a new ieasi m 

Xie's 1 urvai runs Ini iiis and high key colois are dislini 
u\e elements ol his Hi iw 11 and bird paintings. His fascination 
with this gen re lav 111 Ins obsession with plums thai began in 
the late 1020s. He explored the realistic depit lions ol \u Xi, a 
tenth 1 iiiiim Bowel painter known lor his luomo, "putting ink" 
technique, in winch ink or coloi was directly applied to paint 
stems, leaves, or petals, then overlapped with dark ink or colors 
to highlight veins or calyxes. In 1930 Xie turned his focus to 
thud lines and bright color schemes, especially those of Chen 
Hongshou (1598-1652), whose plum painting he purchased and 
intensively copied.' In 1937 his red Camellia was exhibited at the 
Second National Art Exhibition in Nanjing and gained for the artist 
his first critical recognil 

During the Sino -lapanese War. Xie retreated inland to 
Chongqing. Sichuan, w hire he served as a secretary for the Cus- 
tom Altai is I MIh i' ol tlir . eiitral government under the Nation 
alist Party. In 1942 Xie received .1 letter from Zhang Daqian 
(1899-1983), who invited Xie to join him in Dunhuang, an early 
Buddhist site in the northwest. Resigning from the government 
and from teaching, Xie spent about a year with Zhang, studying 
and documenting the arts in the Buddhist caves in Dunhuang. 
Sketching the main wall paintings there had a momentous 
effect on Xie's painting. He executed this work during his stay 111 
Lanzhou as he returned to Sichuan via Cansu and Shaanxi. Xie 
devoted the test ol his hie to art appraisal, connoisseurship, and 

After Zhang Daqian lett China in 1949. the two lost contact 
with each other until 1973, when they were able to correspond 
through Hong Kong. Although Xie did not create this work for 
his mentor, 11 remains a reminder of the contributions the two 
painters made to the fields of art history and consen 

Signature For the re/iniil judgment oj the revered Mr. rirun, 

\j. Zhiliu on visiting / unzhou, Um 27 oj the yeai kuiwei 1 1943]. 

Seals AZhi (Xie's nil kname); Liubaiyi ("Liu's while 1 
I. iiri iinii-i swallow") HL 

1 Zheng Wen, Xie Zhiliu nianbiao," u 

Shanghai Si hool Pail 85 

20 Beauty holding a mirror, approx. 1950-1965 

By lin Fengmian (1900-1991) 
Ink .mil colon mi paper 
H. 66.4 « w. 66.4 . in 

Collection "I the Shanghaj Museum 

In tins painting, .1 seated woman adjusts her hair while 
sin holds a bronze mirror in her left hand. The artist, 
Lin Fengmian, adopted methods from Western Post- 
impressionism that the majority "I Ins contemporary 
Chinese art critics took longer to accept. Instead of 
using the dense strokes and empty space that built up 
texture and perspective in traditional painting, Lin 
employs simple tinework and Hat application of color. 
The tension in this scene is heightened by the woman's 
gossamer garment, its fused gray shades seen through 
thin lines. The curtain glimmers behind her, enabling 
the viewer to sense the morning sunlight. On the floor 
where she sits are a rug and a pillow with woven pat- 
terns in eggshell green and ultramarine, a treatment that 
often took precedence over motifs of plants and water. 
The unrealistic loose structure, the close-up format 
of the woman's body, and the disproportionate (lower 
vase give this work decorative appeal and directness, 
different trom either Chinese formal ancestral portraits 
or narrative paintings. 

Lin Fengmian was one of few Chinese artists to 
study at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Dijon, and 
its studio in Paris, where he spent the years between 
1920 and 1926. His experiences in Europe lightened 
Lin's linear organization and palette and provided him 
a new treatment of the female form that combined 
realism with abstraction. Lin sought to reconcile his 
!' mil' hgures with the nubile and fluid gestures seen 
in the works of Modigliani and Matisse. Yet his figures 
are not simply imitations but rather distillations ol 
many aspects of the old and the modern. Western and 
1 Inn. .1 . With thin, upward brows and painted lines 
from eyebrows down along the nose bridge, the faces of 
his figures are delicately simplified, like the makeup for 
theatrical characters. Although in 1927 Lin dismissed 

Chinese operas as "only old playthings, not of u < 
became his sole entertainment in the early 1950s, when 
In lived 111 Shanghai and taught at the branch school of 
the Central Academy. Lin then depicted his models in 
the white tulle train of the fairy maiden from the roman- 
tic opera White Snafee; he also painted dozens of masks 
ol theatrical characters.- Before moving on toother 
subjects, Lin painted over a thousand works of brightly 
colored women.' In keeping with what Lin considered to 
be Western taste, large nude or scantily dressed women 
reading a book, playing an instrument, or holding a mir- 
ror or a fan became programmatic in his works. 4 

After his second wife. Alice Vatiaur, a schoolmate in 
Dijon, and their daughter and son-in-law left for Brazil 
in 1956, Lin became unhappy, both in his personal life 
and in his career, which was overshadowed by Chinese 
intolerance of his Western orientation. Some say Lin 
produced an outpouring of female figures to relieve 
his distress. Others say he was so depressed he later 
utterly abandoned the subject matter. The fact is that 
1 mlv .1 small number of paintings he created before 1977 
survived through the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976); 
thousands of his works were destroyed. Beautiful 
women did not appear as one of his favorite subjects 
after he settled in Hong Kong in 1977. 

Signature Lin Fengmian 

Seal Lin Fengmian yin (seal of Lin fengmian) HL 

1 Lin Fengmian, "Zhi quanguo yishu 

2 Bai Xuelan, "Lin Fengmian xiju renwu zhi xingshi yu fazhan 
licheng," 159. 

4 Mingjia hanmo, no. 24 (1991): 28. 30, 42, 44, 84, 86, and 109. 


1 Anchoring a boat under 
pine trees, approx. 1950-1965 

By Lin Fengmian (1900-1991) 
Hanging scroll, ink and colors on paper 
H. 66.5 x w. 67.8 cm 
Collection of the Shanghai Museum 

This landscape consists of two scenes observed from 
different perspectives. The upper part of the picture is 
viewed from a much higher and more distant point, looking 
down meandering mountain peaks. The foreground reveals 
a few trees standing on riverbanks and a boat floating along 
the water on the right. Light mist divides the perspectives. 
The picture is enlivened by a wind that blows foliage and 
slants the boat's mast. Lin Fengmian created the image 
with swift, thick, and dynamic washes; he used none of the 
conventional textural strokes that traditionally depict spiky 
branches or rocky cliffs. This work illustrates Lin's total 
indifference to traditional landscape form and technique. 

Lin's unconventional style reflects a mature vision 
of the world that he shared with various painters. Lin 
possessed little confidence in his talents, and he displayed 
more persistence than arrogance. 1 Before departing for 
France, Lin copied Lingnan-school paintings by nineteenth- 
century artists from his native Guangdong. At the stu- 
dios in Paris he was considered a talented student by his 
instructor, Fernand Cormon, who invigorated his class 
with the art of the Symbolist Gustave Moreau. Lin's work 
was chosen by the Paris Salon to show, along with paintings 
by Pierre Bonnard and others, at the seasonal exhibition 
in 1923. After returning to China in 1926, Lin continued 
to be an outspoken advocate of modern Western art. At the 
same time, he intensified his interest in Chinese traditional 
arts, particularly paintings by Zhu Da (1626-1705), draw- 
ings on blue-and-white export porcelain, sculpture, and 
bronze. : 

Landscape remained Lin's favorite subject throughout 

his lifetime. His passionate interest in it lay in boyhood 
memories of his remote hometown, which he recollected as 
a village with white, floating clouds and winding streams. 
Following the example of his grandfather, a stone carver, 
Lin executed his brush in an uncommon way and wished to 
"forever [paint] sincerely my true feelings." 5 

As early as the 1940s, Lin found that a luxurious life 
with a private home and car — he held positions for more 
than ten years as president of art schools in Beijing and 
Hangzhou — exhausted his "feelings toward humanity." 
For a while he secluded himself in a shabby storehouse to 
sketch nature along the Jialing River in Sichuan. His situ- 
ation there shocked a high official who came to visit him. 
The official observed: Only the knife, the cutting board, 
and the bottle of oil available on the riverbank could have 
remade Lin "a true human with the spirit " to create art. 4 

To Chinese eyes, the art of Lin Fengmian might seem 
too simple, for it does not contain the complicated brush- 
work of traditional Chinese landscape. What Lin wanted to 
create was art with "beauty" and "power" that could over- 
come "handicaps in both Western and East Asian arts."" 

Signature Lin Fengmian 

Seal Lin Fengmian yin (seal of Lin Fengmian) HL 

1 Xi Dejin. "Lin Fengmian de yishu," 10. 

2 Righterfood, "Tiaohe zhongxi yishu," 50. 

3 Wu Guanzhong. "Yan guilai, daonian Lin Fengmian laoshi." 32. 

4 Wu Mingshi, "Cangku dashi yi Lin Fengmian." 

5 Chen Yongyi. "Shiyan de licheng," 21. 


Blue and green landscap* 

B\ Liu Haisu(i89i 

.. roll, uA and colors on papei 
ii. 108.5 ' w 45-3 cm 
Collection ol the Shanghai Museum 

This landscape by Liu Haisu is striking in its unusual coloration 
and composition. Liu's work is an hah in spit it while at 1 
time advani ed in to hnique. 

In traditional Chinese lands, ape, the standard approach is to 
arrange mountains and rivers in .1 zigzag "i serpentine pattern. 
Here Liu disregarded this concept and constructs a mountain 
scene in another way by giving expression to disintegration. Four 
clusters of foliage lined up in two rows in the foreground serve as 
a dislodged foundation for overlapping high peaks. Liu Battened, 
disconnected, and evenly treated the foliage clusters. Only the 
top mountains, done 111 the signature dots and peaks of the Song 
mastei Mi Fu (1051-1107), reveal a sense of perspective. The sun's 
warm reflectii in can be seen in golden touches on the sides of 
the peaks. Traditional muted ink is exchanged here for a brilliant 
palette, [he foliage's contrasting malachite green and pepper red 
combined with the blue and russet bills and clouds make this a 
bold work, a portent of Liu's new direction. 

Unlike main of liis fellow artists, who began training with 
traditional brushwork, Liu Haisu was inspired by Western art 
at age fourteen when he enrolled in a class at the Stage Set and 
Painting School in Shanghai. As a sixteen-year-old, Liu was a 
cofounder, and in 1916 the chancellor, of the Shanghai Art Insti- 
tute of Drawing and Painting, the predecessor of the Shanghai Art 
V adem) : this school expanded rapidly and by the 1930s had a 
full faculty with eight hundred students. Liu launched a campaign 
against the imperial institutions and feudal values. Not only did 
he start using female models in his class, but also he openly exhib- 
ited nude paintings. Such activity, which disturbed society's moral 
sensibilities, frequently 1 aused him to be condemned. As an eager 
participant in the group of radicals that included Cai Yuanpei 
(1868-1940), Kang Youwei (1858-1927), and Liang Qichao (1873- 
1928), he was widely involved in educational reform. His organiz- 
ing of solo exhibitions and teaching art abroad — from Japan to 
Europe, including France and Germany, and to Southeast Asia 
(1919-1941)— motivated him to tout the modern art practices 
he observed. He advocated replacing the Chinese art legacy « ith 
new ideas: "new approach, new artistic ambience, and beautiful 
taste by flourishing [in] Chinese and Western paintings in order 
to accomplish, through creation, perfect integration 

Fur comrade rlping, ii" Haisu, the new summei 
wuwu [1978] 

Haisu chuangiuo ("created l>\ Haisu"); Finshiqishou 
("immortality to both bronze and stone"): Shipo tianjing 
("working with stone to amaze the world") hl 

1 Liu Haisu, "Zhongguohu tin,"9i. 

Shanghai School Painl 

3 Secluded Valley Yields Fragrance. 1982 

ByZhu Qizhan (1892-1996) 

Hanging scroll, ink and colors on paper 

11 1 J6.9 • w. 68.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Museum 

Since the period of the Wei Kingdom (220-265 y l )• tne 
cymbidium-orchid-and-rock has been regarded as "fragrance- 
and Icirtification," a symbol in China of formality and dignity. Its 
graceful appearance attracts artists to paint it, especially those 
who grow cymbidium. When Zhu Qizhan created this work in 
1982, eighty-two years had passed since he first painted cym- 
bidium at the age of eight. Zhu perfected formulas to depict the 
flower, basing his simplified style on dry ink and umber dyes, 
brisk and precise lines, a spare, central space for the cymbidium, 
and rocks as background. This large-scale painting exemplifies 
the enigmatic style that Zhu Qizhan's fame rests on today. 

Born in Taicang, Jiangsu Province, Zhu Qizhan fought sev- 
eral chronic health problems throughout his life. Heart failures 
led him to drop out of a professional college in 1914 and to enter 
the Shanghai Art Institute of Drawing and Painting, founded m 
1912 by Liu Haisu (cat. no. 22) and others. His growing desire to 
study more Western modern art compelled him in 1917 to make 
a secret trip (kept from his wife and family) to Japan, where he 
enrolled in the oil painting class taught by Fujishima Takeji in 
the Kawabata Art School. Upon his return home from that short 
period of study (probably not more than a year), Zhu devoted 
himself to introducing to China the color and light effects of 
impressionism. His work was admired by influential critics 
and artists, including Xu Beihong (1895-1953), with whom he 
cofounded the Silent Society for Painting in 1936; and Qi Baishi 
(1864-1957), who made sixty seals for him, after which Zhu 
proudly called himself "Rich Elder with Sixty Seals by Baishi."' 
Qi Baishi, Wang Zhen (cat. no. 17), and Huang Binhong (1865- 
1955) have been credited with convincing Zhu to focus on the 
style known as xieyi, "painting ideas." In 1946 he built a house, 
named Thatched Studio with Plums, in southern Shanghai, 
with separate studios for oil on canvas and ink paintings. From 
the 1950s on, Zhu focused on incorporating characteristics of 
modern Western art into Chinese painting. 

During a visit to San Francisco in 1983, the ninety-one- 
year-old master completed the gigantic painting Grapes in 
honor ot the city's international airport. In 1990 the Shanghai 
Art Museum organized a solo exhibition to celebrate Zhu's 
upcoming hundredth birthday. This painting attests to his three 
mantras of "individuality, strength, and simplicity." Zhu avoided 
the extreme abstraction of Postimpressionism, displaying more 
interest in warm colors, thick, mottled strokes, and sharp, crisp 

jre Painted by Zhu Qizhan in Shanghai, the end of winter in 
the year renxu [1982]. 

il Zhu Qizhan; Nian /iushivi zuo ("created at age 91"); Taicang 
yisu ("one grain from Taicang") 

1 Liu Xilin, "Zhu Qizhan de shengya yu yishu," 349. 

Shanghai General Post Offi< i ippro ig ;o 1980 

Water olors on papei 

g ,mii 
Collection ol thi Shanghai \n Museum 

Hie Shanghai General Post Ofliie. topped with a belli \ 
and tower, was one ol several Western style buildings com 
pleted in 19s 1 "ii Suzhou Creek a< toss from the inn. mm 
British American Tobacco Company along the Bund. This 
painting shows the building at the right, beyond a three- 
span bridge. The left hall ol the composition is devoted to 
.1 public area along the creek's embankment, diagonally 
extended to the lower foreground. I he freshly washed 
greens ol foliage, blue benches, and light touches of color 
worn by blurry figures who are sitting or strolling create 
a sense of summer. Glimmering sunshine seems about 
to break through gray clouds, and rainwater ripples over 
the grainy stone bricks of the walkway. Li Yongsen deem- 
phasized details of crowds and busy river traffic to focus 
\ iewers' attention on the post office. This painting reveals 
the modernity of Li's approach, both in color application 
and in thechosen view. 

Li Yongsen and his elementary schoolmate Jiang 
Handing (1909-1963) studied painting with Tao Songqi in 
their hometown of Changshu. It did not take long for the 
two friends to End theii own talents. Li became interested 
in watercolors and Western painting, while liang stuck 

with traditional nil painting F01 mui h ol hi youth Li 
worked as .1 Western art teai her, illustratoi and editor foi 

hi mag 1 :ini ■ In vi ■ ■ until he settled ii 

hai in 1926. Beginning in the 1920s he was instrumental 
in organizing exhibitions of oil painting u 
I i U ring tin lap ine < in' asion in the 19 |Os, Suzhou Art 
College (which had moved to Shanghai hired Lias 
of education and waiercolor teacher. He and his artist wife 
first exhibited then paintings in 1942 in Daxin Gallery, 
where theii works were singled oul foi theii modern con- 
1 |, 1 ions. 1 he next year the Shanghai Art College invited 1 1 
to teach design, though his major focus was still painting. 
1 1, 1 unturned with loose brushwork and broke away from 
traditional compositions, thus contributing to the mod- 
ernization of Chinese art. Li was among the first Chinese 
artists to paint modern urban scenes with gouai hi and 
watercolor from distinctive v iewpi nuts, such as the one 
depicted in this work. 

Signatun Yongset^ HL 

Li Yongsen. "Yi tongxue liatrg Handing." 62. 

5ts J 

; Boundary tablet of Hongkew, 
the American Settlement aft 

Iron "i If. ill 

H. ■ 68.5 k [>. 2.5 cm 

iillri Hun ill I h. ■ SIi.uil'Ii 11 I h Inn MiiM-nni 

The various concessions within Shanghai's International 
Settlement were marked by boundary tablets, such as tins 
onefoi the American Settlement ol Hongkew. However, 
since each measured less than three feel in height , the 
tablets offered little physical presence within the labyrin- 
thine streets of the settlements. 

1 Lee, Shanghai Modem, 6. 

-.- J 

Ladies, 189a 

B) wu Voui 

Album, n>k and colors on silk, 

. in eai h 
Collecti if the Shanghai Mu 

Each nt the twelve leaves of this album depicts a beauti 
I11I lad) engaged in .1 leisure!) ai th ity, sue li as reading 
01 playing music. As did most artists of the Shanghai 
si hool, Wu Yburu melded tradition and innovation 
id bis works. Painting beautiful women, for which he 
was acclaimed, has a long tradition in Chinese art, as 
lines the line-drawing technique (gurigbi) lie employed. 

I in the re, bis paintings were intended to have broad 

appeal: they are colorful and rich!) detailed. I lis paint- 
ings li.ive t lie appeal ol presenting a particulai 
\ Levi "t the realities ol late-Qing lite in Shanghai. 

Innovation appears 111 several aspects ol these paint- 
ings. I irst. the wi mien are contemporary in appearance, 
ii" Lui'ii garbed in the traditional flowing robes. In 
addition, Wu captures the physicality of his figures; 
the women appear more rotund and solid than those 
111 traditional works, a feature that points to Western 

influence/ Anothei Wi ti rn influem e is Ins use ol fin 
ear perspei tive to depict the furniture and architecture 

\s one si linl. 11 noted, thi tppe irani eol ;ui h We itei n 
spatial devices in ( lunese inl drawings points to the 
spread of lithography b) thelati 1 loos lithography 
v,as a medium Wu helped to popularize in publishing 
in Shanghai. 

1 lam , 54. 

.■ ( hinese Paintii 
; Ibid 

4 Anita Chung, "Reinterpreting the Shangh ii < hool," 41-42; 
Andrews, 1 'ommen ial \n and 1 ition," 

5 Shan Can. hi], "Cultural Signiftt ai 

6 Andrews, "A Century in Crisis," $. 

<zx y 

■ * 5* 

'laT *-'i*» 11 J 


Lithography in Early Shanghai Graphics 

The following eight brush-and-ink drawings 
served as the original works from which photo- 
lithographed prints were made. They were 
compiled in 1893 as part of a three-volume set, 
A Treasury ofWu Youru's Illustrations (Wu Youru 
huabao), that comprises an array of subject mat- 
ter, including the "hundred trades of Shanghai," 
the "hundred sights of Shanghai," and the "hun- 
dred beauties of Shanghai" (Haishang baiyantu),' 
of which eight are presented here. The "hundred 
beauties" theme was a traditional one, but Wu 
updated it for the late 1800s 2 by idealizing what 
was then considered the modern lifestyle of 
Shanghai women. 

Wu's images also bespoke the flourishing 
print culture in Shanghai during this time. 
As one contemporary writer and editor, Bao 
Tianxiao (1876-1973), declared of the city's pub- 
lishing industry in the late 1800s, "Shanghai was 
the hub of the wheel" (Shanghai sitong bada). i 
Most new printing technology passed through 
Shanghai first before reaching the interior, and 
the single most important one that distinguished 
the city was lithography (pingban yinshua). 4 
Introduced by Jesuit missionaries in the mid- 
1800s, 5 lithography involves the manipulation of 
a flat surface medium predicated on the principle 
that grease repels water. Shanghai publishers 
had access to two forms of lithography by 1900: 
stone-based lithography (1876, shiyin) b and 
photolithography or zinc-plate lithography (1882 
or 1884, zhaoxiang shiyin).' The latter arguably 
became, for several reasons, the definitive tech- 
nique that helped periodicals such as the Dianshi- 
zhai huabao to visualize, and in effect construct, 
Shanghai's fin-de-siecle modernity. 8 One of those 
reasons was that photolithography allowed for 
exceptional reproduction of lines and shadings, 9 
a capacity that Wu Youru and others exploited to 
showcase their experimentation with Western 
perspective and modeling. It also encouraged a 
frequency of publication (every ten days for the 
Dianshizhai huabao) w that seemed to readers to 

keep pace with their city's changes. The major 
publishers of the day included Dianshizhai Litho- 
graphic Studio (Dianshizhai shiyinju), Tongwen 
Press (Tongwen shuju), and Wu's own Feiying Hall 
Lithographic Studio (Feiyingguan shiyinju);" 
the illustrated periodicals they produced favored 
images that celebrate the material and immate- 
rial facets of a modernizing Shanghai society, 
such as those appearing in the eight illustrations 
discussed below. 

Dany Chan 


1 Information was compiled from Zhang, "Corporealit) 
of Erotic Imagination." 122; Yeh, Shanghai Splendor. 52; 
and Cohn, Vignettes from the Chinese, 3. 

2 Laing, Selling Happiness. 54-55. 

3 Reed, Gutenberg in Shanghai, 191. 

4 The invention of lithography is credited to Alois 
Senefelder in Munich in 1798. See Banham, "Industrial 
ization of the Book," 284. 

5 Laing, Selling Happiness. 2; and Reed, Gutenberg in 
Shanghai, 62. 

6 Reed, "Re/Collecting the Sources," 48n4. 

7 The dates offered for the introduction of photolithogra- 
phy into China vary, but it can be dated at the latest to 
1884, when two newspapers (the Shubao in Guangzhou 
and the Dianshizhai huabao in Shanghai) appeared that 
year utilizing photolithography. See Pang, "The Pictorial 
Turn," 20, quoting Xiangxiang Wu, "Shubao yingyinben 
xu," 1-4. Christopher Reed argues that by as early as 
1882 photolithography was already prevalent. See Reed. 
Gutenberg in Shanghai, 62. This date, though, contradicts 
his assumption in an earlier publication in which he cites 
1920 as the date of photolithography's introduction into 
Shanghai. See Reed. "Re/Collecting the Sources," 48n4. 

8 This is the leading assertion regarding the influence of 
photolithography and the huabao in the development 
of Shanghai's self-identity in the modern era. See Cohn. 
Vigiwttes from the Chinese, 4; Pang, "The Pictorial Turn," 
17; and Reed, Gutenberg in Shanghai, 89. 

9 For a description of the photolithographic process, see 
Reed, Gutenberg in Shanghai, 62; and Pang, "The Pictorial 
Turn," 20. 

10 Cohn, Vignettes from the Chinese, 2. 

11 Reed, Gutenberg in Shanghai, 90. 


Shining Eyes and White Wrists. 1887-1893 

B) Wu Vouru (1839-1897) 

Ink on papei 

11 53.5 « w. 65.7cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

Women are presented enjoying a game of billiards in 
one of the halls in the Zhang Family Weichun Garden, 
commonly known as Zhang Garden (Zhangyuan |. 
Opened to the public in 1885. Zhang Garden was the 
mosl famous of the new public gardens in Shanghai 
and was considered by contemporaries to be the city's 
first "modern" amusement park, offering an array of 
novel sites and recreation, such as billiards.' The garden 
remains important to scholars today due to its nature 
as a "public space." an innovation for its time and for 
the city of Shanghai/ 

The specific billiards game most likely being played 
in Shanghai during this time was snooker, whose origins 
remain disputed. Begun in the 1500s as a primarily 
aristocratic pastime in Europe.' billiards during the 
1800s became popular an gthe British \ 

occupying India. Here, the accepted story is that in India 
in 1875, Sir Neville Chamberlain created the game and 
even coined the name." Based on reliable dated 
ences, by 1886 snooker was well established in India 
and played in England by 1887.' Relating the history of 
the game to its appearance in this illustration indicates 
ili, speed at which a form of popular entertainment in 
the United Kingdom may have been appropriated by 
Shanghai society— no more than si\ years aftei snooker's 
introduction into England. C 

1 Yeh. Shanghai Love, 26; 

forms of entertainment offered in Dinnshizhai Pictorial, 


V Xiaoqing, Dinnshizhai Pii tonal, 61. 
I it evol 

in northern I urope. Set SI 
( Unsworth, " ll«- Orig 1 
5 The references cited were .1 lettei In 'in Calcutta written in 

1886 and published columns in The Sporting / id newspapei 

in 1887. Sec ibid. 

Distinguishing Local Flavor, 1890s 

By Wu Youru (1839-1897) 

Ink on paper 

ti , 1 , ■ w. 65.71 '" 

Collection "I the Shanghai History Museum 

Depicted here are three women being served a meal by 
their maids at Yipinxiang, the most famous Chinese- 
operated Western-style restaurant in Shanghai in the 
late 1800s.' The two-story establishment was located on 
Fuzhou Road, and each of the more than thirty private 
rooms boasted a foreign decor with long tables, table- 
cloths, chairs, fireplaces, gas lamps, and clocks. Patrons 
completed their dining experience by using knives and 
forks and sampling a menu that included steak, pork 
chops, pudding, champagne, and beer.-' 

This image hints at the major changes in Chinese 
dining habits, at least for the upper classes, at the turn of 
the twentieth century. As one scholar contends, Shang- 
hai's inclusion in a widening global economy expanded 

the city's culinary repertoire — for example, the advent 
of manufactured tinned foods enabled the availability 
of most "Western" food products — and brought about 
new standards of hygiene — for example, serving spoons 
or serving chopsticks were now reserved for individual 
plates. 3 DC 

As many as nine such Chinese-operated restaurants existed 
at that time, and they became more popular with Chinese 
patrons largely due to higher prices at the foreign-owned 
ones. See Ye Xiaoqing. Dianshizhai Pictorial. 61. 
Information was compiled from ibid., 61; and Yeh, Shanghai 
Love, 26. 
Dikotter, Exotic Commodities, 219 and 228. 

Rivaling the Coming Night 

By Wu Youru (1839-1897) 

Ink on papei 

11. 5(S • W. f.s.71111 

f the Shanghai History Museum 

The modem 

treadle sewing machine (chezi), which arrived in Shanghai 
in the 1860s. 1 A lady is engaged in making .1 garment with 
her hound foot working the treadle, .md however incon- 
gruous this scene may appear at first, the sewing mac h 

ml China by the 
end of the nineteenth Xiechang Company, 

which was based in Shanghai, also became a popular 
repair shop and retailed Singer sewing machines begin- 
ning in 1925 and its own label alter that. 

1 Dikotter. Exotic Commodities, 118. 

2 Ibid.. 118, citing Liu Shanlin, Xiyangfeng. 175. 



> 4> ?% VA 

: Reciting Poetry This Evening, 1890s 

By Wu Youru (1839-1897) 

Ink on paper 

H. 53.5 x w. 66.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History- Museum 

The room's decor comprises an eclectic mix of furnish- 
ings that were traditional and new, Chinese and foreign- 
inspired; of particular novelty is the punkah fanning 
mechanism that hovers above the women at the table. 
The punkah (:ifai/engshan) consists of "a large rectan- 
gular bamboo frame covered with cheesecloth, fringed 
at the bottom and suspended from the ceiling by cords."' 
A separate cord extending from the frame is pulled back 
and forth by the servant girl on the left. Indigenous 
to India, punkahs were imported in the late 1800s by 
British officers stationed in Shanghai and, contrary to 
the depiction in this painting, were popular primar- 
ily among the foreign denizens because they regarded 
the electric fan as a health risk.- However, electric fans 
found early acceptance with the Chinese population. 

Another noteworthy object in this room is the 
framed picture of the European figure hung on the 

wall. In addition to the framed picture, the artist 
added a second layer to the Western reference with 
the mother-and-son composition below it that brings 
to mind European images of the Madonna and Child. 
The religious reference here and to the Trinity Church 
in another illustration (cat. no. 33) provide a glimpse of 
the Protestant presence in late-i8oos Shanghai society. 
The Jesuits arrived in China as early as the 1600s, but a 
surge of Protestant missions followed from the 1840s to 
1900. In particular. Shanghai became the center of Prot- 
estant missionary activity in China by i860. 5 

1 Powell. My Twenty-Five Yean in China, 21 and 23: as quoted 
in Dikotter, Exotic Commodities, 1S2. 

2 Dikotter. E.voric Commodities. 182. 

3 Elmaii, .4 Cultural History. 1 and 112. 


Fragrant Hairpin in Precious Bun. 1890s 

B\ YVu Yiuiiii (1839 1897) 

Ink on paper 

h. 53.5 * w. 65.7 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History' Museum 

A beauty contemplating her image before a mirror is a 
traditional subject; in fact, the composition ol this illus- 
tration borrows directly from a silk painting by the same 
artist included in this exhibition (cat. no. 26). The mir- 
ror into which she gazes is most likely made of imported 
glass, instead of copper or tin, as glass niirnMs were 
generally considered brighter, shinier, and clearer.' DC 

1 Dikbtter, Exotic Commodities. 185. 

■ iphv in Early Shanghai <■ ■ > 


i jf 


a i 




Wdndering Eyes Giving Way 
to Wandering Thoughts, 1890s 

By Wu Youru (1839-1897) 

Ink on paper 

H. 53.5 x H. 65.7 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

In this image, two objects compete for the viewer's 
attention: the courtesan (left) and the electric lamp 
(right). The title suggests a focus, guiding the viewer to 
"read" the scene as a woman in contemplation. She is 
accompanied by her young maid, and the open doors 
provide a glimpse into her boudoir. Her surroundings 
become busy — behind her are embellished furnish- 
ings and paintings, and fencing her is a balcony rail of 
intricate scrollwork — so that the overall effect of details 
draws the eye to this square of the image. However, the 
viewer's eye is further compelled to follow the courte- 
san's gaze toward a pair of birds. She finds a moment 
of respite from the bustle behind her, but not entirely, 
for the suggestion here is that as her eyes wander to the 
"couple" below, her thoughts invariably wander to an 
absent lover. 

The street lamp becomes a second object of focus 
due to the juxtaposition of its blank background against 
the detailed one surrounding the courtesan; in essence, 
the empty space functions as a "frame" to the lamp. 

directing the viewer's attention to this important feature 
of Shanghai's urban landscape. As one scholar asserts, 
the electric street lamp became a visual trope for the 
city during the late 1800s, so its depiction in this image 
localizes the scene as one in Shanghai. 1 The introduc- 
tion of electricity into the city was expedient: gaslight 
became common after 1865 with the founding of the 
Shanghai Gas Company, Ltd., ; but a mere two years after 
Thomas Edison first generated electricity in New York 
City on September 4, 1882,' lithographs dated to 1884 
appeared in the Dianshizhai huabao depicting Shanghai 
streets already illuminated by tall electric lamps/ DC 

Yeh, Shanghai Love, 271-272. 

Ye Xiaoqing, Dianshizhai Pictorial. 53. 

The Need Project, "History of Electricity," 42. 

Ye Xiaoqing, Dianshizhai Pictorial. 54. Only after 1911 were 

electric lights installed in individual homes: prior to that 

time they were reserved for government institutions and 

public spaces. See Dikotter, Exotic Commodities. 144. 



*»fl $ J It 


33 Only When Looking Far Does It 
Become Clear, 1890 

By Zhou Muqiao (1868-1923) 

Ink on paper 

H - 53-5 ■ w - 6 5-7 cm 

Collctti I the Shanghai History Museum 

Phis illustration is one of two in 1 lus exhibition (see 
cat. no. 34) signed not by Wu Youru but by his protege, 
Zhi iu Muqiao.' Zhou had trained with Wu in Suzhou 
Oil traditional woodblock printing before working with 
him tin the Dianshizhai huabao and later joined Wu's 
own Fetyingge huabao, 3 in which this illustration of three 
courtesans was published in 1890. 3 Two of the courte- 
sans gaze at the Trinity Church from then balcony, with 
one actually employing binoculars. 4 Trinity Church was 
erected in the 1860s and became the locus of Anglican- 
ism in East Asia for nearly an hi ui \ thereafter. 

1 he 1 lose pronmit) ol the 1 bun b. to the 1 ourtesans 
home is an indii .ition ol the urban milii u ol Shanghai 
monal Settlement, where religion, government 
commerce, mu\ entertainment interacted on a daily 
basis. Studies of the economics ami Lnfrastrui tureol 
the i ity's entertainment so tot desi ribe a thriving and courtesan ( ulture in Shanghai during the 
late-Qing period. One ol its majoi influences is exem 

plified by this illustration: courtesans, and women 
in general, appear in print as agents of the new 
were the trendsetters in embracing the material and 
social trappings of an urban modernity. B) picturing 
the Chinese courtesan here using Western-style binocu- 
l.n s. or Chinese women enjoying a game of snooker 
(cat. no. 27). the city's image makers hoped to make 
more inviting and less intimidating the new foreign 
technologies and forms of recreation being offered. 
And as will later become apparent in the early decades 
of the 1900s, images of Chinese women continue in 
this role as agents of Shanghais modernity through 
advertising and other forms ol graphics. C 

1 Zhou Muqia ntributed .1 total "I eight illu ■ 

foi the "hundred beauties of Shanghai" set published in 
\ 1 1 , Laing, Selling 

Happiness. 55. 

2 Information was compiled from Laing, Selling Happiness, Si: 
and Vi lendor, 65-66. 

j Yeh, shanghai Love, 1-1 I 
4 iiud.. 171. 

6 See in particular Yeh. Shanghe 

- Ye Xiaoqiiig, "Commercialisation and Prostitution," 40; 

Pang, Photography, Performance, and Female Im 

and Yeh. Shanghai Low 

phics KH 

34 Brilliant Clothing, 1890s 

By Zhou Muqiao (1868-1923) 

Ink on paper 

H.53.5 x w. 65.7 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History- Museum 

In this scene, two Chinese women are modeling late 
Victorian-style dresses. According to one scholar, 
they are most likely courtesans, the trendsetters of 
fashion and the more experimental among the generally 
conservative, traditionally dressed Chinese people in 
Shanghai. 1 

It has been suggested that Zhou imitated an unspec- 
ified Western engraving, particularly in his employment 
of several techniques for shading and modeling.- Inter- 
estingly, he utilized these techniques only for the depic- 
tion of the Western dresses and not for the Chinese one 
worn by the servant girl. Attention is paid to creating 
shadows, volume, and draping in the courtesans' dresses, 
whereas the curvature of the girl's figure consists of one 
fluid line, and scarcely any attempt at segmentation of 
her body is evident. This feature suggests that Zhou did 
indeed copy the two courtesan figures from a Western 
composition to insert in this Chinese scene. DC 

Ye Xiaoqing, Dianshizhai Pictorial. 130 and 162. 
Laing, Selling Happiness, 96. 


Architecture and Interior Design 

The period of around 1900-1945 often saw 
tumultuous change ill Shanghai. Only shortly 
after photography made the genre of China Trade 
painting (see cat. nos. 1-5) obsolete, historical 
events made the Bund they depicted equally out 
of date. After the signing of the Treaty of Shi- 
monoseki in 1895, foreign industries gained the 
right to own and operate manufacturing facili- 
ties in Chinese treaty ports. Japan was the first to 
exploit this right within Shanghai; others soon fol- 
lowed suit. As a result, the mindset of foreigners 
doing business in China began to change as they 
placed greater focus on long-term, rather than 
short-term, gains. In response, the Qing govern- 
ment altered centuries-old attitudes toward com- 
merce and began to become more involved with 
the marketplace and to encourage private Chinese 
merchants to invest in industry. 1 In Shanghai, 
Chinese competed with foreigners in many areas, 
including investment, shipping, and production. 2 
The resulting seeds of nationalism sown among 
the wealthy urban dwellers in treaty ports such as 
Shanghai were encouraged to grow by other events 
of the second and third decades of the twentieth 

Shanghai was a leader in this movement. 
Among a series of companies founded there in the 
1870s and 1880s was the China Merchants' Steam- 
ship Navigation Company, established in 1872 as 
a partnership between local shareholders and the 
government to compete with foreign shipping 
companies. The company, which had offices in 
number 9 on the Bund, was a success; among the 
items likely to have been shipped from one treaty 
port to another were local luxury products such 
as the Art Deco-style rugs produced in Tianjin 
(see cat nos. 48-52).' 

Many in China were outraged by the 1919 
Treaty of Versailles, which gave Japan rights to the 
territory Germany had controlled in Shandong 
Province. Residents of Shanghai became primary 
leaders in the resulting New Culture Movement 
that sought to modernize the nation and bring 
about changes in language, culture, and the arts 
in order to more deeply involve China's masses. 

Lu Xun was one of the leaders o) tins movement 
(see cat. nos. 91-99). 

The rising sense of nationalism that inspired 
the New Culture Movement was also influential 
in boycotts against foreign goods generated by 
specific incidents. One of the first such boycotts 
occurred in 1905 in response to further restric- 
tions on Chinese immigration into the United 
States first promulgated in the Chinese Exclusion 
Act of 1882. These restrictions, and some of the 
animosity they engendered, remained in effect 
until 1943. 4 Anti-Japanese boycotts occurred in the 
aftermath of the May Fourth Movement of 1919; 
and anti-British boycotts took place in 1925 after 
Shanghai Municipal Council police killed Chinese 
workers during what became known as the May 
Thirtieth Incident^ 

One result was the National Goods Campaigns 
(guohuo) of the 1920s and 1930s, which turned 
negative feelings toward foreigners into a positive 
campaign for local goods.* Through these cam- 
paigns, powerful and wealthy Shanghai residents 
were able to spin their lifestyles in terms of moder- 
nity and patriotism. According to Wen-hsin Yen, 
"Not only was it possible to be simultaneously 
'modern' and 'Chinese.' it was virtually imperative 
for a patriotic Chinese to be modern."" National- 
ism found much more fertile ground in the urban 
environment of Shanghai than it did in tradition- 
ally rural China, and Shanghai was a hotbed for 
the national goods movements. 

World War 1 also affected Shanghai's economy. 
At a time when the Chinese in Shanghai were 
becoming economically stronger, Europeans were 
focused on the war and were unable to meet 
the growing demand for products and services. 
Chinese-owned and -run factories and service 
industries rose to fill the needs of local markets 
as well as those developing elsewhere. 

One of these new markets \\ as Ni irth America. 
which began to look to East Asia as trade with and 
travel to Europe became difficult and unsafe due 
to World War I. This trade was very different from 
that carried out by Augustine Heard and other East 
Coast traders of the late nineteenth centUI 

cat. nos. 1-5). The transcontinental railroad and 
the development of trans-Pacific steamship travel 
allowed for quicker transfer not only of goods but 
also of people. By 1920, Dollar Lines, based in San 
Francisco, had ships covering world trade routes 
on a strict schedule — a revolutionary idea at the 
time — with scheduled stops in Shanghai. 8 By 1924 
the same line had around-the-world passenger 
service with a published schedule of departure 
and arrival times. These around-the-world services 
attracted patrons who could afford the leisure of 
staying over at one port or another for shopping 
and touring, and if the shopping was especially 
good, they could stay and catch the next ship.' Such 
travelers came from all parts of North America; 
they first took a luxury coach on the transcontinen- 
tal railroad or some other convenient means to San 
Francisco and then caught their ship to Asia. Indus- 
tries developed in Shanghai and other ports of call 
to create the products these travelers demanded. 

The worldwide prosperity of the Roaring 
Twenties certainly contributed to the boom in 
Shanghai. In addition to the foreign and domestic 
investments mentioned above, Shanghai prospered 
due to improved maritime transportation systems, 
the opening of the Panama Canal in January 1914, 
and other factors inside and outside of China. By 
the 1920s, an estimated three hundred thousand 
Chinese worked in Shanghai businesses and enter- 
prises — a remarkable change in just twenty-five 
years. Many worked for family-owned enterprises 
or small shops, but others were employed at large 
companies. 10 Many were literate in both Chinese 
and foreign languages and were fully aware of the 
leading international trends in architecture and 
interior design (see Nancy Berliner's essay in this 
catalogue) as well as in fashion, film, and graphic 

The early Western traders in Shanghai had 
made their fortunes by exchanging opium grown in 
other areas of the British empire for tea, porcelains, 
and other goods made in China. Due in no small 
part to the development of tea plantations in India 
and elsewhere, in 1917 the British finally agreed 
to stop their shipments of opium, and the drug 

once again became illegal in China. In Shanghai, 
the control of this major industry transferred from 
foreign traders to local gangs, the most powerful of 
which was the Green Gang (see cat. no. 16). Gang 
leaders, with their tremendous wealth and extrava- 
gant lifestyles, were another source of demand for 
the many luxury products made in Shanghai. 

In this new environment, the warehouses, 
residences, and shipping offices of the foreign 
trading firms that had lined Shanghai's Bund in the 
late nineteenth century were replaced by financial 
and other institutions whose image required a very 
different form of building (see diagram, pp. 36-37). 
Not all of these new buildings were foreign owned, 
and other parts of Shanghai also saw a boom in new 

The transfer of concepts from the West was 
often remarkably quick — new Paris fashions might 
appear in Shanghai mere months after they first 
debuted. This was also true of trends in architec- 
ture. Formal buildings of this period, such as the 
new banks along the Bund (see cat. no. 35), were 
often built and furnished in the same Beaux-Arts 
styles that were employed in civic buildings around 
the world, such as the 1916 San Francisco City 
Hall and Public Library. Beyond the Bund, modern 
influences extended from commercial structures 
to those built by the city government and many 
others. The public produce market on Small Shadu 
Road (cat. no. 37) and the Chengdu Road Police 
Station (cat. no. 36) are both examples of public 
buildings created in modern styles heavily influ- 
enced by Bauhaus concepts and designs. For more 
fashionable buildings. Art Deco was the craze. 

Although the actual name did not come into 
common use until the 1960s, the origins of Art 
Deco can be traced to the Exposition Internationale 
desArts Decoratifs et Industries Modernes (Inter- 
national Exposition of Modern Industrial and 
Decorative Arts), organized in Paris in 1925 by 
an informal group of French artists known as 
La Societe des Artistes Decorateurs. They based 
their style on modern geometric concepts but also 
on influences that were the rage at the time, one 
notable example being the materials found in Egypt 


in 1922 in the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Art 
IVm employed modern materials such as alumi 
mini .mil stainless steel, glass, mirrors and other 
reflei tive surfaces, and a strong palette in bold 
geometric shapes. 

Ait Deco images and motifs leached Shanghai 
\ 1a students, tourists, designers, and others who 
visited Europe and America in increasing numbers 
at the end of World War I." This style was thought 
particularly suited for movie theaters, dance halls, 
and other plaees of popular entertainment, and 
that certainly held true in Shanghai. The Grand 
Theatre on Nanjing Road, the Peace Hotel, and 
the Paramount Theatre are examples; many of 
the elements in settings for the posters Gliding 
Like Celestial Beings (cat. no. 72) and A Prosperous 
City That Never Sleeps (cat. no. 65) are in Art Deco 
style. Deco was also popular for both exterior and 
interior design of elegant apartment buildings 
such as the Broadway Mansions (cat. no. 40), 
and Deco concepts were applied to edifices as 
mundane as service stations (cat. no. 41). 

A furniture industry developed in Shanghai 
to fill the demand of the new visitors from the 
West as well as the new wealthy in the city itself. 
As with export silver and other materials, the 
Chinese artisan could reproduce almost anything 
made in Europe or the Americas. For the Chinese, 
the attraction was economic (Chinese-produced 
materials were certainly much less expensive than 
those produced in the West and imported) and 
patriotic— both in the sense of being modern and 
in the sense of buying national goods. Much of 
this furniture was created in styles influenced by 
modern concepts and designs. 

I in domestic use. this furniture had to meet 
demands very different from those of earlier 
periods. At least within large urban centers such as 
Shanghai, the gentry compound with its gardens 
and pavilions was replaced by modern apartments 
like the Mark (cat. no. 39) and the Broadway Man- 
sions (cat. no. 40), along with other forms of hous- 
ing. Many in Shanghai lived in two- 01 three-story 

town houses with stone fa< ades known as hil u 
men. rhe shifeumen featured bedrooms, km li- 
ens, dining rooms, and the like based on designs 
, in lent 111 the West, and Chinese furniture makers 
in Shanghai were called upon to < icati lied 101 111 
suites (cat. no. 47) and other forms of furniture to 
fill them. 

What is now commonly known as "Shanghai 
Deco" furniture was one result. Shanghai Deco 
furniture combines elements of Chinese domestic 
furniture and Art Deco design. In the examples 
illustrated here, the extensive use of mirrors 
(cat. no. 47), the asymmetrical designs (cat. no. 
46), and much of the surface decoration reveal 
Deco influence. The sunburst design on the small 
cabinet (cat. no. 46) is a good example of a com- 
mon Deco motif. This asymmetrical design is 
particularly innovative in China, where balance 
and symmetry had been fundamental principles 
in urban planning, architecture, interior design, 
and furniture. However, this furniture is created 
from domestic woods or those readily available 
in China, and certain motifs, such as the bamboo 
design on the bedroom suite (cat. no. 47) are based 
on established Chinese traditions. 

Michael Knight 


1 Yeh. Shanghai Splendor, so. 

2 Ibid.. 21. 

3 See Goetzmann and Koll. "History of Corporate Owner- 

4 For .1 disi ussion ol the impai 1 ol tins act, see Liu, "Chinese 
Exclusion Laws." 

5 Ych. Shanghai Splendor, 71. 

6 Ibid., 72-73. 

7 Ibid.. 101. 

8 Chandlei and Potash, Gold, Silk, Pi 1 

9 Knight, "Markets and Tastes in Chinese lade." 100-101. 
to Veh, Shanghai Splendor, 102. 

11 Ibid 6 

12 An example open to the publii 1 an be seen .u the Shiku- 
inen Museum, in the Xinti indi development in Shanghai. 

An hiti 


Wall sconce from Huifeng Bank, aP |... 


h. 95.0 x w. 70.0 * d. 30.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Historv Museum 

Huifengyinhang is the Chinese name of the Hong Kong 
and Shanghai Bank, one of the financial institutions that 
developed during the mid- and late nineteenth centurj 
to serve the growing trade between ports in Asia and 
the West. Founded by Thomas Southerland in ^65, the 
bank opened its first Shanghai branch on Nanjing Road. 
I he bank moved to a new location on the Bund in 1873. 
In 1923 the bank commissioned a new building from 
the architectural firm Palmer and Turner at what is now 
number 12 on the Bund. This wall sconce comes from 
the 1923 building. 

The new Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank building 
was one of several banks built along the Bund during 
the 1920s and 1930s when many of the buildings of the 
old trading companies were torn down and replaced by- 
banks, public buildings, and hotels. The banks in partic- 
ular reflected a change in approach. Often massive, with 
no expense spared in their building and furnishing, the 
new bank buildings signaled a new belief in the long- 
term benefits of doing business in China. The elaborate 
wall sconce is an example of an item that is Western in 
both form and function. MK 


m Chengdu Road Police Station, appro*. 1930-1939 

Imprint of Ah Fong. Shanghai 
Photograph, silver gelatin 

28.6 cm 
Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

Bv the end of the nineteenth century the Shanghai 
Municipal Council had organized much of its bureau- 
cracy following the model ot an English urban council. 
This was true of the police department, which had a 
considerable number of officers from Europe as well 
as from other parts of the world v Sikhs in particular 
plaved an important role\ Chinese units were recruited 
to manage issues with Chinese in the Chinese city and 
elsewhere. In the earlv 1900s through the 1930s the 
municipal council made a concerted effort to keep 

abreast of the most up-to-date European police prac- 
tices. Thus it is logical that the Chengdu Road Police 
Station depicted in this phoiogTaph would have been 
modern and Western both in the police force it housed 
and in its architecture. Like manv Western-influenced 
buildings of the time, it was built of steel, concrete, and 
stone in a style influenced by Bauhaus and other Euro- 
pean movements. MK 

1 Bickers, "Ordering Shanghai." 19a. 

Public Produce Market on Small 
Shadu Road, 1930s 

Aimm mous 
Photograph, silver gelatin 

II. 19.8 X W. 24.7cm 

tulle) tion <il the Shanghai History Museum 

Municipal slaughterhouse in 

the northeast section of Shanghai, 

early 1930s 


Photograph, silver gelatin 

H. 19.7 x w. 25.2 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

Architecture in Shanghai during the 1920s and 1930s 
was truly global: in addition to indigenous styles and 
those from Europe and the United States, influences 
from many other cultures also played a role. Jews 
from Iraq, such as the Sassoons and Hardoons, often 
employed Moorish-inspired elements in their buildings. 
A synagogue commissioned in this style still survives. 

These two photographs show some of this diversity 
in large public buildings. The Public Produce Market's 
modern Western style is clearly influenced by contem- 
porary movements in Europe such as Bauhaus. It also 

was built using model n construction 1 1 'i lumpies and 
in. iiii ials with extensive use of glass, steel, and concrete. 

The municipal slaughterhouse, on the other hand, 
features certain exterior details that reveal Islamic 
influence. It was built in 1933, and in fact a section (it 
the implex was spe< ifically designed for producing 
meat lor Muslims.' Muslims played an important role 
in certain crafts in China, particularly in the jade trade, 
and were among the many ethnic and religious groups 
adding to the global nature of Shanghai life and archi- 
tecture. The municipal slaughterhouse, now referred to 

as "1933," has rc( cut I) been renovated and expanded. 
Its miss ii 111 stall -ii tent dei lares: 19 ; ; strives to realize 
a vision sustained by three core elements of design, life 
style, and learning. 1933 seeks to define true wealth: 
a holistic approach to life thai is rounded and balanced 
and not simply material. 1933 will be on the cutting 
edge for food, fashion, arts, culture, education, and 
design." 2 MK 

t Lee. Shanghai Modern, 346. 

2 en. html, April 1, 2009. 

Architecture and Inti 

a Mark Apartment Building, 1930s 

By C. H. Wong (active 1930s) 

Photograph, silver gelatin 

H. 25.5 x w. 36.2 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

The Broadway Mansions Building, 1934 



Photograph, silver gelatin 

h. 27.5 x w. 21.4 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

Apartment complexes were a Western concept brought 
to Shanghai by both Chinese and Western architects 
and builders. James Lee was the first Shanghai resident 
to build apartment complexes in the city. Impressed 
by the multistory complexes he saw during a visit to 
the United States, in 1915 he erected the four-story Lee 
Apartments on Avenue Joffre in the French Concession. 
1 1 was the first apartment complex in Shanghai. His 
second apartment complex, on Bubbling Well Road in 
the French Concession, had eight stories, an elevator, 

a cinema, an arcade, and nightclubs. The concept caught 
on, and apartment construction boomed in the 1920s and 
1930s. 1 These two photos reveal two very different types 
of apartment structures. 

The Mark apartments and terrace was a relatm-K 
modest complex of four floors, the first being commer- 
cial and the other three residential. The architecture is 
completely modern and Western: even the entry signs 
are in English. 

The Broadway Mansions complex is entirely different 
both in scale and in design. Built by P & T Architects and 
Engineers Limited in Art Deco style, it was completed 
in 1935 with nineteen floors and every possible amenity. 
The Broadway Mansions building is located at the northern 
end of the Bund, near the confluence of Suzhou Creek and 
the Huangpu River. It was renamed Shanghai Mansions by 
the Shanghai municipal government in 1951 but reverted to 
its original name after China opened up again to the West. 
The building survives as a hotel and is one of Shanghai's 
many prime examples of Deco architecture. MK 

1 Dikotter, Exotic Commodities, 159-160. 


An American automobile 

station on the west side 
of Shanghai, 1930s 


Photograph, silver gelatin 

H. 23.0 x w. 28.1 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Histor) Museum 

The automobile played an important role as a symbol of 
prestige in Shanghai during the 1920s and 1930s. It was 
also a necessity for certain elements of society. Kidnap- 
pings were frequent, as were fights between rival gangs. 
Cars with bullet-proof glass and armed chauffeurs and 
guards were a common sight (see cat. no. 62). Along 
with the automobile came service stations — this photo- 
graph presents a service station selling Texaco gasoline 
on the west side of Shanghai. 

Many elements of the building show Art Deco 
influence — from the basic shape of the building to the 
frieze of triangles along the top, and the elaborate floral 
elements near the top outside of the doors. All the direc- 
tional lettering is in English; only the company name 
in Chinese gives an indication of where the station is 
located. MK 

Mingxing Film Studio, 
Shanghai, 1930s 

Photograph, silvei gelatin 

H. 18.O x W. 23.8 I in 

Collec nun of the Shanghai I [istor) Musei 

Shanghai's long love affair with film began with the first 
screening of a motion picture in China, which appears 
to have occurred in Shanghai in 1896. The city was the 
center of a domestic film industry that began to flour- 
ish late in the second decade of the twentieth century. 
American influence on and interest in the Shanghai film 
industry was strong from the earliest stages through the 
1940s, and all the major U.S. studios maintained offices 
there. Exchanges between the growing film industries 
in Hollywood and Shanghai were facilitated by the 
more rapid travel made possible by changes in maritime 

Mingxing Film Company (Bright Star Pictures) was 
one of the earliest Shanghai < < hii|>.hih-s. Founded by 
Zheng Zhengqiu and Zhang Shichuan, the company first 
produced comic shorts but later added feature-length 
films and family dramas. They were one of three film 
companies that dominated the Shanghai industry dur- 
ing the 1930s. This photograph shows filming in action. 
The elaborate stage set is clearly meant to represent one 
of the city's high-end restaurants. Its various elements 
are in Art Deco style — the craze of the time. 

After the horse race, 1930s 


Photograph, silver gelatin 

11. jj.o • w. 2S.1 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

When the British settled in Shanghai after the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842, they 
attempted to re-create as much of their home as possible — including clubs, 
churches, town halls, and recreation facilities, such as a course for horse racing. 
Linked to the Bund by Nanjing Road, the race course was a center for much activ- 
ity in the city for both foreign and Chinese residents. This photo depicts a scene 
after the horse races. A 1901 account by an Australian adventurer gives a sense of 
the flavor of the races: 

After the auction everybody settles down to steady drinking, at which the Rus- 
sians are in a class by themselves. Even the most seasoned soaks of the British 
Navy will shudder and turn white when asked to go to an official dinner on a 
Russian warship. . . . 

Next morning I am awakened by a booming of gongs and a noise that 
sounds like rifle-fire. The Chinese grooms are beating gongs and letting off 
bunches of crackers by way of propitiating Lady Luck before they go out to the 
course. . . . The track up to the gates is blocked by hundreds of shrieking, howl- 
ing beggars, with every malformation and disease known to science. They beat 
their breasts with clubs, and have to be driven out of the way with whips. 

Inside the course the place is alive with ponies, for every young officer of 
the various forces has bought a pony for the meeting and has "trained" him 
himself. Fields are very large; but most of the runners stop to "stink" half-way 
through the job, and the finishes are left to a few honest battlers. . . . 

At the start of our race, a Japanese officer, in a very neat rig-out, is car- 
ried by his pony into an irrigation drain, where the pony rolls on him and then 
careers away with bridle flying. Covered with evil-smelling mud, and looking 
like nothing on earth, the Japanese emerges right in front of a Swede civilian, 
who looks strong enough to hold an elephant, but can make no impression 
on his pony's iron mouth. The Swede's pony stops dead and its rider is thrown 
heavily. Mistaking the Japanese for some sort of coolie, the Swede advances 
on him with a whip. Heaven knows what international complications might 
have arisen had not a Frenchman's pony, coming along full split, separated the 
pair and narrowly missed destroying the Swede. By degrees the loose ends are 
gathered up; unmanageable ponies are held at the post by their grooms; and 
the field gets away somehow. One race is set apart for ponies ridden by their 
grooms, and the ponies behave themselves perfectly under their Chinese riders. 
The white punters, however, get a shock. They all back what appears to be an 
unbeatable certainty, only to find that the Chinese riders have put their heads 
together and backed the biggest outsider on the totalizator. The ways of the 
Chinese are quite inscrutable. They will fix up a racing swindle, gamble like 
devils, and then go out and pick flowers. 1 

While appealing to all residents of Shanghai, the race course continued to be 
largely British owned until the Chinese government confiscated it in 1951. The 
grounds have been converted to People's Park (Renmi'n Gongyuan) and contain a 
number of public and cultural buildings. The Shanghai Art Museum is in the old 
clubhouse, and the Shanghai Museum is on what was part of the grounds. MK 

1 Paterson, Happy Dispatche 


44 Pair of armchairs. 1920-1935 

Hardwood (liongmu), burl, and l.ilnn 
h. 80.0 x l. 66.0 x d. 71.0 cm each 
Private collection 

Shanghai Deco furniture has recently become a craze 
among collectors in Shanghai and elsewhere — for good 
reason. The products created for the domestic market 
by the furniture makers in and around Shanghai have a 
unique character and function well in a contemporary 
Western-style environment. This pair of chairs is highly 
unusual in that the original fabric has survived more or 
less intact. Its bold swirling patterns are matched by the 
curvilinear form of the chairs themselves. MK 

Coat tree, 1920-1935 

Hardwood (hongmu) and metal 
H. 202.0 x d. 50.0 cm 
Pi ivate collet tion 

Certain pieces ol tin inline in tile homes and offices 
of "modern" Chinese businessmen living in Shanghai 
were by necessity designed to accommodate a Western 
lifestyle. Main such businessmen wore Western dress 
to work and even on informal occasions (see 1 at. nos. 
62 and 63); coat racks like this one were designed and 
arranged to hold their overcoats and hats. Like the 
cabinet that follows, this coat tree, with its angular, 
multitiered form and fluted decoration, is an example 
of Shanghai Deco design, f* 

Small cabinet (one <>l a suite 
of three pieces), 1920-1935 

I lardwood 

n. 122.0 x 1.. 140.0 x d. 44.0 cm 

Private c olle< tion 

As with many examples of Shanghai Deco furniture, this 
small cabinet features an angular, multilevel, as) mn 
cal design and heavy fluting on the surface. In addition, 
the main motif on the front of this piece, a sunburst, was 
popular in Art Deco architecture, interior design, and 
furniture. MK 

Architecture and li> 

47 Eleven-piece bedroom suite, 1920-1935 

Hardwood (hongnm) 
Dimensions variable 
Private collection 

This bedroom suite consists of a bed frame with head 
and footboard, a vanity and stool, a wardrobe, a dresser, 
a nightstand, and a small table with four chairs— all the 
pieces that might be found in a "modern" Western bed- 
room of the 1920s and 1930s. Western influences can be 

seen in the mirrors on the vanity, wardrobe, and dresser; the 
asymmetrical forms are based on Art Deco prototypes. How- 
ever, this furniture is created from hongmu (rosewood), a type 
of tropical hardwood readily available in China, and the bam- 
boo design is based on established Chinese traditions, P> 

Rug, 1920-1935 

1 Kangxi" pattern 
1 1 I ; w. 63.5 cm 
Pi ivate 1 ollei tion 

' Rug, 1920-1935 

Wool Willi IciU'CII patk'l 11 
L. 120.7 * w - 597Cm 

Private collection 

While true abstraction did not have a role in traditional 
Chinese painting, it did have a long history in Chinese 
1 itual and decorative arts — most commonly as back- 
ground or border patterns. Certain of these patterns 
translated easily into the "modern" design popular 
in Deco-influenced arts of the 1920s and 1930s. This 
was particularly true of the more abstract border and 
background patterns found in Chinese decorative arts. 
One such pattern is an ancient Chinese design known as 
leiwen. The earliest known forms of this design appear 
as early as the Neolithic period, and it is a common 
background pattern from the early Bronze Age through 
modern times. 

The leiwen is also the likely source for the cen- 
tral design on the richly colored dark blue rug. The 
graduated-bar designs on this rug relate most closely 
to fluted patterns found on many examples of Shanghai 
Deco furniture. 

The motif on the first rug illustrated here can be 
seen as an interpretation of border designs that were 
common during the early years of the Qing dynasty; 
rug aficionados call this a "Kangxi" pattern, named for 
the reign of the Kangxi emperor (1672-1722). However, 
this design is also typical of Ait Deco patterns for furni- 
ture and other decorative arts created in Shanghai and 
other Chinese treaty ports. The basic form is an angular, 
stepped pyramid, which in this case is repeated a num- 
ber oi times across the surface of the rug. MK 



50 Rug, 1920-1935 

Wool with abstract pattern 
L. 158.8 x w. 91.4 cm 
Private collection 

This rug is one of a pair of relatively small piet es of 
different sizes. The pan was hkrh a suite accompanied 
by at least one that was much larger. MK 


51 Rug, 1920 1 935 

Wool with yin and yang pattern 
1.. 350.5 x w. 274.9 cm 
Private collection 

? Rug, 1920-1935 

Wool with '( H'sU'd ( Mill' design 

1 . 151 1.5 W, 271.8 I in 
Pi ivate collection 

The large red rug is decorated with a simple yet bold 
design 1 'insisting of a repeated yin and yang pattern 
along with a box and what appear to be ribbons. It is 
both very modern in feel and very Chinese. The design 
on the green rug is more difficult to read. It has been 
interpreted as the head and wings of a crested crane, 
another auspicious design found in traditional Chinese 
arts but here given a modern interpretation. MK 


Western-Influenced Painting in Shanghai 

During the early twentieth century, China 
embarked on a period of intense intellectual 
self-scrutiny and exploration. In the arts, these 
discussions attracted many active and often 
contending voices. Because of its economic 
power and close contact with Japanese, West- 
ern, and other world cultures, Shanghai was a 
center for creative thinking during this time. 
Shanghai was also one of the leading centers 
for Western-influenced painting and other arts. 
Artists grappled with a number of questions: 
How should the thousand-year-old heritage of 
traditional Chinese painting be evaluated in light 
of Western art's powerful new influence? How 
might traditional Chinese painting best respond 
to modernity? Should Chinese artists participate 
in an attack on tradition and adopt Western styles 
and approaches, or should they preserve their 
own traditions and resist Western influence? 
What kind of reform of traditional painting, if 
any, should Chinese artists attempt? Essentially, 
the major players in the debates formed two 
camps: the conservatives, who feared that China 
was about to lose its national essence; and the 
reformers, who held that integrating Western 
elements would add new life to Chinese art. 
The Western-influenced paintings under 
discussion here differed substantially both in 
purpose and in patronage from the China Trade 
paintings discussed earlier in this catalogue (see 
cat. nos. 1-5). Although China Trade paintings 
were created by Chinese artists in Western styles, 
the artists were not intent upon revolutionizing 
Chinese art. Their patrons were Westerners who 
commissioned commemorative works of the 
places they had lived, worked, or visited. There 
appears to have been little, if any, interaction 
between the artists who created China Trade 
paintings and those active in traditional Chinese 
painting and calligraphy. The majority of art 
thinkers and writers of late-nineteenth-century 
Shanghai were members of the educated elite 
and would have considered China Trade paint- 
ers artisans rather than artists. With the advent 
of photography, China Trade paintings died out. 

and the genre did not survive to impact the early 
practitioners of "modern" European-influenced 
oils, most of whom were active after 1910. The 
works in this section were painted by educated 
Chinese with a Chinese audience in mind. 
The intent of these artists was to revolutionize 
Chinese art, to bring it in line with trends in the 
broader world. 


Although a great deal has been written about 
the artists active in Shanghai during the early 
twentieth century, less information is currently 
available about their patrons and the market for 
their art. No independent commercial galleries 
for Western-style paintings were established in 
the city prior to the 1980s, and many of the sales 
must have been private or as the result of exhibi- 
tions or other public showings. 1 

There is some evidence of support from 
wealthy Westerners living in Shanghai. Michael 
Sullivan mentions that Xu Beihong was drawn 
into the artistic circle created by Silas A. Har- 
doon and his Chinese wife, Luo Jialing. Hardoon 
was one of a small group of wealthy Iraqi Jews 
who had settled in Shanghai in the early twen- 
tieth century. Today their influence is visible in 
the many buildings they commissioned around 
the city, particularly on Nanjing Road. Hardoon 
first worked as a night watchman in a warehouse 
owned by the Sassoon family. He moved on to 
become successful in real estate, opium, and 
politics. He owned a large complex in Ailing 
Park, Bubbling Well Road, where he and his wife 
hosted gatherings that brought together artists 
and collectors. 2 Most likely Liu Haisu was also 
involved in this circle; Liu was close to the politi- 
cal reformer Kang Youwei, who was supported by 
Hardoon early in his career. Sullivan points out 
that "the foreign settlements [in Shanghai] were 
more than a refuge. They were the bridgeheads 
of foreign culture in the city, where artists and 
writers returning from the West could feel 
more or less at home. Societies such as the 


Association Amicale Sino-Fran9aise, founded 
in November 1933, became meeting places for 
Sinophile French and Francophile Chinese." 3 
The association's bulletin often included articles 
about the art scene. 

The relationship between patron and artist 
is often easy to trace in Chinese-style paintings 
for two reasons: a long-standing tradition exists 
of adding colophons, either by the artist or by 
others, many of which state the circumstances 
under which the painting was created and who 
it was intended for; and collectors often added 
their seals and inscriptions to the painting. This 
information and other evidence makes clear 
the role of wealthy Chinese in traditional Chi- 
nese painting and calligraphy in Shanghai. Such 
traditions did not carry over into Western-style 
paintings, and the evidence for Chinese patron- 
age of new styles is less direct. Paintings in Chi- 
nese mediums and formats are also easy to roll, 
store, and move and therefore were more likely 
to survive the turmoil that beset Shanghai for 
much of the twentieth century than were framed 
Western-style oils. The entire oeuvre of a number 
of important early-twentieth-century oil painters 
has been lost. 4 

In the late nineteenth century a class of 
Shanghai Chinese commonly known as com- 
pradors served as the bridge between China and 
the West. Working for foreign firms on com- 
mission or with fixed salaries, these specialists 
amassed enormous wealth and power in a very 
short period of time. Their positions required 
that they have some degree of fluency in a foreign 
language, English and Japanese being the most 
common. Depending on who they were dealing 
with, they wore either traditional Chinese robes 
or Western dress. They built huge European-style 
mansions decorated with imported furniture 
and fine Chinese dr. orative arts, paintings, and 
antiques (see cat. no. 13). According to Wen-hsin 
xeh, "In appearance as well as in practice, the 
comprador merchants drew upon elements of 
East and West and forged a style thai mixed the 
exotic and the conventional in unprecedented 
ways." 5 They were the major patrons for Shanghai 
school (Haipai) paintings and calligraphy (see 

cat. nos. 8-19) and provided support for Chinese 
who wished to learn Western styles. The) also 
may have pun based the occasional Western style 

During the 1920s a new Chinese elite 
emerged in Shanghai, many of whom were edu- 
cated overseas and worked as bankers, industri- 
alists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, accountants, and 
the like. They joined members of the comprador 
class and others in forming associations that sup- 
ported a range of social, political, and charitable 
activities.'' A number of these associations were 
involved in modernization efforts. This elite com- 
missioned Western-style buildings (see cat. nos. 
36-41) and supported an entire industry that 
produced what is now known as Shanghai Deco 
furniture (see cat. nos. 44-47). They were a likely 
market for paintings created by Chinese artists 
working in modern Western styles; their sons and 
daughters attended the schools that provided the 
real livelihood for many of these artists; and their 
financial support made possible vital institutions, 
societies, and travel opportunities. 

Academies and Other Institutions 

The support of a small number of wealthy West- 
erners and Chinese in Shanghai interested in 
Western-style art was not adequate to make 
viable a community of Chinese artists working 
in Western-influenced styles, nor did it serve 
the larger goals of the more ambitious members 
of the group. Many of these artists fervently 
believed that Chinese art and culture had to 
change and align with international standards. 
A range of academies, art societies, and related 
organizations, along with government agen- 
cies, provided a supporting framework for these 
ai lists, but their members were not necessar- 
ily art buyers. Manx .11 tists made their living by 
teaching. Of great importance were schools and 
private studios, a large number of which existed 
in Shanghai. Two institutions serve as examples. 
One of the first art schools in Shanghai was 
opened in 1912 by the then-sixteen-year-old 
Liu Haisu. Ibis was ultimately to become the 
privately run Shanghai Art Academy (Shanghai 

Painting in 

Meizhuan). By 1921 the school had begun to build 
a campus in the Chapei district north of Suzhou 
Creek. 7 Controversy often surrounded the school; 
in 1925 the warlord Sun Chuanfang attempted to 
arrest Liu Haisu for using nude models in class; 
the academy was closed down and some build- 
ings were destroyed. However, the school contin- 
ued to thrive, and by its twenty-fifth anniversary 
in 1937 its powerful board included Wang Zhen 
(see cat. no. 17), Cai Yuanpei, and a number of 
influential artists, along with a staff of eighty-one. 
Of its 329 students, 29 percent studied Western- 
style painting, 14.5 percent Chinese traditional 
painting, 32 percent teaching, 8 percent design, 
16 percent music, and 0.5 percent sculpture. 8 It 
is often described as the heart of the Shanghai art 
scene during the 1920s and 1930s. 

The Shanghai Art Academy spun off a num- 
ber of other academies, some of them quite large. 
The Xinhua Academy was founded by a break- 
away group. Its faculty included Zhang Yuguang, 
Zhu Qizhan (who had trained in Japan as an oil 
painter), Pan Tianshou, Wang Yachen, and oth- 
ers. Its buildings were destroyed in 1937. 9 

The studio of Zhang Chongren provides an 
example of a very different type of art-training 
institute — small, private, and exclusive. Zhang, 
who had studied at the Royal Academy in Brus- 
sels, was best known as a sculptor; he had won 
a gold medal in a competition while in Belgium. 
Before 1949 he won a national competition 
to create a sculpture of the Nationalist leader 
Chiang Kai-shek. Zhang's studio, the most presti- 
gious (and expensive) private art-training facility 
in Shanghai, was also one of the most innova- 
tive. 10 While he at times used live models, his 
main tools for teaching Western sculpture and 
drawing were a series of full-size plaster casts of 
famous European sculptures he had had shipped 
back from Belgium and a copy of Guide Pratique 
pour les Differents Genres de Dessins, an illus- 
trated multivolume manual by Armand Cassagne 
(1823-1907) published in Paris in 1873. Zhang 
was also interested in traditional Chinese paint- 
ing and taught from one of the first histories of 
the tradition, the Nanhua dacheng, which was 
published in Japan. 11 

\ii Societies 

Art societies served as a forum for sharing ideas 
and for mutual support. Such societies were 
numerous — many had few members and lasted 
only a brief period, while others were more 
influential. In 1920 Liu Haisu (see cat. nos. 22 
and 79) and several friends organized the Heav- 
enly Horse Painting Society (Tianma huahui); its 
annual exhibitions were part of Shanghai artistic 
life from 1920 until 1929.'- In 1928 Lin Fengmian 
(see cat. nos. 20 and 21) established the National 
Art Movement Society with the stated goals: 

To introduce Western art 

To reform traditional art 

To reconcile Chinese and Western art 

To create contemporary art. 13 

In the summer of 1931 the oil painter Ni Yide 
(cat. no. 78), PangXunqin (cat. no. 80), and 
other Shanghai artists trained in Tokyo and Paris 
met to form a society dedicated to promoting 
modern art. They named their group the Storm 
Society (Juelanshe) and held their first exhibition 
in January 1932 in the French Concession. The 
Storm Society ended in 1935. Its manifesto pro- 
vides insights into these artists' aspirations and 
the environment in which they worked. 

The air that surrounds us is too desolate. 
The commonplace and the vulgar enclose 
us on all sides, numberless feeble wriggling 
worms, endless hollow clamor! 

Whither has gone our ancient creative 
talent, our glorious history? Our whole art 
world today is decrepit and feeble. 

We can no longer be at ease in this atmo- 
sphere of compromise. We cannot tolerate 
this feeble breathing to await our death. 

Release the disturbing power of Realism! 

Let us arise! Summon up the passion 
of wild beasts, the will of steel, to create an 
integrated world with color, line, and form! 

We recognize that art is certainly not the 
imitation of nature, nor is it the inflexible 
repetition of objective form. We must devote 


our whole lives to the undisguised expression 
of our fierce emotion! 

We do not take art to be the slave of 
religion, nor is it the explanation of a culture. 

We want freedom to build up pure 

We hate the old forms, the old colors! 
We hate the commonplace, low-grade clever- 
ness! We want to use the new art to express 
the spirit of a new era. 14 

( Jalleries and Exhibitions 

Shanghai artists working in Western mediums 
and styles also faced challenges in finding places 
to exhibit their art. For most of the period under 
discussion here, Nanjing was the only city in 
China that had an art gallery. In Shanghai, exhi- 
bitions were held wherever room could be found: 
university halls, corporate buildings on Nanjing 
Road that had spare space, hotels, international 
clubs, and department stores. The Daxin Depart- 
ment Store on Fuzhou Road in the International 
Settlement had one of the most famous art- 
showing areas in Shanghai. 15 Societies of various 
types hosted exhibitions as well; Kuiyi Shen men- 
tions the building owned by the Ningbo Native 
Place Society as an important private exhibition 
space in the city. 16 

Exhibitions ranged in size from small displays 
with works of only one or two artists to shows 
that were large and ambitious. A few large, influ- 
ential exhibitions were particularly noteworthy. 
In October 1922 Chen Baoyi, Yu Qifan, and Guan 
Liang exhibited their oil paintings at the Ningbo 
Native Place Society mentioned above. 17 Tickets 
were sold at the door. 18 Cai Yuanpei opened the 
first official National Art Exhibition in Shanghai 
in 1929: it featured both paintings in traditional 
Chinese mediums (guohua) and paintings in 
Western styles and mediums (xihua), along with 
sculpture, photography, architecture, design, and 
embroidery. It also included works from Japan, 
which sparked a debate. 1 " The Art Wind Soci- 
ety (Yifengshe) sponsored the Art Wind Journal 
(Yi/eng) and in 1931 began to hold important 
exhibitions, including works by many modem 

masters. Its third exhibition had no fewer than 
931 works. 20 

As the critic Wen Yuanning pointed out 
in 1936, the exhibitions held in China suffered in 
comparison to those held in Europe and Japan. 

The first point that strikes any visitor to most 
Chinese Exhibitions of Paintings is the atro- 
cious way in which the pictures are displayed. 
Nothing is done to show a painting to its best 
advantage. The exhibits seem to be hung up 
on no principle that we can discover: short 
and long, big and small, they are thrown 
together pell-mell. The result is anything but 
artistic. Under such circumstances, many 
beautiful pictures stand precious little chance 
of catching one's attention. In this respect, 
we have plenty to learn from the Japanese. 
With them, every picture, without sacrificing 
a jot of its claim on the spectator's attention, 
contributes to the harmonious effect of the 
whole exhibition. ... In the West too, they 
order things better than we do here. What a 
difference, for instance, between the way we 
displayed our exhibits for the London Exhibi- 
tion of Chinese Art at Shanghai last year and 
Nanjing a few months ago, and the way they 
were displayed at Burlington House! Our 
manner of displaying our exhibitions is not 
even a good shopman's way of displaying 
his goods. 21 

Artists took advantage of every possible 
opportunity to display their work overseas. There 
were frequent exhibitions in Japan and a smaller 
number in Europe. The Exposition Chinoise d'Art 
Ancien et Modeme, with 485 works, opened at the 
Palais du Rhin in Strasbourg on May 21, 1924, 
and an exhibition of 250 contemporary Chinese 
works was sent to Germany in 1934'* Perhaps 
the most influential European exhibition was 
the International Exhibition 0/ Chinese Art, men- 
tioned by Wen Yuanning above, thai was held at 
Burlington House in London in 1935. This huge 
exhibition included antiques, traditional arts, and 
contemporary works. 

Western-Influenced Painting in Shanghai. 


Art journals and other periodicals served as 
another arena in which artists could share ideas 
and debate new concepts. Such journals were 
so prevalent and provide so much material for 
scholars that there is almost more written infor- 
mation available than there are surviving works 
of art. Printing boomed in Shanghai during the 
early twentieth century. Wen-hsin Yeh points out 
that during this period more than two thousand 
periodicals competed for revenue and attention 
of a readership of merely five hundred thou- 
sand. 2 '' In addition to journals specific to the 
field, art exhibitions and happenings were also 
mentioned in a number of popular publications. 
As noted earlier, the bulletin of the Association 
Amicale Sino-francaise often included articles 
about the art scene. 25 Even popular and influ- 
ential magazines like The Young Companion (see 
cat. no. 58) carried reviews and photographs of 
art exhibitions. -" Michael Sullivan describes the 
resulting environment as "civilized, cosmopoli- 
tan, stimulating, and confused." 27 

The Influence of fapan 

Several scholars have discussed in depth the 
influence of Japan on Chinese artists seeking to 
study Western-style painting. 2 * A brief summary 
will suffice here. Japan was a natural first stop for 
many Shanghai artists seeking an introduction 
to Western styles. Japan was nearly fifty years 
ahead of China in establishing strong cultural 
and economic links with the West. After open- 
ing its doors with Perry and the Meiji Restora- 
tion in 1868, Japan set upon an ambitious plan 
to modernize and Westernize its economy, its 
government, and many of its cultural and social 

In pragmatic terms, Japan is physically close 
to China and shares a writing system, which 
made easier the translation of Western concepts 
and practices. Japan also had strong and direct 
commercial ties to Shanghai. Tokyo was the 
main attraction for visiting scholars; the Impe- 
rial Academy of Fine Arts, the Tokyo Academy of 

Fine Arts, and the Kawabata Painting Academy 
drew most visiting artists. 29 The majority of the 
painters under discussion here spent some time 
in Japan. 

However, relations with Japan presented 
philosophical difficulties for Chinese artists, 
particularly as Japan's territorial ambitions on 
the continent became more apparent. One of 
the major events that impacted China's view of 
Japan came in late April 1919 when, as part of the 
agreements ending World War I, U.S. President 
Woodrow Wilson and the British and French 
transferred all of Germany's rights in Shandong 
Province to Japan. The agreements were signed 
in Versailles and led to mass protests in China. 
The resulting May Fourth Movement has been 
described as the first mass movement in modern 
Chinese history." 1 It also served as a catalyst for 
modernization in China. The resulting New Cul- 
ture Movement spurred modernization in artistic 
and cultural spheres. Ironically, Japan was the 
most immediate place to obtain the tools neces- 
sary for modernization. 

The situation became even more difficult 
on January 29, 1932, when the Japanese bombed 
the poor area of Chapei in Shanghai, killing 
large numbers of civilians. This bombing was fol- 
lowed by a full-scale attack on Shanghai's Chinese 
defenders. Relations with Japan changed entirely 
with the occupation of much of China, includ- 
ing Shanghai, in 1937. On August 1, 1943, the 
International Settlement and the French Conces- 
sion were formally handed over to the Shanghai 
Special Municipality. After one hundred years, 
"European Shanghai had come to an end and the 
city was unified under a Chinese government, 
thanks to Japan's 'friendship.'" 51 

Study in Europe 

Travel from China to Europe, in comparison to 
Japan, was time-consuming and expensive. There 
were also immense language and cultural barriers 
to overcome. Nevertheless, a number of influen- 
tial artists did make the journey — most with the 
hope of study in Paris. Lin Fengmian (cat. nos. 
20 and 21), Xu Beihong (cat. nos. 53 and 54), 


I in 1 laisu (cat. nos. 22 and 79), and Wu Zuorcn 
all spent considerable time in Europe. Paris was 
expensive, though, and many continued their 
studies 111 Germany or Belgium while also travel 
ing to other countries. Very few artists studied in 
the Americas. One of those few was Teng Baiye 
(1901-1980), who studied in Seattle, where he 
profoundly impacted Mark Tobey and the devel- 
oping Northwest school." 

At this time Europe was undergoing its own 
artistic revolution, and the choices of where 
and what to study were many and confusing. 
Most Chinese artists spent the bulk of their time 
studying at the various well-established acad- 
emies. Few Chinese in Europe actually studied 
with leading modern artists such as Picasso and 
Braque, who did not teach students. Only the 
more conservative painters at the academies 
did. 33 Nevertheless, various leading Chinese art- 
ists actively debated about which Western styles 
were and were not appropriate for study. These 
debates are introduced briefly in the entries on 
the individual artists. 

Impressionist and Postimpressionist styles 
appealed to Shanghai artists. Julia F. Andrews 
points out that "in some cities, such as Shang- 
hai, impressionism became so potent that it 
was widely practiced by young artists as late as 
1980."' 4 Still lifes and landscapes in Impressionist 
styles were popular in China due to their concep- 
tual appeal; they seemed scientific and modern 
to young Chinese and shared principles with 
traditional Chinese painting. 

Michavl Knight 

Sullivan, Iri and Irtists, 58, 
[bid ,68 
Ibid., 44. 

Shrn. Lure "I the West." 174. 

Yeh, Shanghai Splendor, 16. 

Ibid., ji. 

Sullivan, An and Artists, 44-45. 

[bid . \f 


Andrews, Painters and Politics, 22;. 

Knight and I 1 Huayi Monumental Landscapes, 30-31. 

Sullivan, Art and .Artists, 45. 

Danzker, "Cultural Exchange," 23-25. 

Sullivan, Art mid Artists, 621117. 

Ibid., 60-61. 

Shen. "Lure of the West." 174. 


Sullivan, Art and Artists, 58. 

Danzker, "Cultural Exchange," 26. 

Sullivan. Art and Artists, 59. 

Ibid., 6ini2. 

Danzker, "Cultural Exchange," 22. 

Ibid., 10. 

Yeh, Shanghai Splendor, 127. 

Sullivan, Art and Artists. 44. 

Shen, "Lure of the West," 175. 

Sullivan, Art and Artists, 65. 

For example, see Shen, "Lure of the West," 173-176; 

Crozier, "Post-Impressionists in Pre-War China," 137-13? 

and Shen, "Modernist Movements in Pre-War China.' 

Shen, "Lure of the West." 173-175. 

Danzker, "Cultural Exchange," 18-21. 

Yeh, Shanghai Splendor, 158-159. 

For a full discussion, see Clarke, "Teng Baiye and Mark 

Tobey," 84-103. 

Andrews, Painters and Politics, 180-181. 

Ibid., 181. 


Western-Influenced Painting in Shangh, 

S3 Portrait of Kang Youwei's wife 

By Xu Beihong (1895-1953) 

Watercolors on paper 

H. 83.9 x w. 65.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Museum 

Xu Beihong was a major figure in introducing Western 
styles into Chinese art during the early and mid- 
twentieth-century. He also attempted to synthesize 
Chinese and Western techniques. Born in Yixing, 
Jiangsu Province, not far from Shanghai, Xu began 
studying Chinese calligraphy with his father, Xu 
Dazhang, when he was six and Chinese painting when 
he was nine. In 1915 he moved to Shanghai, where he 
studied French language and Western painting, at least 
in part with Liu Haisu at the Shanghai Art Academy.' 

Like many ambitious Shanghai artists, Xu longed to 
study abroad. His first opportunity came in 1917, when 
he went to Tokyo. After returning to China, he taught in 
Beijing at the invitation of Cai Yuanpei, China's minister 
of education. In 1919 Xu made his first trip to Europe, 
where he studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure 
des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He stayed in Europe until 1927. 
Upon his return to China, he filled a number of impor- 
tant and influential teaching posts. -' 

Xu was quite conservative in his approach to 
Western art. He studied with the academies in Pans 
and returned to China holding a strong opinion that art 

should focus on realism. He was a harsh and adamant 
critic of the contemporary movements in Europe and 
felt they had no place in China.' In this he was in direct 
conflict with artists such as Ni Yide (cat. no. 78) and, 
even more so, Liu Haisu (cat. no. 79). 

In Shanghai Xu Beihong was drawn into the circle 
of the Hardoons. The famous reformer Kang Youwei was 
also a member of this circle, and he and Xu may have 
first made contact there. 

This image of Kang Youwei's wife is in water- 
colors on paper. She is rather stiffly depicted in 
Chinese dress but in a totally Western setting. The 
architectural details, small table, potted plants, trees, 
and landscape all suggest a European setting; even 
the books appear to have Western titles. Other than the 
fact that the main subject is a Chinese woman, there 
is little to indicate that this work is not a Western 
watercolor. MK 

1 Sullivan, Art and Artists. 68. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid.. 6S ami 73. 


54 Garden, 1940s 

By Xu Beihong (1895-1953) 
Oil on canvas 
H. 50.0 x w. 71.0 cm 
Private collei lion 

This painting in oil on canvas is in a far more impres- 
sionist k style than Xu's portrait of Kang Youwei's wife. 
Here Xu has chosen to depict a traditional Chinese- 
style garden and building— thereby combining the 
extremely different traditions of Western painting 
and Chinese architecture. The setting resembles one 
section of the famous Yu Gardens in Shanghai, but it 
could be from any number of similar-style gardens in 
nearby Suzhou. The artist has signed the work w itli the 
1 linn ■■..■ ' lunacters reading Beihong in red in the lower 
1 ight corner, mk 

5 Changde Road, 1940 

By Guan Liang (1900-1986) 
Oil on canvas 
h. 58.0 x w. 89.5 cm 
Private collection 

56 Wharf, 1940 

By Guan Liang (1900-1986) 
Oil on board 
H. 53.5 x w. 80.0 cm 
Private collection 

Best known as an oil painter, Guan Liang was 
born in Fanyu, Guangdong Province, in 1900. 
Like many Chinese artists interested in Western 
art practice and theory, he studied at the Tokyo 
Academy of Fine Arts, the Kawabata Painting 
Academy, and the Pacific Painting Academy in 
Japan, staying there from 1917 to 1923. He spent 
the decades following his return teaching in 
Shanghai and Hangzhou. He was associated with 
revolutionary causes from early in his life and in 
1926 joined the Northern Expeditionary Revo- 
lutionary Troop as a propaganda artist. After the 
Japanese invasion in 1937, he left Shanghai and 
spent the following years in Hong Kong, Kunming, 
and Chengdu. Guan Liang, along with Zao Wou-ki 
(Zhao Wuji) and Ding Yanyong, held their own 
"Salon des Independents" in Chongqing in 1942 


at the same time as the government sponsored the Third 
National Art Exhibition (which Guan and his colleagues 
considered too conservative). 1 He later taught and 
served as an administrator at the Shanghai Art Academy, 
the Shanghai University of Art, and the Chinese Artists' 
Association. He was one of many artists who traveled to 
the Soviet Union after China closed its doors to the West 
in 1950. 2 

Both of these works are dated 1940, when Guan 
Liang was in exile during the Japanese occupation of 
Shanghai. In the first he has chosen to depict a quiet 
residential street overhung with sycamores. A streetcar 
occupies the center of the painting, while to the left a 
square raised area appears to contain a large Chinese- 
style garden rock. The style is generalized, soft, and 
impressionistic. The artist signed his work in black with 

the Chinese characters reading Guan Liang in the lower 
left corner. 

Wharves (matott) are depicted in the second work. 
The artist has taken a low viewpoint and focuses on the 
actual wharf; no complete ship and only small strips 
of water are visible. To the left, smoke billows from a 
smokestack, and numerous banners flutter from masts. 
To the right appear buildings of what might be the 
Bund. They are done in broad, flat planes of color with 
only cursory detail. No people are shown. 

No doubt these paintings are a nostalgic represen- 
tation of what the Shanghai resident living in exile 
had lost. MK 

1 Sullivan. Art and Artists, 97-98. 

2 Ibid., 135. 


57 Still life, 1943 

By Guan Zilan (1903-1986) 
Oil on silk 
H. 55.0 x w. 75.5 cm 
Private collection 

Guan Zilan was one of Shanghai's most successful 
women artists. 1 Born in Guandong Province in 1903. she 
moved to Shanghai to study painting with Chen Baoyi 
at the Shanghai Chinese Arts University. She favored 
1 am is! st) It", .is painted in Japan by Yasui Sotaro, the 
same styles that fascinated Ni Yide (cat. no. 7N ) and 
other avant-garde artists. Guan traveled in 1927 to [apan, 
where she continued her studies of Western painting 
theory and practice. In 1930 she was back in China 
tea< hing at the Academy of Fine Arts. Kuiyi Shen 
reports that Guan held .1 large solo exhibition in 1930, 
apparently in Shanghai. The event was reported in the 
Shanghai magazine I hi rbung 1 ompanion (see cat. no. 
58). and the artist was photographed with Chen Bai >) 1 
and his wife. : Guan stayed in Shanghai after 1949. but 
little is known ol hei a< tivities She died 111 1986. 

This still life, dated 1943, was painted during the 
Japanese occupation of Shanghai. Guan employs a bright 
palette to create a scene of a small table supporting 
two vases filled with exotic flowers. Pieces ol fruit are 
scattered on the table; behind are the wainscoting and 
wood paneling of a Western style room. Like the room 
and the flowers, the fruit iwhn h appe.11 to be lemons, 
apples, and a banana) and the ceramii s are not typical 
of traditional Chinese painting. Influence of the lapa 

nese Fauvists is evident in the bold colors and simplified 

forms. Guan signs and dales the \\..ik in Chinese in the 
lower right corner. MK 

1 Forabriel biograph) sei 

Kameda-Mad u 
j Shen, "Lure of the Wi I 

Western-Influenced Painting in Shangl 

Shanghai Graphic Arts 1910-1949 

Shortly alter the lithographic era of the 1880s 
mil the following two decades, new printing 
iii hnologies appeared in rapid succession that 
ultimately established the foundation for Shang- 
hai's printing boom during the first half of the 
twentieth century, 1 beginning with the cop- 
perplate press in the 1910s and followed by the 
photographic plate in the 1920s.- The majority of 
the important publishers were based in Shanghai 
and concentrated around Fuzhou Road: 1 Com- 
mercial Press Limited (1897, Shangwu yinshu 
guan), Chung Hwa Book Company (1912, shuju), Kai Ming Book Company 
(Kaiming shudian), and World Book Company 
(Shijie shuju):' Arguably the most influential was 
the Liangyou Publishing Company (Liangyou 
tushu gongsi), whose flagship magazine, The 
Young Companion (Liangyou huabao) (cat. no. 58), 
had the longest print run for a pictorial in mod- 
ern Chinese history. 5 

The samples here of graphic arts of this 
period fall into two broad, but at times overlap- 
ping, categories: commercial and social. On the 
commercial side are posters (cat. nos. 62-72), 
advertisements, and lifestyle magazines (cat. nos. 

58-61); materials with social agendas include 
cartoons (cat. no. 102), woodcuts (cat. nos. 
95-101), and the art periodicals that published 
them (cat. nos. 91-94). Two fundamental fea- 
tures connect these examples thematically. 
temporally, and spatially: 1) their intended mass 
audience and aim at popular appeal, and 2) their 
emphasis on pictures— the image served as the 
medium of communication. The "pictorial turn" 6 
that began in the late 1800s with the Dianshizhai 
huabao intensified during the first half of the 
twentieth century and characterizes Shanghai 
printing of the time as a visual enterprise. 

Dany Chan 

1 By 1930 the printing industry was the city's third-largest 
form of industrial investment, after brocade wc.r. ing and 
cigarette manufacturing. See Reed, Gutenberg in Shang- 
hai. 267. 

2 Zhang, "Corporeaf ity of Erotic Imagination," 126. 

3 Lee, Shanghai Modern, 45; and Laing, Selling Happiness, 2. 

4 Edgren, "China," 109. 

5 Lee, Shanghai Modem. 64. 

6 This term is borrowed from Laikwan Pang in "The Picto- 
rial Turn," 16-36. 

The Young Companion, no. 101 

I I. inn. in hi 5) 

Published '•■■• 1 1 ingyou Publishing Company 
Bound volume 

II |6 ; » 16 . 11 5.5cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

With the longest print run foi a pictorial magazine in 
modern China (1926-1945), ' The Young Companion 
became a major intluence on— and therefore an invalu- 
able si .111, , materia] of— Shanghai urban culture during 
the first hall of the twentieth century. It was published 
by the Liangyou Publishing Company using the newer 
offset printing technology, 2 in addition to photography 
for its cover portraits:' the black-and-white photographs 
were Erst shot at commercial studios, and color was 

later applied by artists before printing/ In fact, the 
faces of women appear on almost every cover of the 
magazine/ they range from neighborhood students 
to famous movie stars," and each is identified by name 
and sometimes school or vocation. s Scholars have 
traced the tradition of the cover girl to late-nineteenth 
century entertainment journals that often featured 
"famous flowers," or Shanghai courtesans, on their 
covers." However, most likely to counter this tradition, 
ever) editorial and marketing effort was made to empha- 
si ■<■ iIh respectability of the cover girls of The Young 
Companion. 10 

Browsing through any issue of the magazine, 
one would most likel) encounter, among other features, 
1) reproductions of Western and Chinese art; 11 2) photo- 
graphs showcasing Shanghai's many attractions; and 

3) advertisements tor Western and Chinese products. 
espex iall) prevalent during the National Goods Cam- 

The legacy of The Young Companion lay in 
its at hievemenl as an arbiter of modernity for the 
two decades of its run. not only by satisfying public 
demand for all things en vogue, but also bycri 
such demand at the same time. 

Offset lithograph) I jiaoban orxiangpi ban) was Intro 

tinted into Shanghai in 1415 In Commercial Press 

Limited. Sec Reed. "Re/Collecting the Sou. 

Reed. Gutenberg in Shanghai, (>): and Dikotter. Exotic 

Commodities. 68. 

Lee. "Cultural Construi tion "I Modernil 

Waara. "Invent! 

5 Ibid.; and Laing, Selling Happiness, 59. 

rban Milieu "I Shanghai Cinema," 77: and Waara, 
"Invention, Industi 

Shanghai Modem, 65. 
8 Waara, "Invention, Industry, v 

Shanghai Modern, 65 and 358029. 

10 Such as including the editor's mi 

ing his wish to establish a friendly relationship ! 
magazine and n 

■ . ompanion in the dail) lives ol its readi 
ibid.. 66 and 73. 

11 Waara. "Invention, Ind 
u Lee, Shanghai 

1 j Wu Huating, "Shapeless Wives and Mothers," 11. 

14 Waara, Invention. Indu 

15 Lee, Shanghai '■' 
Hon of Modern 

59 The Movie World, no. 13 (1940) 

Bound volume 

11. ;57 x w. 26.0 x D. 3.0 cm 

Coll© tion "I the Shanghai I [istory Museum 

Film arrived in China in 1896 w ith the Hist publi< 
viewing in a teahouse in Shanghai,- but the first movie 
magazines did not appear until 1921— with the pub 
lication of The Journal of Film (Yingxi congbao) by the 
Shanghai newspaper Shenbao and the independent Film 
Magazine (Yingxi zazhif— heralding the Chinese film 
industry boom of the 1920s and 1930s. 4 Not surprisingly, 
interest in movies was de rigueur for modern living in 
Shanghai, 5 and the city became the center of Chinese 
cinema, functioning as "a nexus in the larger matrix of 
a national, regional, and international film culture"" 
during the first half of the twentieth century. Nearly half 
of all Chinese films were produced in Shanghai/ and the 
first movie theater there opened in i9o8; s by 1930, the 
city housed a total of fifty-three cinemas. In fact, the city 
offered such favorable circumstances for a burgeoning 
film culture that one scholar distinguished "Shanghai 
cinema" from "Chinese cinema" to illustrate its singu- 
larity— "just like the city that fostered it . . . Shanghai 
cinema was neither completely national nor completely 

The woman on the cover of this issue of Tin Movie 
World is Zhou Manhua, a popular actress of Shanghai 
films in the 1940s. Unlike her Hollywood counterpart, 

Zhou here exhibits demure femininity rather than loud 
sexuality, 10 and in many regards, the ( Chinese actress was 
the first generation of the "modern girl" both on-screen 
and off." The color and texture effects of Zhou's rosy 
face recall the "rub-and-paint" technique employed on 
the popular posters (cat. nos. 64-72) for which screen 
actresses often served as models 

1 F11. "Selling Fantasies at War," 187. The first films wen pn 
dominantly foreign; the first Chinese film appeared in 1905 
See Dikotter, Exotic Commodities, 253; and Zhang Zhen, 
Amorous History, win. 

2 Zhang Zhen, Amorous History, xviii; and Dikotter, Exotic 
Commodities. 252. 

3 Lee, Shanghai Modem, 85. 

4 Zhang Zhen, Amorous History. 38. 

5 Lee, Shanghai Modem. 86. 

6 Zhang Zhen, Amorous History, 87. 

7 Zheng Dongtian. "Films and Shanghai," 300. 

8 Dong, Shanghai: Gateway, 21. 

9 Zhang Zhen, Amorous History. 349. 

10 Lee, Shanghai Modem, 93. 

11 Zhang Zhen, Amorous History, 39. 

12 Lee. Shanghai Modern. 78. 

Shanghai Graphic Art 

o Arts and Life, no. 22 

[.inn. 11 ) ig ;li I 

Published by K & K Printing Company, 

distributed U Kinwen baoguan 
Bound volume 
11 18.5 x w. 26.7 cm 
1 ollectionol the Shanghai History Mus 

'< W«.VGs_i, ^«i 

Despite lis short print run ( 1934-1937),' Arts ai 
along with Hie Young Companion (cat. no. 58), has been 
singled out as exemplary of the aims and strati 
Shanghai's twentieth-century commercial culture. I he 
magazine's editors comprised a virtual Who's Who in 
Chinese art: the middle class, and especially women, 
formed its core readership; 4 and it promoted consum- 
erism of arts and entertainment as a desirable ai tivity 
of modern living. ' This special New Year's issue has a 
cover image of Shirley Temple and features on Chinese 
cartoons (manhua), a genre that reached the height of its 
popularity in the mid-ig30s. 6 

The cartoon originated in Europe and entered 
China via Japan. In fact, the Chinese term was borrowed 
from the Japanese manga, meaning a "spontaneous or 
impromptu sketch," and was first used by artist Feng 
Zikai in a 1925 publication;* manhua became the official 
designation for Chinese cartoons thereafter." Touted 
as an art form for the masses, 10 Chinese cartoons were 
produced mainly in Shanghai. The first weekly cartoon 
magazine was published by a local press in 1928, 11 and 
cartoons gradually became integral to all major publica- 
tions. l: By this time, Shanghai residents were already 
familiar with the art form as seen in Western publi- 
cations such as the British Punch (1841-1992)" and 
the American New Yorker." In addition to publishing, 
cartooning societies were established in the city, such as 
the Cartoon Association (Manhua hut') in 1927 1 ' and the 
National Salvation Cartoon Propaganda Corps (Jiuwang 
manhua xuanchuandui) in i937. lb The first national con- 
ference on cartoons was held in Shanghai in 1927. 1 

1 Waara, "Invention, Industry, Art," 63. 

2 Ibid., 62-63. 

3 Ibid., 63. 

4 Ibid., 74-75 and 87. 

5 Lee, Shanghai Modern, 64. 

6 Farquhar, "Sanmao," 145; and Shen, " and 



7 Farquhar. "Sanmao" 142. 

8 Hung, "Feng Zikai's Wartime Cartoons." 41. 

9 Huang Yuanlin, "Chinese Cartoons. 5. 

10 Farquhar, "Sanmao" 143. 

11 Ibid.. 145. 

12 Hung. ' I rug Zikai's Wartime Cartoons. 42 
M Reed. Gunilhug m Shanghai. 93. 

14 Farquhar. "Sanmao" 147. 

15 Hung, "Feng Zikai's Wartime Cartoons," 42. 

16 Ibid., 44; and Shen, "Lianhuanhua and Manhua.' 
1- Farquhar, "Sanmao." 145. 

I 10 

61 Chinese Culture, no. 43 (1933) 

Bi itmd volume 

11. 34.0 ■ w. 24. s ■ 11. is < do 

Collection <>l tin- Shanghai History Museum 

rhe cover of this issue of Chinese Culture reproduces 
a painting by Liang Dingming (1898 1959) depii ting 
the mausoleum oi Sun Yai sen (1866 1925), founder of 

the Nationalist Party in China.' Construction ofwhal is 
called the Zhongshan Mausoleum (ZliongsHiin ling) was 
I ompleted in Nanjing in 1929. J 

Liang began in portraiture as a staff artist for 
the in-house advertising department of BAT ( British 
American Tobacco Company, based in Shanghai) — 
he was there from 1921 to 1925' — and later moved to 
Guangzhou, where an introduction to Chiang Kai 
shek (1887-1975) would thereafter entrench Liang's 
art within the activities of the Nationalist Party, 4 as 
this painting intimates. Painted no later than 1933. the 
landscape around the mausoleum is awash in a saturated 
palette much favored by Liang: "deep crimson, emerald 
green, harvest yellow, ultramarine blue, and violet" 5 
— appropriate color choices, since the mausoleum 
sits atop the Zijin ("Purple-Gold") Peak of Zhongshan 
Mountain. DC 

1 Si lioppa. Modern Chnu'sc Hisfon •'■■' 

2, "Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum." 

3 Laing, "British American Tobacco Company." 

4 Ibid. 

5 Ibid. 

2 Nanjing Road — From Series of Views 

0/ Shanghai, after ig 3 2 

By ZI1.11> U.1111111 (dates unknown) 

Poster, chromolithograph 

H. 53.0 x w. 75.8 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

What is captured in this poster is one of the intersections along 
Nanjing Road, the hub of Shanghai's commercial power dur- 
ing the early 1900s; in fact, it is still privileged with the name 
"Number-One Road" (Da main). 1 The imposing structures lining 
the thoroughfare are three of China's "Big Four" department stores: 
Sincere Company, Ltd. (Xianshi, 1917, right foreground), Wing On 
Company, Ltd. (Yong'an, 1918, left foreground), and Sun Sun Com- 
pany, Ltd. (Xiiu't'n, 1926, behind Sincere), 2 all of which could rival 
New York's Macy's and London's Selfridges.' Their importance in 
Shanghai's, and China's, history extended beyond mere commerce 
to advance an emerging ideal that linked "tasteful" consumption 
with refined modern living. 4 They achieved this end by employing 
several strategies, some of which were based on Western trends: 
Sincere set fixed prices to prevent haggling, 5 and Wing On empha- 
sized individual and friendly customer service. 6 An outstanding fea- 
ture of these department stores was their attention to elegant store 
and window displays utilizing mannequins, glass cabinets, and 
gallery rails. One strategy that seemed to be uniquely Shanghai, 
however, was the addition of entertainment venues: 8 for example, 
Sincere (followed by Wing On and Sun Sun) installed a roof garden 
offering such amusements as Cantonese opera, 9 and Sun Sun 
installed an all-glass radio studio with live performances by famous 
singers. 10 In these ways, the department store became another 
form of public space, a nexus of consumerism and recreation. And 
much like this richly detailed poster that bears their likenesses, 
they exhibited modernity as an "imagined reality" governed by 
consumption" and attainable either through direct acquisition of 
goods or via the ancillary form of window-shopping, r. 

1 Lee, Shanghai Modem, 15. 

2 Chan, "Four Premier Department Stores," 23-24; and Lee, Shanghai 
Modem, 13. 

3 Dikotter, Exotic Commodities, 59-60. 

4 Chan, "Four Premier Department Stores," 35-36. For example, a major 
commercial trend in the United States during the 1930s was the emer- 
gence of industrial design, a movement that aimed to enhance consumer 
choice and elevate middle-class sensibility with goods that were both 
utilitarian and stylish, thereby merging art and life. See Cogdell, Eugenic 
Design, 219. 

5 Chan, "Four Premier Department Stores," 26. 

6 Dikotter, Exotic Commodities, 59. 

7 Ibid., 61: Zhao and Belk, "Advertising Consumer Culture," 46; and Chan, 
"Four Premier Department Stores," 35. 

8 Lee, Shanghai Modem. 13. 

9 Zhang Zhen, .Amorous History', 61. 

10 Lee, Shanghai Modern, 15. 

11 The term in this context is borrowed from ibid., 74. 


■ BBS! 
fl Riiii 

ii iiiifi 
W Hii 11 




63 Great World Entertainment Center, 1941 

1 \n 1 lati • unl nowi 

Published by Global Heji Postei C par 

Postei 1 hromolithograph 
h. s?o x w. 77.0cm 
Collectio110ftheShangl1.11 History Mu 1 im 

This poster advertises the Great World Entertainment 
Center, the most famous amusement hall ( youlei 
in Shanghai during the early decades of the 1900s. 

Defined as a resort of entertainment catering to p: lis 

of "moderate means,"- the center offered, among other 
things, a mini zoo, variety shows, cinemas, food shops, 
and garden "scenic spots."' In addition. Great World pro- 
vided a convenient twenty-four-hour bank and its own 
daily newspaper. 4 

Aside from recreation, Great World came to serve 
many commercial functions. The original building was 
erected in 1917 in the French Concession at the cor- 
ner of Tibet Road and Avenue Edouard VII, a densely- 
populated crossroads of the different concessions. The 
structure pictured here is the one renovated in 1925, 
composed of a four-story circular facade and a pagoda- 
like tower that mixes Baroque features. Other archi- 
tectural inspirations were drawn from late-imperial 
Chinese gardens and teahouses and the various inter- 
national world fairs.' 

The building also had great advertising value for 
its owner, the pharmaceutical industrialist Huang 
Chujiu (1872-1931), who plastered its interior walls 
and outer facade with advertisements for his medicines; 
promotional stunts were launched from the tower. 
For these and other reasons, Huang had been dubbed 
by his contemporaries as the "King of Advertising" 
(guanggao da wang 1. 

1 Zhang Zhen, Amorous History ;8 

2 Ibid. 

3 Information was compiled from Lee.Sho 

13-14; and Zhang Zhen, Amorous History, 60 and 63. 

4 Zhang Zhen, Amorous History, 60. 

5 Cochran, "Marketing Mr, In ine and Dreams," 79; and 
Zhang Zhen, Amorous History. 60. 

6 Zhang Zhen, imorou: Histoi 1 

7 Information was compiled from ibi chran, 
"Marketing Medii im and 1 in , ind7g. 


Visualizing Women and Shanghai Modernity 

The faces of beautiful Chinese women appear 
often in visual products exhibiting Shanghai 
modernity in the 1920s and 1930s, including 
magazines, film, fashion, advertising, and com- 
mercial posters such as the substantial group 
featured in the following pages. Each of the 
examples pictured here (cat. nos. 64 and 65) 
presents a woman, garbed and coiffed in the 
latest styles, lounging before a backdrop of the 
city's skyline. Such a composition exemplifies 
the successful marketing strategy that created a 
triangular association linking 1) Shanghai with 
2) modernity with 3) the Chinese woman. This 
association was so prevalent in the city's visual 
culture at the time that it compelled the claim 
"Haipai is like a modern girl." 1 

This statement, made in the early twentieth 
century, echoed both the local past and the global 
present. When the term haipai first appeared in 
the late 1800s, referring to the Shanghai school 
of painting, it was intended as a negative charac- 
terization. 2 However, throughout the early 1900s, 
the epithet was consciously manipulated by local 
artists and entrepreneurs in all forms of media 
to redefine haipai as "Shanghai style" and glorify- 
ing it as "refined, dashing, cosmopolitan, and, 
above all, 'modern' [modeng]" 1 The appearance 
of the Chinese modern girl coincided with the 
emergence of the "modern girl" icon in popular 
cultures of such nations as the United States, 
Germany, and Russia. 4 A survey of graphic design 
in Europe and America during these years sug- 
gests two broad societal trends regarding women 
also seen in Shanghai: 1) greater accessibility for 
women in the public domain, and 2) more focus 
on the private lives of young women. 5 Although 
she arguably shared numerous similarities, 

what distinguished the Shanghai modern girl in 
particular from her international sisters was the 
unique character of her city. 

The posters in this group offer portrayals of 
the multiple roles utilized in advertising women 
in general, such as wife and mother (cat. no. 71), 
sexual referents (cat. no. 72), and sex objects (cat. 
no. 66), b underscoring the paradoxical nature 
of the tripartite association of Shanghai, moder- 
nity, and the Chinese girl: how "modern" could 
the Chinese modern girl be when she was still 
trapped in a predominantly male gaze? The diffi- 
culty of defining women's roles in a modernizing 
Shanghai society has been explored by scholars 
through the appearance of women's images in 
various sites, including cinema, commerce, 
advertising, print, industrial design, and fashion. s 

Dany Chan 

1 This statement was made by writer Cao Juren (1900- 
1972) and quoted in Waara, "Invention, Industry, Art," 63. 

2 Ibid., 61m; and Chung, "Reinterpreting the Shanghai 
School," 43. 

3 Cochran, "Commercial Culture in Shanghai," 9-10; 
and Waara, "Invention, Industry, Art," 6t. 

4 A comprehensive study focuses on the development of 
the "modern girl" icon on a global scale. See Modern Girl 
Around the World Research Group, Modem Girl. 

5 Eskilson, Graphic Design. 53-54. 

6 Cohen and Kennedy, Global Sociology, 354. 

7 Ibid. 

8 See Zhang Zhen, Amorous History. 245-297; Cochran. 
Inventing Nanjing Road: Laing, Selling Happiness; Lee, 
Shanghai Modem: Dikotter, Imperfect Conceptions; 
Cogdell. Eugenic Design: and Finnane, "What Should 
Women Wear?" 

1 16 

64 Moonlight over 
Huangpu River. 1930s 

Bv Yuan Xmtang (dates unknown) 

Poster, chromolithograph 

H. 53.4 • w. 77.2 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

65 A Prosperous City That 
Never Sleeps, 1930s 

By Yuan Xiutang (dates unknown) 

Poster, chromolithograph 

H. 53.5 x w. 76.8 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

5 It Often Begins with a Smile, 1930s 

l'<\ [in Meisheng (1902-1989) 

Poster, chromolithograph 

H.77.6 x w. 53.7 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

1 IS 

The Course of a Marriage, 1930s 

Signature ol Zhao Fang (dates unkni iwn) 
Poster, chromolithograph 

II. 71. J ■ W. 51.61 ti 

Collection ol the Shanghai Histor) Museum 

This poster is m li nut onl\ m details hut in then con- 
notative messages as well. In keeping with the title. The 
Course 11/ .1 Miiminv. I lie outer lour seenes rapture the 
idealized life stages of a happy couple, whose wedding 
is pictured in the center. From top to bottom starting at 
top tight, the images depict: 

• Childhood years: the boy and girl are already in love 
with each other. 

• School days: they continue to help each other. 

• After marriage: they have children, referred to as 
"love's reward." 

• In retirement: the couple will enjoy a happy life. 

An outstanding teal u re ol the poster's visual nar- 
rative is its focus on the iiih lear Family (xiao jiating): 
mother, father, and unmarried child (or children), 1 a 
concept in opposition to the traditional ideal ot multiple 
generations living under one roof. However, it has been 
suggested that a preference lor the nui lear family type, 
as seen in Shanghai advertising, reflects the interests 
and ideology of capitalism,- since by the 1930s the city 
had become in its own right an industrial, market- 
economy society. DC 

1 Yeh. i'haftghai Splendor, ill. 

2 Wu Huating, "Shapeless Wives and Mothers." 16. 

** T 

b Sightseeing Arm-in-Arm, 1930s 

By Xie Zhiguang (1900-1976) 

Poster, chromolithograph 

H. 75.7 x w. 53.2 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

3 Facing One's Reflection in Vanity. 1930s 

By Xie Zhiguang (1900-1976) 

Poster, chromolithograph 

h. 77.5 x w. 53.8 cm 

Collection ol the Shanghai History Museum 

These two images are exemplary of a technique used 
for the original paintings from which these prints were 
made. The technique revolutionized the look of Chi- 
nese posters and elevated their commercial popularity. 1 
Known as the "rub-and-paint" technique (cabi shukai. 
or cabi dancai), it was supposedly invented in 1915 by 
the artist Zheng Mantuo (1885/88-1961).- Put simply, 
the technique involves applying a thin layer of carbon or 
charcoal powder over a base drawing. On areas where 
shadow or shading is desired, the powder is gently 
rubbed into the paper. Watercolor is then applied to 

1 50 

finish the image. The overall look, with its graded tones, 
is soft and veiled.' 

The rub-and-paint technique was a major Factor 
in the success of Xie Zhiguang, a student of Zhou 
Muqiao (cat. nos. 33 and 34) and leading master of 
these commercial posters. 4 Xie was said to have 
excelled in creating volume in his female figures, 
in addition to rendering their "glossy lips and saucy 
eyes." 5 The two posters presented here also highlight 
Xie's talents in detailing textile patterns and Westei 
interiors. 6 DC 

Tong, "A History ol ( 'aleiidar Posters." 11. 

Lav. Shanghai MikJitm. -7 : Gnhran. "Marketing Medn me 

anil Dreams," 73; and Laing, Selling Ffappim 

Information vras i ompiled from lbng VHistoi 

dai Posters," u; Lee.Shongl 

Happiness, li6. 

Laing, Si 

Ibid., 158. 

Ibid., 152-153 and 158. 


70 Southern Beauty, 1930s 

By Hang Zhiying (1899-1947) or Zhiying Studio 

Poster, 1 hromolithograph 

h. 78.0 x w. 54.0 cm 

Collection "I the Shanghai I listorj Museum 

/ -'mr./MMo an Orchid-Water Bath, 1930s 

By Hang Zhiying (1899-1947) or Zhiying Studio 

Poster, chromolithograph 

h. 78.0 x w. 54.0 cm 

Collection ol the Shanghai History Museum 

The messages advertised in these two posters are pei 

haps the least sexually provocative of the group included 
in this exhibition. Rather, they are representative of the 
tenets ot 1 lie short lived New Life Movement, launched 
in 1934 by the Nationalist Party in hopes of revitalizing 
a virtuous Chinese society. 1 Emphasis was placed on 1) 
physical fitness for both men and women, and 2) a trade 
tional homemaker role for women.' Advertising posters 
such as these were produced en masse to visualize and 
promote the campaign's platform. 

The poster of the woman lounging seaside (cat. no. 
70) falls into the category of sports advertising, as she 
gives off an air of one at the peak of vitality. She is happy, 
relaxed, and confident of herself and her station in 
life — all that can be achieved through a healthy lifestyle. 
Although such posters were intended to advertise sports 
and fitness, the women in them are rarely in motion; 
rather, they are stationary — sitting on the beach or 

posing poolsidc and thou Illness" is implied through 
physical proximity to the activity, rhepostei of the 
woman and cli ikl (cat. no. 71 ) i-xi'iiiptiru-s advertise 
ments that < hampioned homemaking as the suitable 

protession I01 "modern" women.' Recalling Confucian 
ideals, the New late Movement's message was thus: 
women had the power to shape the future ot the country 
through keeping a happy home. Such nationalist!! senti 
ments were also echoed 111 c onuneice, as women were 
encoiuaged to , ousuiue (household goods and art, loi 
example) lot the good of the country. 5 

The broad, teeth-baring smiles on the women's faces 
are characteristic of Hang Zhiying's modern beauties.'' 
However, although the posters bear his signature, they 
were just as likely to have come out of his own Zhiying 
Studio (established in 1925), the most prolific center in 
Shanghai then for the production of advertisements. 7 
The studio was unique in following the purported 

husiness model ol Wilt I lisnc) s studic 1 ai 1 1 1 

organized into teams that collectively worked on painl 

ings (one artist on I he figures and One 11 11 1 on the 
setting, for example) and I lang signed his name on the 

finished pieces. ' In tins way, quality and delivei Id 

he controlled.'' DC 

Schoppa, Modem Chinese History, 84 and 160. 

I .nil; 1 . Selling Happiness, .118. 

[bid., 219. 


w.i. u. 1 "Inventii in, [ndusti \. Art" 78. 

Cochran, "Marketing Medicine and Dreams." 75-76. 

Bnng, Tung, Ying, and Lo, Chinese Woman and Modernity 

163; and Laing, Selling Happiness, 203. 

Cochran, "Marketing Medii tne and Dreams," 75. 

Bong, Tong. Ying, and Lo, Chinese Woman and Modernity, 


eliding Like Celestial Beings, 1930s 

Signature of Zhi Yin (dates unknown) 

Poster, i hromolithograph 

H.77.5 x w. 53.8 cm 

Collet timi ol t In- Shanghai History Museum 

A Tianjin newspaper report in 1929 claimed that female 
same sex dancing such as the one depicted in this poster 
was all the rage in Shanghai.' Whether or not such a 
trend existed, a social dancing craze did indeed sweep 
the city during the 1920s and 1930s. A Western import, 
social dancing was first regarded as an exotic practice 
associated with sexr it rapidly gained popularity, par- 
ticularly in Shanghai. Dance halls (wilting or wuchang) 
began to appear in the city in the late 1910s — at the 
same time as American ones — followed by a surge of 
new establishments throughout the Foreign Settlements 
in the 1920s. 3 However, only after 1922 did halls start to 
accept Chinese clientele. 4 An average dance hall had a 
small band and "taxi dancers" (wunii) or dance host- 
esses, 5 women such as the four pictured here, who were 
employed as dancing partners" for patrons who had pur- 
chased tickets redeemable for dances. Often featured 
in advertising," the hostesses — the most famous being 

the MGM Ballroom's Five Tigresses and the Paramount's 
Lilac Lady" — became the public face and the public draw 
for these establishments, appealing not only to those 
seeking this new form of entertainment but also to men 
who sought their sexual favors.'" 

1 Laing, Selling Happiness, 136. 

2 Field, "Selling Souls in Sin City," 104. 

3 Henriot, Prostitution and Sexuality in Shanghai. 103. 

4 Laing, Selling Happiness, 135. However. Field gives the later 
date of 1927 in "Selling Souls in Sin City," 105. 

5 Lee, Shanghai Modem. 23. 

6 Henriot, Prostitution and Sexuality in Shanghai. 107. 

7 Field, "Selling Souls in Sin City," 109. 

8 Laing, Selling Happiness, 135. 

9 Honig, Sisters and Strangers, 21. 

io Laing, Selling Happiness. 136; and Zhang Zhen, Amorous 
History, 281. 

15 1 

Blue-gray medium-sleeved 

qipao, 1920s 


Silk uiili 1 amel hail fell lining 

ii. 123.0 • w. 80.01 in 

( lollei tion ol the Shanghai I listor; Museum 

1 Rose medium-sleeved qipao, 1920s 



11 1 ! |.o x w. 80.0 cm 

Collet tion of the Shanghai History Museum 

75 Qipao, 1920s 

H. 134.0 x w. 42.0 cm 
Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

Orange short-sleeved qipao, 1930s 



H. 132.0 x w. 72.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

Qipao, 1930s 


Silk georgette and silk cut-velvet 

H. 135.0 x w. 61.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai History Museum 

The qipao (Cantonese: cheongsam) was emblematic of 
'Shanghai style" in the international fashion world from 
the 1920s to the 1940s, at a time when being "fashion- 
able" (sliimao) and "modern" (modeng) in Shanghai 
was one and the same. 1 Worn then by wives, mothers, 
students, workers, and celebrities alike, it remains 
iconic in present-day imaginations of the city. Although 
brief (beginning in the 1920s), 2 the garment's history 
is a complex tapestry of the historical, political, social, 
and commercial impetuses that similarly shaped other 
aspects of Shanghai's visual culture. The qipno (literally, 
"banner robe") had Manchu origins' but underwent 
constant style changes within the twenty years of its 
popularity. In fact, scholars debate on the motivations 
behind these changes: were they local or global, politi- 
cal or social in nature, or merely driven by capricious 
whims of fashion and taste? 4 After all, Shanghai was the 
fashion leader for China, with new trends arriving from 
Europe and America within a mere two months s before 
eventually filtering into the interior. 

The five garments 111 this exhibition illustrate the 
\ 11 iet) afforded to shape, pattern, hemline, and sleeve 
length. Art Deco sensibilities, such as the motifs of bold 
geometries, made their way into textile designs" as well 
as architecture (see Nancy Berliner's essay in this vol- 
ume), and furniture (cat. nos. 44-47); the influences of 

Japanese patterns can be discerned in the stylized florals. 
In shape and fit, there was a marked difference between 
a 1920s- and a i930s-style qipao: in the 1920s the qipao 
hung from the body in a square, straight line; in the 1930s 
the qipao hugged the figure and often came with one or 
two slits of varying lengths.' 1 

Lee, Shanghai Modern. 5; Ye Xiaoqing, Diamhizhai Pictorial, 

130; and Dikotter, Exotic Commodities, 191, 

Finnane. "What Should Women Wear?," 9 and 11. 

Ibid., 9. 

For example, Antonia Finnane intimates the popularization of 

the qipao with policies of the Chinese Nationalists (Guomin- 

dang). See ibid. An association can also be made between the 

linearity of the qipao's shape and American eugenic design 

principles of the 1920s- 1940s. See Cogdell, Eugenic Design. 

Ban Mingxin. "Shanghai Fashion in the 1930s," 320-321: and 

Yeh. Shanghai Splendor, 62. 

Ei h. Shanghai Art Deco, 14: and Yeh, Shanghai Splendor, 64. 

Yeh. Shanghai Splendor, 2331138. Japanese silk became the 

preferred material during the early decades of the 1900s as 

silk production in lapan became modernized" and reliably 

produced superior-quality silks. See Li. China's Silfe Trade. 


Summarized from Finnane, "What Should Women Wear?," 

18-19: Wu Huating. "Shapeless Wives and Mothers," 17-18; 

and Dikotter. fc'.vntic Commodities, 200. 

■ r V 

ryl 'ry- r;- i 
f f* «*% ft* 

Western-Influenced Painting in Shanghai 1945-1980 

Chinese artists who returned to Shanghai from 
their places of refuge following the end of the 
Japanese occupation in 1945 set about reestab- 
lishing as many of the old systems as possible. 
They brought with them large numbers of art- 
works created during their years away and were 
soon busy creating even more. 1 Foreigners also 
returned, but not in the numbers that had existed 
prior to 1937. The International Settlement and 
the French Concession were not reestablished, 
and Shanghai became a city governed by Chinese. 

The period of new hope was brief. By 1946 
China had begun to suffer from widespread cor- 
ruption and rampant inflation. In 1949 these ills 
and others brought about the establishment of 
the People's Republic of China. In the first years 
after the establishment of the People's Repub- 
lic, Shanghai remained relatively cosmopolitan. 
According to Li Huayi, who grew up in Shanghai 
in those years, 

Like now, many foreigners lived there [in 
Shanghai], but nobody paid much attention 
to them. The Communist Party did not con- 
trol things as strictly as they did elsewhere 
in China. My father even went back and 
forth from Hong Kong until 1952. We went 
to church on Sundays and many priests were 
still in the city. There was bowling at church, 
and we could play baseball there on Sundays. 
This situation continued through 1955. Other 
places had changed long before then, but 
Shanghai was different. 2 

However, Shanghai's reprieve came to an 
end. By 1953 many of the city's teaching acad- 
emies and other institutions dedicated to the 
visual arts had been moved to Beijing, Hangzhou, 
or other cities. 3 For most of the three decades 
that followed Shanghai was subject to the 
whim of political movements. Even though 
Mao Zedong spent a considerable amount of 
time in the city, he seemed particularly intent 
on destroying its artistic and cultural legacy. 

Decentralization of education as part of the 
( .u it Leap Forward (1958-1961) gave Shanghai 

another chance to be influential in the art world, 
but this also was short-lived. In September 1965 
Mao was in Shanghai establishing a base for his 
assault on the Chinese Communist Party. He 
returned to Beijing in 1966 as the Cultural Revo- 
lution came into full play. What ensued were 
"two years of violent change, then eight years of 
misery." 4 Many artists did not practice; others did 
and either hid or destroyed their works. Officially 
the Cultural Revolution promulgated a populist 
and therefore antitraditional approach to Chinese 
painting; it also rejected professionalism in many 
fields, an attitude that had a profound impact 
on the arts. Art created in Shanghai during the 
period consisted almost entirely of ephemeral 
propaganda works. 

Li Huayi provides a personal account of being 
an artist in Shanghai during this period: 

Everything changed; the entire structure of 
society was different. It was terrifying to own 
or even to read books since no one knew for 
certain if any particular book was acceptable 
to the Red Guard or not. Even if it was, the 
next day it might be decided that it contained 
some commentary against the government 
and possessing it could be disastrous. 

During the Cultural Revolution I was a 
worker artist. I was part of a group of artists 
who painted what the Party wanted us to 
paint. Mostly we worked in Soviet Realistic 
styles using Western media. . . . We didn't 
receive any training, just a lot of practice. 
The Party or the Red Guard handed us post- 
ers and we reproduced them. Sometimes they 
wanted us to create new artworks. Of course 
everything had to be approved by the leader- 
ship first. Enormous numbers of paintings 
were needed and we often did works from 
the same poster or about the same subject 
over and over again. Some of the paintings 
were very large. I soon became very familiar 
with how the Party wanted the main images 
to appear — strong and positive for the work- 
ers and peasants; cartoon-like and evil for 

intellectuals and the targets of the current 
movement — so the work was routine. . . . 
As a worker painter I was expected to improve 
my style through study, even though I was not 
in school. Every time there was a big propa- 
ganda exhibition and we were required to 
create something new, there was chaos. 

One of the ironic things about the Cul- 
tural Revolution was, because Western-style 
painting was used so much for propaganda 
purposes, many artists began to react against 
it and to look back to traditional Chinese 
styles. It seems that during the Cultural Revo- 
lution we saw Western-style art everywhere, 
but usually in association with propaganda 
or some government project. It did not seem 
like fine art. Chinese painting seemed like 
fine art; the only fine art we could turn to. 5 

Even after the end of the Cultural Revolu- 
tion and the death of Mao, Shanghai remained 
isolated from most artistic movements; this 
continued to be true for much of the 1980s. 6 
The picture has changed dramatically in the 
last two decades. 


Direct commissions of works of art were a 
rarity for Shanghai painters working in mod- 
ern Western-influenced styles; most relied on 
teaching or other forms of employment for their 
livelihood. This remained true between 1945 and 
1949. The changes in 1949 meant that, directly 
or indirectly, the government became the main 
patron for the arts and private patronage was 
virtually nonexistent. 

From 1949 to 1980 the publishing industry 
was one of the main patrons of the arts in Shang- 
hai (see cat. nos. 106-111). On December 31, 
1955, the New Art and Shanghai People's Fine 
Art Publishing House were combined under gov- 
ernment control, and private publishers ceased 
to exist in Shanghai. 7 For the remainder ol the 
period under consideration here, this industry 

was an arm of the propaganda bureau of the 
central government. 8 The commissioned works 
served purposes other than artistic expression. 
Nevertheless, many Shanghai artists continued 
to create views of their city that were not, at least 
obviously, intended as propaganda. Examples in 
this exhibition include works by Ni Yide (cat. no. 
78), Liu Haisu (cat. nos. 22, 79, and 112), and Ken 
Weiyin (cat. no. 90). 

Academies and Other 
Teaching Institutions 

Art teaching institutions in Shanghai were 
severely impacted by changes in the political 
environment during this time. By 1953 the pri- 
vate Shanghai Art Academy and the Suzhou Art 
Academy (which had moved to Shanghai during 
the Japanese occupation) were moved out 
of Shanghai and combined in Wuxi. Several 
smaller private studios did continue to operate 
in Shanghai during the 1950s and 1960s.'' They 
came to an end with the Cultural Revolution of 

During the Great Leap Forward (1958- 
1961), oil painting and other forms of Western- 
influenced art were the most common practiced 
in Shanghai. Decentralization also allowed for 
the reemergence of some teaching institutions. 
The Shanghai Art School is an example; it was 
founded in March 1959 as part of the Bureau 
of Light Industry as a technical high school. In 
i960 junior college and college programs were 
added, and the academy was reorganized under 
the Shanghai Department of Education. How 
ever, it did not thrive and was forced to move 
at least four times in its brief existence. 10 The 
school was closed after its first college class 
graduated in 1965." Instruction in the visual 
arts was extremely limited in Shanghai from the 
beginning of the Cultural Revolution until the 
establishment of an art department at Shanghai 
University in 1983. a 

Western-Influenced Paintii 

\rt Societies and Associations 

While many of the old art societies had dissolved 
during the war years, they began to re-form 
almost immediately after 1945, and others joined 
them. Before the end of August 1945 members of 
the Shanghai Industrial Arts Society along with 
other artists who had worked on propaganda 
during the war created the Shanghai City Artists' 
Society (Shanghai shi huaren xiehui). During this 
same period, the Shanghai Society of Nine Artists 
(Jiuren huahui) met monthly to discuss Chinese 
and Western art; its members included Ni Yide 
(cat. no. 78) and Guan Liang (cat. nos. 55, 56, 
and 81). B These associations slowly died out after 

Beginning in 1949, the Chinese Artists' 
Association (CAA) became a primary artistic 
organization throughout China; Shanghai was 
no exception. The CAA was a "voluntary" pro- 
fessional organization; most often the salaries 
of its members were paid by work groups that 
were directly or indirectly sponsored by the 
propaganda bureau of the Communist Party. 14 
An extreme example of indirect demands on 
Shanghai members of the CAA occurred during 
the Great Leap Forward. On March 8, 1958, the 
Shanghai branch of the association announced 
it was raising its production plan from 10,000 to 
20,000 works. On March 10, fifty-five members 
who had not gone to labor in the countryside 
pledged to increase their annual output to 9,200 
works and 25 books. 15 These paintings and other 
works of art were needed for the massive and 
ever-changing propaganda campaigns of the day. 
The CAA was a victim of political infighting and 
was largely destroyed during the first years of the 
Cultural Revolution. 16 

Galleries and Exhibitions 

After the occupying Japanese forces left in 1945, 
Shanghai artists were hungry to show their works 
following nine years of exile. They made an effort 
to recreate the gallery and exhibition scene as it 

had existed in 1937. The Shanghai Municipal Art 
Gallery opened in 1947 and hosted two exhibi- 
tions that year; most of the featured works were 
in traditional Chinese mediums. 17 Other galleries 
showed both Western- and Chinese-style works. 
Change was evident once the Communist Party 
took control of Shanghai after 1949. Exhibitions 
remained popular, but they often served purposes 
other than artistic expression. In 1950 party 
officials set up the Shanghai municipality's New 
Chinese Painting Research Society (Shanghai shi 
xinguohua yanjiu hui), which held its first exhibi- 
tion in 1951. ls 

Large-scale public exhibitions frequently 
occurred during the Cultural Revolution. One of 
the largest and most influential hosted in Shang- 
hai was the 1967 Long Live Mao Zedongs Thought. 
The national exhibition Long Live the Victory of 
Chairman Mao's Revolutionary Line opened at 
the Chinese National Art Gallery on October 1, 
1967, and toured the country. It featured sixteen 
hundred works; 60 percent were by workers, 
peasants, and soldiers, the other 40 percent most 
likely by professional artists. 1 " For the exhibi- 
tion and the years immediately following, Mao 
became the central figure in innumerable paint- 
ings (see cat. no. 84). 2 " Certain paintings created 
during this period, usually anonymously, served 
as models for popular posters (see cat. nos. 106- 
111). These posters were distributed throughout 
China and served as models for paintings done 
by local worker units. It is estimated that one 
such painting served as a model for as many as 
2 billion works/ 1 

Where Artists Studied 

Beginning in June 1950, opportunities for Chi- 
nese artists to study in the West were severely 
limited following China's participation in the 
Korean War. This development coincided with 
closer philosophical and political ties between 
China and the Soviet Union. In 1955 the Chinese 
officially adopted Soviet Socialist Realism as 
the style to be taught at the national art schools. 


This style, based on the teachings "I the Russian 
artist Pavel Petrovich Chistiakov (1832-1919), 
focused on "the ability to create a believable 
representation of a three-dimensional subject 
on paper through observation of its planes and 
tonalities of dark and light." 22 During the years 
that followed, numerous Chinese artists traveled 
to Russia, including a small number of Shanghai- 
based artists, Guan Liang (cat. nos. 55, 56, and 
81) among them. Others, such as Yu Yunjie (cat. 
nos. 82-85), trained at the National Central 
Art Academy under the Soviet artist Konstantin 
Maksimov. 23 In general, the major centers for 
art education were outside of Shanghai and few 
Shanghai artists had national influence during 
this period; therefore relatively few traveled 

The years 1959-1961 have been called the 
"Three Disaster Years," as much of China suffered 
from famine, drought, and flood. Border disputes 
also broke out with Russia and India, and China 
became even more isolated. During the period 
of nationalism that followed, few Chinese artists 
had the chance to study in foreign countries. 24 
This lack of opportunity remained the case 
through most of the Cultural Revolution. 

Michael Knight 

1 Sullivan, In and Irtists, 115. 

2 Knight and Li I ln.n i, Monumental I andsi opes, 29. 
5 Sullivan, In and Artists, 238. 

4 Ibid., 151. 

s Knight .uhI l.i I lu.i) i. Monumental 1 andsi apes, 37-40. 

(. Sullivan, An and Artists, 2 j8. 

7 Andrews, Painters and Politics, 129. 

8 Ibid., 202. 

9 Ibid., 216. 

10 Ibid., 222-223. 

11 Ibid., 224. 

12 Sullivan, An and Artists, 2 58. 

13 Ibid., 114. 

14 Andrews, Painters and Politics, 227. 

15 Ibid., 226. 

16 Ibid., 319. 

17 Sullivan, An and Artists. 115. 

18 Ibid., 132. 

19 Andrews. Pamirs, and Politics, 337. 

20 Sullivan, Art and Artists, 152. 

21 Pollack, "Art and China's Revolution," 82. 

22 Andrews, Painters and Politics. 136. 

23 Ibid., 224. 

24 Ibid., 203. 

Shanghai, 19 | 


78 Nanjing Road, 1947 

By Ni Yidc (1901-1970) 
Oil on canvas 
H.44.5 * w. 53.3 cm 
Private collection 

Ni Yide was among the must avant-garde Chinese |iai liters work 
ing in Western-influenced styles in the early twentieth century. 
Born in Hangzhou in 1901, he began his study of Western art 
theory and practice at the Shanghai Art Academy in 1919. 1 [e. 
later studied at the Tokyo Academy and the Kawabata Academy 
in Japan. Upon his return to Shanghai, Ni met with other art- 
ists trained in Tokyo and Paris to form the Storm Society, whose 
stated purpose was to introduce a modern art movement.' 

The Storm Society ended in 1935, but Ni remained influ- 
ential in pro-Western art movements. He was also involved in 
political reform and eventually the Communist Party. Ni was 
one of the artists who worked on anti-Japanese propaganda art 
during the occupation, and in August 1945 he became a member 
of the Shanghai Industrial Arts Society, the Shanghai City Art- 
ists' Society, and the Shanghai Society of Nine Artists. The latter 
met monthly to discuss Chinese and Western art; Guan Liang 
(cat. nos. 55, 56, and 81) was another member.- 1 By 1949 Ni was 
among the group of artists who ran the East China Division of 
the National Academy of Arts in Hangzhou, 3 and in 1953 he was 
assigned to a teaching post at the Central Academy of Fine Arts 
in Beijing. 4 Despite his long-term ties to the Communist Party, 
Ni suffered during the Cultural Revolution and died in 1970 as a 
result of mistreatment. 5 

This work is dated 1947, two years after the end of the 
Japanese occupation of Shanghai, a time when Shanghai's (and 
China's) hope of regaining its past glory was beginning to dim. 
It shows a scene along Nanjing Road, the center for shopping 
and entertainment in Shanghai. Known in the 1930s as one of 
the World's Seven Great Roads, Nanjing Road connected the 
Bund to the racetrack (now People's Park) and points beyond 
and had come to equal the Bund as one of the most frequently 
represented scenes in Shanghai (see also cat. no. 62). 

Ni chose a low point of view and a somber palette to depict 
this scene. A truck and streetcar are coming straight down the 
street. The truck is of a type that must have been common fol- 
lowing the end of the Japanese occupation. People are shown as 
dark, solitary silhouettes, and the buildings seem to close in over 
the street. The overall feel is much darker than in earlier scenes ol 
Shanghai painted by this artist. MK 

1 Andrews, Painters and Polil 

2 Sullivan lr( '""I Irtists, 114. 
} [hid.. 131. 

i \ndrews Painti 1 and Pon'tii |i 

5 Slllll ' : itS, 1st 

70 The Bund, 1956 

By Liu Haisu (1896-1994) 

Oil on canvas 

11 1.6.3 x w. 69.0 cm 

I'l IV. Ill' I l.lll'i III III 

Liu Haisu was perhaps the leading innovator in Western-influenced 
art in China during much of the twentieth century. Born to a wealthy 
family in Wuxing, Jiangsu Province, in 1896, he first attended a private 
school that provided classical Chinese education. At the age of fourteen 
he enrolled in an oil painting school in Shanghai run by Zhou Xiang and 
began a lifelong love affair with Western-style art. 1 Liu was close to the 
great reformer Kang Youwei (see the text of cat. no. 53) and was able to 
see copies of important early European masters in Kang's collection. - 

Liu's first opportunity to study abroad came with a trip to Tokyo in 
1918. Upon his return the following year, Liu helped found the Heavenly 
Horse Painting Society (Tianma huahui), one of the earliest societies in 
Shanghai dedicated to promoting modern art. The society held annual 
exhibitions from 1920 to 1929/ Liu visited Japan again in October 1920 
to attend the opening ceremony of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts. 
Upon his return to China he wrote the Biography of Jean Francois 
Millet and the Biography of Paul Cezanne. He returned to Japan in both 
1927 and 1928 and in 1929 went to Europe. After visiting the art scenes 
in France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium, he returned to Shanghai in 1932. 
He was in Europe again between 1933 and 1935. 

Liu Haisu was a great educator; he started his first art school with 
two companions in 1912 when he was only sixteen. It came to be known 
as the Shanghai Art Academy and is considered by some to be the first 
school of fine arts in modern China. Until it was moved from Shanghai 
in 1953, Liu was actively involved with the private academy, where he 
introduced such "radical" Western practices as the use of nude models. 
As head of this academy, Liu was the leader of the Shanghai art scene in 
the 1920s and 1930s. 4 

In 1953 Liu was named head of a new school in Wuxi. This school 
was a combination of the Shanghai Art Academy and the Suzhou 
Academy of Art, both of which were forced to move to Wuxi, and the 
art department of Shandong University. Liu ultimately ended up in the 
art department of the Nanjing Academy of Arts. While Shanghai did 
not regain its position as a leader in modern Chinese art, Liu remained 
a great fan of the city. In 1957 he was condemned at a meeting of the 
Jiangsu Federation of Literary and Art Circles; his primary offense was 
refusing to move the East China Arts Academy from Nanjing to the 
northwest city of Xi'an. In May 1957 he spoke in favor of moving the 
school back to Shanghai, stating, "The best art in the world is not Soviet 
art; Soviet art has no stature on the world art scene." 5 

Always irrepressible, Liu naturally found himself in trouble during 
the Cultural Revolution. His main crime: on the back of one of the clip- 
pings he had saved about his past, Red Guards found an article critical of 
Jiang Qing when she had been a Shanghai starlet. He survived, however, 
and was ninety-eight years old when he died in 1994. 

For much of his career, Liu was a competitor of the more conser- 
vative Xu Beihong. Liu liked Cezanne, Picasso, and other innovative 
European artists of the time; Xu did not. Liu believed in modernism; 
Xu was strictly academic in his choices of European styles. 

Artistically. Liu was a fan of van Gogh and much influenced by 
his styles," but he was also accomplished in the traditional Chinese 


medium ol ink on paper, following the mannei ol the 

great seventeenth .mil c.n ly eighteenth < rutin \ m'ni 
11 u s and Bada Shanren (see cat. no. 22). This 
work is dated msd. when Liu was in constant trouble 
but busy painting as well. 8 Its twisting, dynamic foi ms 
and vibrant colors reveal the artist's continued interest 
in van Cogb. 

Liu has chosen to show a view across what is now 
known as the Garden Bridge and down the length of the 
Bund. In 1906 the Shanghai Municipal Council replaced 
the wooden budge ovei Su/hou Creek with one made 
of the most modem material available — steel. Deepei in 
the painting are the towers of the Bank of China Build 

ing and Sassoon I louse. A few small i rait appeal t red 

along the Bund. In tbe lower right cornei the artist has 
signed the work with the Chinese 1 harai ters Haisu and 
the date 1956. MK 

, Aw and Artists, 72. 

d ; 


\imIi.w s, Painters and Politit 
[bid., 198-199. 
Sullivan, \rl and Aim st 
Ibid., 74. 
Ibid.. 74-75. 

so Shanghai Street i >,> i 
\'<\ Pang Xunqin (1906 1985) 

Oil mi canvas 

H. 52.5 x w. 67.5 cm 

l'i iv, iu- collection 

Like Ni Yide (cat. no. 78), Pang Xunqin was a leader among avant- 
garde artists in Shanghai. Born in Changshu, Jiangsu Province, in 
1906, he began to study oil painting at an early age and was one of 
the fortunate few who were able to study in Europe, spending the five 
years from 1925 to 1930 in France. In 1930 he returned to Shanghai, 
where he became an active member of a number of art societies 
promoting Western styles. He and Ni Yide were among the found- 
ing members of the Storm Society in 1931. In 1936 Pang accepted a 
teaching post at the National Academy of Arts in Beijing; he escaped 
the Japanese invasion of that city in 1937 with his family and a few 
paintings. During the Japanese occupation he spent time in Kunming, 
Yunnan Province — where he studied the art of the local minority 
people — and in Chengdu. After the occupation ended he taught in 
Canton and in 1949 was given a post at the East China Division of 
the National Academy of Arts in Hangzhou. By 1953 he was back in 
Beijing at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and was involved in the 
founding of the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts. 1 

During his later career Pang was beset by issues stemming from 
political movements. Like many influential and highly visible artists, 
he was singled out during the anti-rightist campaigns of 1957. He 
attempted to hide the severity of his situation from his wife, who at 
the time was recovering from heart problems. Unfortunately, she 
overheard a broadcast denouncing him and suffered a fatal heart 
attack. 2 Although he continued to teach in the following years, 
he was barred from official exhibitions. 

Perhaps fearing similar reprisals. Pang destroyed many of his 
own works at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in 1966. He 
was "rehabilitated" in 1972 and provided a painting for export under 
Zhou Enlai's attempts to improve China's image and to bolster foreign 
exchange. Unfortunately, the artists involved became embroiled in 
political maneuvers by Jiang Qing, and many of Pang's remaining 
works were destroyed by the Red Guard.' He survived until 19S5. 

This quiet scene of a Shanghai street in winter was painted dur- 
ing the time Pang was labeled as a rightist and only two years after 
his wife's death. Perhaps tellingly, the painting features an adult who 
appears to be male and two children on a snow-covered street outside 
a gated compound. Unlike many oi his earliei works, which often 

were in Cubist, Fauvist, or other lead temporary European 

styles, tins 1 Hie shows a fairly conservative Impressionist manner. 

The artist dated the painting anil added a version of his seal in blai k 
,il the lower right. MK 

1 Shen, "1 me "I 'In West, i-(. 

2 Andrews. I i 

} Sh 

1 Andrews ;| ai d Po 

i Bridge on Henan Road <■, ,. > 

By Guan Liang (1900 1986) 
Oil on 1 in 1 
H. 26.0 x w. j j.^ 1 in 
Private collet don 

In this work Guan Liang (see also cat. nos. 55 and 56) 
has chosen a view of Suzhou Creek near the Henan 
Road Bridge, with the Shanghai General Post Office in 
the background. Suzhou Creek runs through much ot 
Shanghai before joining the Huangpu River at the Bund. 
In the past it was crowded with small boats, many of 
which served as residences; a few of these boats appear 
in the foreground. First built in 1875, the Henan Road 
Bridge is one of many that crossed Suzhou Creek. To the 
east is the Sichuan Road Bridge, and on the north bank 
between the two is the Shanghai General Post Office. 
Designed by Stewardson and Spence, and built between 
1922 and 1924, the post office is in classical Beaux-Arts 
style; the artist has shown the building's two main 
facades with their three-story Corinthian columns and 
the clock tower. Fauvist styles influenced his simplified 
and expressive forms, broad, flat strokes of color, and 
bold palette. MK 



82 Our Land, Our People, 1948 

By Yu Yunjie (1917-1992) 

Oil on canvas 

H. 65.0 x w. 95.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Art Museum 

83 Peeling Corn, 1963 

By Yu Yunjie (1917-1992) 

Oil on canvas 

h. 80.0 x w. 120.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Art Museum 

1 Mao Zedong, 1968 

By Yu Yunjie (1917-1992) 

Oil on canvas 

H. 103.3 * w - 71-6 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Art Museum 

as Studying Industry, i 974 

By Yu Yunjie (1917-1992) 

Oil on canvas 

H. 190.0 x w. 113.0 cm 

Collei tion of the Shanghai Art Museum 

Born in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, and a long- 
time resident of Shanghai, Yu Yunjie is best known 
for his work as a staff artist at the Shanghai People's 
Fine Art Publishing House.' He completed his school- 
ing during the Japanese occupation and graduated in 
1941 from the art department of the National Central 
University while it was temporarily located in Chong- 
qing. In 1945 he began his teaching career at the 
Shanghai branch campus of the Suzhou Academy of 
Art. He remained there until 1953, when the academy, 
the Shanghai Art Academy, and the art department of 
Shandong University were combined as the Huadong 
Art Academy and moved to Wuxi. J 

In 1956 Yu enrolled as a special student in a 
refresher course in the oil painting department of the 
National Central Art Academy, studying under the 
Soviet artist Konstantin Maksimov; he was the only 
student from Shanghai given this honor. He later served 
as an advisor with the Shanghai Institute of Oil Paint- 
ing and Plastic Arts and the art department of Shanghai 
Jiaotong University.' Yu was one of many artists singled 
out during the anti-rightist campaigns and as a result 
would have been barred from official exhibitions until 
1962/ Once "rehabilitated," Yu remained active in 
Shanghai throughout the Cultural Revolution. 


The first work illustrated here was completed 
in 1948, early in Yu's career while he was teaching at 
the Suzhou academy. Our Land, Our People depicts a 
row of older men in traditional Chinese garb who are 
clearly lamenting something; since many have their 
eyes directed to a point below and in front of them, the 
object of their grief may be there. Although the painting 
contains no setting other than the men themselves, Yu 
captured the details of their faces and their robes and 
effectively communicated their sorrow. 

Peeling Corn, the second work, is dated 1963, after 
Yu had completed his refresher course with Maksimov 
and after he had been "rehabilitated" from being a 
rightist. During this time of the Great Leap Forward, 
oil painting in Soviet Socialist Realist styles dominated 
the art scene in China-, majoi 1 it ics. This work shows 
.1 group of peasant women sitting on the ground, strip 
ping the shucks from their crop of corn. As dictated 
by the tenets of Soviet Socialist Realist paintings, this 
work clearly tells a story. Although the figures are not 
heroic in stance, as are mam 111 this genre, the) are 
clearly happy. Certain policies of the Great Leap I 1] 
ward, combined with a String of natural disasters, led to 

widespread famine in many parts ofChina. 1 lie ' rhree 
Disaster Years," 1959-1961, were particularly difficult. 

Scenes of well-fed peasants with bountiful crops were 
a response. 

After Mao Zedong staged his comeback to power 
within the Chinese Communist Party in 1965, the Cul- 
tural Revolution forcefully took hold of China. Having 
found that art could serve as a powerful propaganda 
tool, Mao and his supporters had exhibitions organized 
around the country extolling his virtues, including the 
1967 Long Live Mao Zedong's Thought. In the years that 
followed, the "immaculate" Mao became the central 
figure in innumerable paintings." The third work by 
Yu Yunjie, a portrait of Mao, is from this period. Juzi 
Zhoutou, a small island in the Xiang River near Chang- 
sha in Hunan Province, serves as backdrop. Much of 
the painting is impressionistic .with the locus on Mao's 
smiling and benevolent face. 

"Students" were primary players in many "I th< 
events oi the Cultural Revolution and frequently served 
as the theme for artworks of the period. In the fourth 
Yu Vunjie painting shown here, wlm h is datei 
tin- artist used the low point ot view and drani.itn 
lighting he learned from Ins studies of Soviet Socialist 
Realism to create a heroic image ot two such students. 
1 lie dark environment with a singli 
light, the students hats and heaw clothing, and thi 

Western-Influenced Painting in Shangh 


they hold along with the sketchy background scene 
indicate their involvement with the urban working 
class— perhaps in a smelter or iron mill. The red char- 
ge ters on the ja< kct ol the nearer figure read, anquan 
shengchan, which means "safety in production." Seeking 
self-reliance through the development of heavy indus- 
tries such as steel played an important role in both the 
Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. MK 

Andrews, Painters and Politics. 433ni30. 

[bid., S4-55- Additional biographical information was 

provided by the Shanghai Art Museum. 

Andrews, Painters and Politics, 224. 

Ibid., 198. 

Sullivan, Art and Artists, 152. 


3 Power Distribution Worker. i 957 or 1959 

By Zhang Longji (born 1929) 

Oil on canvas 

H. 99.0 x w. 89.0 cm 

Collet tion "I the Shanghai Museum 

Born in Shengxian, Zhejiang Province, in 1929, Zhang 

I migp In".', ill In-. .111 similes in Shanghai .ui.l ihen _ ■ 1 . 1 1 1 1 1 

ated In mi the drawing department of Huadong Easl 
China) Art Academy in 1953, the yeai aftei the academy 
had come into existence. Located in Wnxi, the Huadong 
was a combination of the pre\ iously private Shanghai 
Art Academy and Suzhou Academ) "I \n and the art 
department ol Shandong University. For many years 
aftei graduation Zhang taught at the Huadong and at 
the Shanghai line. Ails [raining School. He was later 
attached to the Shanghai Institute ol Oil Painting and 
Plastic Aits. 

Like mam win ks nl the | hi md leading up to and 

during the Cultural Revolution, this painting presents 

an image ol a common laborer, in this ease someone 
working at a powei distribution plant. However, 
rather than showing the heroic peasants and workers 
that were then a staple (see Yu Yunjie's Stud) 
cat. no. 85), Zhang has chosen to portray a sympathetic 
and physiologically believable woman. Looking rather 
tired, she sits staring into a source of light — perhaps 
the furnace that provides the power. Hie image- is 

not ideali/ed and is depicted with a dark palette-. 

wlm h enforces us somber, reflei live tone. M 

the details are developed with broad, impressionistic 

applii .a ions ot pigment, draw tng the viewer': 

the figure and the texture ol the rough w I ■ 

that frames her. mk 

Painting in Shangh 

7 Celebrating National Day, 1959 

By Feng Zikai (1898-1975) 

Hanging scroll, ink and colors on papei 

H. 67.2 x w. 33.3 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Museum 

Feng Zikai is best known as a printmaker but was also 
an accomplished painter in ink and colors. Born north 
of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, Feng graduated from 
Hangzhou First Normal School and then studied music 
and art in Japan. Like many of his contemporaries, he 
studied at the Kawabata Academy of Painting in Tokyo, 
but his career went in an entirely different direction 
than most. While in Japan he discovered manga, 
Japanese comics, and developed his manhua from that 
concept. As a painter, he sought "a painting style that 
employs a simplified brushwork to express meaning." 1 

When Feng returned to Shanghai from Japan, he 
served as an editor at the Kaiming Book Company in 
Shanghai, and his works began to be published. He 
continued teaching and publishing and after 1949 held 
various posts, including chairman of the Shanghai City 
Artists' Society. 

This painting, which shows a peasant family 
enjoying fireworks, exemplifies Feng's approach of 
seeking childlike simplicity in his work. 2 Minima] 
strokes outline the figures and provide only essen- 
tial details; solid colors fill the family's clothing. The 
painting was completed in 1959 to celebrate the tenth 
anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic 
of China. The calligraphy at the top is an eighteen- 
sentence poem entitled "Celebrating a Thousand 
Autumns — Grand Ceremony on National Day for 
Tenth Anniversary" that describes spectacular affairs 
on October 1, 1959. Most likely the description is highly 
exaggerated. The "Three Disaster Years," which began 
in 1959, saw drought, flood, and mismanagement as well 
as border disputes. It was a period of strident Chinese 
nationalism, 3 but also of extremely curtailed means. 
The Third National Art Exhibition, scheduled to open in 
October 1959 as part of the tenth anniversary, had to be 
postponed. Finally held in the summer of i960, it was 
called the Great Leap Forward Exhibition.'' I\ 

Fong, Between Two Cultures, 122-129. 
Ibid.. 129. 

Andrews, Painters and Politics, 203. 
Ibid., 205. 

jllf III 
ik 1r ^ % & %- & 




m. — — *■ 

Early Dawn Illuminates 
Military Exercises, 1964 

By Qian Shoutie (1896-1967) 

Ink and colors on paper 

H. 105.0 x w. 69.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Art Museum 

Qian Shoutie is best known for his works in traditional 
Chinese mediums and formats (guohuci). Born in 
Wuxi in 1896, he spent much of his early career at 
the Shanghai Art Academy. Like many of the artists 
discussed here, Qian studied and spent a number 
of years in Japan. 1 le was among a group of twenty 
traditional Chinese artists who made a visit in 1931 
organized l>\ Wang Zhen (cat. no. 17). ' He also lived 
and worked in Japan between 1935 and 1942 — years 
when Japan's territorial ambitions led it tooccup) 
mm h ol China, including Shanghai. By 1949 he 
was back in Shanghai painting at the Shanghai Art 

Dated 1964. three years before Qian's death, this 



- 1 ! ■■ 3 

"'' ~^ 

work presents a scene of Shanghai from a very high 
perspective. In the foreground is a section of residential 
buildings with the red roofs and whitewashed walls 
typical of architecture built during the years Shanghai 
was a treaty port— pet haps the old French Concession. 
Beyond are the large commercial and office buildings 
ot the Shanghai core. A wide avenue that supports an 
enormous crane separates the two areas. On the avenue 
march rows of tiny figures representing the militan 
exeix iscs that are the theme of this painting. The title 
of the work along with the artist's signature and date 
appeal in the upper right-hand corner. MK 

1 Sullivan, Art and Artists, 14 

: Working by Lamplight, lgso-befon 1966 

l'i\ Yuan Si ingnian (1895-1966) 

I langing sc mil, ink .incl colors on paper 

H. I26.O x W. 65.8 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Mu :eum 

Born in Fanyu, Guangdong Province, in 1895, Yuan 
Songnian graduated from St. John's University in Shang- 
hai. St. John's, a missionary school founded by Ameri- 
cans, was known to be a place only the very wealthy 
could afford to attend. Although his background as a 
graduate of an American Christian university would 
have made him unacceptable for many positions in the 
art organizations of the People's Republic of China, he 
continued to be a force in the Shanghai art scene after 
1950, teaching at the Shanghai Chinese Painting Acad- 
emy and serving as a member of the Shanghai branch of 
the Chinese Art Institute and as a fellow at the Shanghai 
Culture and History Library. He died in Shanghai just 
prior to the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. 

Yuan began his artistic career as a Western- 
influenced oil painter but later focused on traditional 
Chinese mediums and formats (guohua). He is one of 
many artists who sought to combine elements of both 
in a new style. He was also known for his fountain-pen 
calligraphy and for a new form of poetry. 

Although it is not dated, this work must have been 
completed in the late 1950s or early to mid-1960s and 
reveals Yuan's efforts at blending Chinese and Western 
styles. The work is in the traditional Chinese medium of 
ink and light colors on paper and is in the hanging-scroll 
format. However, rather than the timeless landscape of 
Chinese tradition, this painting shows workers at a ship- 
yard and is very much about its time. It also incorporates 
a Western sense of three-dimensionality and depiction 
of forms showing the effects of natural light. 

Shanghai was a major center of ship production 
beginning in the 1950s, and this scene shows shipbuild- 
ers working through the night to complete their enor- 
mous craft. Yuan made a close observation of detail, 
including both arc and acetylene welders, various types 
of cranes and scaffolds, and the general clutter of a large 
working shipyard. The Shanghai shipyards are being 
moved, and the land they occupied is currently being 
prepared to accommodate the World Expo of 2010. MK 


Huaihai Road. 1970S-1980S 

By Ren Weiyin (bom mi 

Enamel on board 

h. 25.0 x w. 36.0 cm 

Collet tion ol the Shanghai An Museum 

Ren Weiyin was born in Kunming, Yunan Province, in 
1918 and started to study at the Shanghai New China Arts 
School (Shanghai xinhua yishu zhuke xuexiao) in 1936.' 
Attn teaching at the Lu Xun Academy in Shenyang, 
Liaoning Province, he returned to Shanghai in the 1950s 
and early 1960s to manage a private teaching studio. 2 
The artist has chosen to depict a sunny corner of 
Huaihai Road, one of Shanghai's major thoroughfares. 
The street is lined with a mix of residential buildings 
and shops with awnings, carryovers from the time of the 
foreign concessions. The red leaves and bare branches of 
the ubiquitous sycamores and the low angle of sunlight, 
along with the yellowish tones, indicate a late autumn 
setting. The Impressionist-influenced style of this work 
was popular with oil painters in Shanghai from the 1920s 

to the 1980s. The artist's name appeals mi the seal in the 
lower left corner of the painting. 

(lues to the date oi this painting are to be found in 
the content. It clearly shows a time before the beginning 
of the frenetic rate of development in Shanghai; Huaihai 
Road now has multiple car-filled lanes and is lined w ith 
large modern buildings. However, this quiet scene with 
its mix of small businesses and homes would not have 
been a suitable subject for painting during the Cultural 
Revolution. The most likely date therefore is around 

1 Biographical information was provided by the Shanghai Art 

2 Andrews. Painters and Politics, 449059. 

A Public Art Movement in Shanghai 

While arguably the painted mural was synony- 
mous with New Deal art in Depression-era Amer- 
ica, 1 the woodcut (mufee)-' became the medium 
propelling a public art movement in China in the 
1930s. Centered in Shanghai, the Chinese mod- 
ern woodcut movement was spearheaded by the 
renowned writer and editor Lu Xun (1881-1936), 
who upheld it as a modern "public art" (dazhong 
yishu). 3 

Woodblock printmaking has a long history in 
China, but it was not traditionally regarded as an 
art form, since its production process involved 
different artisans executing design, cut, and 
print. 4 The woodcut form of the 1930s, how- 
ever, was regarded as art primarily due to craft: 
the individual artist now executed all the steps 
of designing, cutting, and printing 5 — hence its 
official name of "creative woodcuts" (chuangzuo 
muke), a term bespeaking Japanese inspiration." 
In Japan the creative print (sosaku-hanga) move- 
ment began in 1904 7 with artists who embraced 
the Western art ideal of the print's capacity for 
persona] expression. 8 It reached Shanghai around 
1930 through Lu Xun, 9 who also introduced to 
Chinese audiences woodcuts from England, 
France, Germany, Russia, and the United States. 10 

Influenced by such contemporary trends as 
German Expressionism, American Regionalism, 11 
and Russian Socialist Realism, 1 ' the Chinese 
woodcut garnered a similar mission for captur- 
ing societal ills and furthering a public cause. 
Encouragement was found domestically as well; 
beginning in 1912, the Nationalist government 
adopted the discourse of "aesthetic education" 
(meiyu) and subsequently sponsored develop- 
ments of the fine arts. 13 Within this supportive 
environment, woodcut artists increasingly pur- 

sued Socialist agendas in their prints. The nature 
of the medium also enabled public appreciation: 
it was reproducible, affordable, and mobile. 
In opposition to the concurrent Western-style 
oil-painting movement (see the essay "Western- 
Influenced Painting in Shanghai, 1910-1945" 
in this volume), artists of the modern woodcut 
movement asserted that the woodcut could best 
serve "the people," the urban proletariat and 
illiterate peasantry 14 who suffer the most in a 
modernizing society such as Shanghai. 

Dany Chan 


1 Taylor, American-Made, 273-274. 

2 There is a technical difference between a "woodcut" 
and a "wood engraving": a woodcut is carved along the 
natural grains of the wood, while an engraving utilizes 
the cross-cut end grain. See Tang, Origins of the Chinese 
Avant-Garde, 84. 

3 Ibid., 1. 

4 Barker, "Muban Foundation," 17. 

5 Ibid., 17: and Shen, "Modernist Woodcut Movement," 

6 Tang, Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde, 82. 

7 Merritt, Modern Japanese Wbodblocfe Prints, 109; and 
Tang, Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde, 82. 

8 Merritt, Modem Japanese Wbodblocfe Prints, 3. 

9 Shen, "Modernist Woodcut Movement," 268. Print- 
making exchanges between China and Japan ceased 
after the Japanese invasion of SJianghai in 1936-1937. 
See ibid., 264; and Tang, Origins of the Chinese Avant- 
Garde. 26in63. 

10 Tang, Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde, 84. 

11 Taylor, American-Made, 273. 

12 Sullivan, Meeting of Eastern and Western Art, 183. 

13 Tang, Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde, 3 and 12. 

14 Sullivan, Meeting of Eastern and Western Art, 182-1S3. 


1 Sprouts Monthly i (1930) 

Killtcil l>\ I 11 \1111 I 1SS1 H) ;(' i and I .'til 1 \urli iijj 

1903 1967); published In Guanghua Book Company, 
Bound volume 

H. 2O.7 x w. 15.3 x D. 1.3 cm 

Collection ol the Lu Xun Memorial Hall 

Established and coed i ted by Lu Xun,' Sprouts Monthly 
was a publication of the League of Left-Wing Writers 
(Ziioliaii). The league was inaugurated in Shanghai in 
March 1930^ and comprised nearly three hundred expe- 
1 iem id and popular writers and editors. So influential 
were the league's publications that the Nationalist gov- 
ernment created a new code of censorship in December 
1930 in order to temper their influence. 1 Sprouts Monthly 
primarily served as a vehicle for league members' own 
work and offered space for translation of Marxist and 
Soviet texts. 4 This inaugural issue includes a report on 

the February 16th meeting that eventually led to the K 11 1 ol (he league. It was described as a "seminal 
ol the participants of the modern literary movement in 

1 Wong, Polirii s and 1 iterature in Shanghai, 62; and Tang, 
Origins oj the I 'hinese Avant-Garde. 100. 

2 Wong, Politics and I iterature in Shanghai, 51. 

3 McDougall and Louie, Literature of China. 25. 

4 Ibid. 

5 Wong, Politics and Literature in Shanghai, 51. 

A Pub! 

2 October. 1933 

Translated by Lu Xun (1881-1936); publish,,! h\ 
Shenzhou Guoguang Press, Shanghai 

I',,, 1111,1 Wilillii, 

11. 18.8 • w. 13.] ■ D. 1.2 cm 

Collei tionol the In Xun Memorial Hall 

The renowned bookbinder and cover designer Qian 
In 1 iii, 1 1 1906-1998) 1 adapted one of his prints for the 
cover of this translation of a Russian novella. Translated 
by Lu Xun, October was written by A. S. Yakovlev (1886- 
1953) and first published in 1923."' The story is a fictional 
account of the Socialist revolution of October 1917 in 
Moscow as seen through the eyes of a confused young 
worker. After the overthrow of the Romanov dynasty, 
the conflict ensued between the Whites (capitalists) 
and Reds (socialists), resulting in the victory of the 
Reds and the beginning of a Lenin Soviet Russia. 3 
Qian's print for the novella's cover captures this 

class-based conflict through choice details. Within a 
spare setting, two men are figured: one in a hard hat, rep- 
resenting the Whites (the capitalists and the traditional 
elites), peers from his hiding place, waiting to surprise 
the second man, who with his soft hat represents the 
Reds (the socialists, the "industrial proletariat," 4 and the 
poor peasantry). The men appear equally armed. 

1 China Guide Corporation, "Qian Juntao." 

2 Freeborn, Russian Revolutionary Novel, 129. 

3 Ibid., 65-67. 

4 Ibid., 65. 

& iii m ■ mxXBMWZ— • & & ** 


k --it wu 

l 9 :i 3 

93 George Bernard Shaw in Shanghai. March 193 , 

Compiled by Lu Xun (1881-1936) and Qu Qiubai 
(1899-1935)1 published by Wild Grass Publishing 
House. Shanghai 

Bound volume 

H. 20.8 x w. 13.5 x d. 0.7 cm 

Collei fori "I the Lu Xun Memorial Hall 

For this publication. Qu Qiubai assisted Lu Xun in compiling 

numerous publications relating to the visit ol ( ■ 

Shaw (1856-1950) to Shanghai in I ebrua 

appropriatek reprodui es a montage 01 < ullage oi the various 

hi ullines. So popular was the British playwright land 1 abian 

Society member) among Shanghai's left wing sm iet\ that his 

visit turned into a major cultural event, brin 

SU< li names as Cai Yuanpei, Song Qingling. Lu Xun. and 

the widow ol Sun Vat sen. J DC 
1 Gongyi Shuku, 1 u Xun." 

A Publi< Art Movemenl 

1 Woodcut World 1 (April 15, 1936) 

Edited by Tang Yingwei (born 1915); 

published by Modern Prints Society, Guangzhou 
Bound volume 
H. 26.1 » w. 19.2 x d. 0.5 cm 
Collection of the Lu Xun Memorial Hall 

This copy of the inaugural issue of Woodcut World has 
a handwritten inscription by the journal's editor. Tang 
Yingwei, dedicating it to Lu Xun. The journal was pub- 
lished by the Guangzhou-based Modern Prints Society 
(Xiandoi banhua hui), the leading woodcut group of the 
modern woodcut movement in China,' and a review of 
the format and content reveals its pursuit of broadening 
the audience of the woodcut movement. - 

The issue opens with a series of essays (lunwen), 
short features (jieshao), and news items (xiaoxi). The 
essay section contains an introduction ("Remarks on the 
Publication of the Journal") by the editor in which he 
designates the woodcut as a tool for national mobiliza- 
tion during these critical times,' with the country facing 
internal conflicts between Nationalists and Communists 
and external Japanese aggression that culminated in 
the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945).'' Tang's regard for 
the woodcut is reinforced by two succeeding articles: 
"The Value of Woodcuts During the National Crisis" by 
Li Hua (1907-1994) and "Notes on the Woodcut" by Lai 
Shaoqi (1915-2000). The new . sei tion is reserved for 

updates such as exhibition openings and the activities 
of various groups that were pertinent to the national 
woodcut community. 5 

The latter part of the journal features new original 
woodcuts by five artists: German-American Fritz Faiss 
(1905-1981) and Chinese Li Hua, Tang Yingwei, Lai 
Shaoqi, and Hu Qizao (1915-1965). A second woodcut 
by Tang decorates the journal's cover and sets the tone 
for the other works by focusing on the destitute Family 
in the foreground; in the left background is a group of 
armed soldiers. Tang also employed the technique of 
line drawing then favored by woodcut artists." 

1 For more information on the Modern Prints Society, see 
Tang, Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde. 182-210. 

2 Andrews and Shen. "Modern Woodcut Movement." 220. 

3 Tang Yingwei, "Fakan de hua," trans, by Xiaobing Tang, 
in Tang, Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde. 1971168. 

4 Summarized from Schoppa, Modem Chinese History, 

5 Tang. Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde. 200. 

6 Ibid.. 192. 


To the Front!. 1932 

By Hu Yichuan (1910-2000) 


H. 23.2 x w. 30.0 cm 

Collection of tin' I n \1111 Memorial Hall 

Hu Yichuan created this print in response to the Shang- 
hai War of 1932,' when the Japanese attacked greater 
Shanghai as part of an expansionist campaign into 
China. Many cultural and commercial buildings were 
ilci liuated. leaving much of the I itv in ruins. Hu's print 
surges with motion and emotion, befitting the social 
charge of woodcut art during this period. 

A visual analysis by Xiaobing Tang highlights the 
print's kinetic-emotional effect: Movement emerges 
from a composition dominated by diagonals pulling in 
iippoMti' diiei lions. 1 icating usual tension within the 
, onlines ol the ti.imc I he r 1 ■ ligiue 111 ihe loieground 
leans right with one hand extending left. Behind him on 

either side, brick columns topple toward opposite ends 
as the mob bowls through them. Contributing to the 
print's animation is a collective voice from the central 
figure and the rushing multitude behind him that seems 
to reverberate within the piece. In these ways, the 
outstretched hand visually extends the man's impas 
sioned rallying call to the anonymous viewe: 
him, demanding a response, achieving a viewer-pi. 
interaction that fulfills the artist's aim to inspire Ins 
audience. 2 DC 

ins 0/ the ( hinese Irani Garde. 208. 
Summarized from ibid., i~- s and 218. 

Youth, L933 1935 

By Lai Shaoqi (11)15-2000) 

Collei tii 

n. 12.0 cm 

loftheLuXun Memorial Hall 

Lai Shaoqi's Youth is a pure celebration of modernism. 
In both form and function, this print is part and parcel 
of art movements originating in Europe, such as Impres- 
sionism, Fauvism, and Romanticism. By Lai's time, 
Western art had become more accessible to Shanghai 
artists in the forms of travel, education, publications, 
and exhibitions, resulting in their greater awareness of, 
and greater ease of interpretation within, the Western 
idiom. 1 

A major influence for Lai's image was most likely 
the arabesque nude favored by the French artist Henri 
Matisse (1869-1954). In painting, print, and sculpture, 
Matisse played with sinuous lines to create female nudes 
lounging in serpentine postures.-' A similarly graceful, 
curvilinear nude stands as the focus of Lai's print. The 
linear rhythm continues in the background as swirling 
currents in the water and arcs of light off the sunset. 
The nude's appearance in this context already bespeaks 
Western influence, since before then, figurative rep- 
resentation of the nude was absent in Chinese art. 1 

Lai, however, created at least one other image of the 
nude in his print On the Beai h | 1934). It shares Youth's 
subject matter (the nude on a waterfront) but is more 
abstract. 4 Furthermore, the figure in either print is 
indistinguishable as Chinese. This may have been by 
choice, but it also may have been a matter of training 
and exposure; according to one scholar, "the task of 
making a detailed, credible, and sensitive rendition 
of Chinese subjects on a woodblock was far from easy 
[for a modern Chinese woodcut artist].'"' We do know 
that Lai Shaoqi eventually became the leading advocate 
for the creation of a distinctly Chinese style for the 
woodcut medium.'' 

Siill]\.in. \li > mi'.; n| ( u [1 in urn/ Ui '.(Vim A if. 1S1 

Watkins, "Matisse, Henri," 824 and 829. 

Jullien, The Impossible Nude. 30. 

Tang, Origins 11/ the C/iiiicm' Avant-Garde. 184. 

Ibid., 184-185. 

Ibid., 185-186. 

Againsi the Current. 1935 

B) LuoQingzhen (1904 1942) 
Woodi mi 

H I 6 < W Ml I I Ml 

Collei tionol the 1 u Xun Memorial Hall 

I he labor ol the six boatmen is I hi' loi us ol I, no Qing 

.'lien's \gainst the Current. Bodies bunt, they strain to 
pull a boat lying outside the picture's frame. ' The) are 
bent not only against the supposed weight of the boat 
but also against the opposing current of the river. The 
artist depicts this by extending the black outlines ot the 
first two figures into tendrils fusing with the wavy lines 
of the water's currents, creating a visual link between 
the two forces. The men's strenuous effort is further 
emphasized by their contrast with the scenery: whereas 
bank, water, trees, and hills are full of surface details, 
the six figures are faceless and nondescript, and there- 
fore indistinguishable;-' theirs is a collective toil. 
By the time this print was created, the woodcut 

movement was pushing to cement its place as a public 
art. It succeeded in the seven I u.i\ < ., niplifiedby Luo's 
print. First, the artist Incuses on human subjei ts and 
theil roles as social beings .is the poor, the injured, and 
the exploited. Second, such human-centrism deter 

1 eda mine iimI 1st 11 style oi representation that had 

broader appeal. Third, Against the Current was part of the 
first national traveling exhibition (National Joint Woodi \it 
Exhibition, Quanguo muke lianhe zhanlanhui) that pro- 
moted greater public accessibility to art.' 

1 Tang, Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde, 181. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Summarized horn ibid.. 166, 175, and 179. 

Rum; China!, 1935 

By I I I III. I I I9O7 I'l'i 1 I 

Woodi in 

H. 27.3 X W. I3.7 I III 

Colll'l II. HI ill ill'' I II Mill Me 


By t lie time this Chinese print appeared in late 1935, 
"Roar, China!" had become an international rallying 
c all for the emancipation of all oppressed people.' The 
phrase was representative of the anti-imperialist mood 
gripping many countries in the 1920s and 1930s, and it 
highlighted China as the focus ot this global mobilizing 

"Roar, China!" was manifested in several media, 
including theater, poetry, and print. The Russian poet 
and playwright Sergei Tret'iakov (1892-1939) first 
composed a poem and later a play (Russian: Rychi, 
Kiliii!) that premiered in Moscow in 1926^ Based on a 
contemporary incident in the Chinese town of Wanxian 
(near the upper Yangzi River),' the play dramatizes the 
clash between a group of Chinese boatmen and West- 
ern "imperialists": two of the boatmen were wrongly- 
accused of the death of an abusive American trader. 4 The 
play went on to tour in New York, London, and Berlin.' 

The renown of Tret'iakov's play was due in part to 
international sympathies directed toward China dur- 
ing the early decades of the 1900s. Around the same 
time that the Chinese Communist Party held its First 
National Congress in Shanghai in 1921, Communists in 
several different countries united to found the "hands 
off China" movement, lending their support to China's 
revolutionary aims in numerous ways." One of their 
most remarkable manifestations of solidarity was the 
congress held in 1925, which nearly eight hundred inter- 
national representatives attended. Much later, a poem 
also titled "Roar, China!," by the American Langston 
Hughes (1902-1967), appeared in the British publica- 
tion Volunteer for Liberty: Organ of the International 
Hi igades (September 1937). Hughes was inspired by what 
he saw during his visit to Shanghai in 1933 and, like his 
peers, found no better expression for China's condition 
than this phrase." 

Within China, the phrase circulated among the 
prominent left-wing societies and organizations. 
Tret'iakov's poem garnered attention in 1929 with its 
first Chinese translation.'' Then the play premiered 
in Guangzhou, China, in 1930; 1 " it eventually was 
performed in Shanghai in the fall of 1933 to mark the 
second anniversary of the Japanese occupation of Man- 
churia." In the visual arts, Hu Yichuan (1910-2000) 
created a 1931 print with the title Roar, China! (no longer 
extant), and Liu Xian (1915-1990), in 1934, created a 
series of illustrations for the Tret'iakov play.'- 

Li Hua's print, therefore, appeared as one of the lat- 
est in a long line of manifestations of "Roar, China!," but 
it perhaps captured best the universal relevance of the 
phrase. The male figure is naked, removed of all markers 
of nationality, culture, or class" — all that remains is a 
human being in pain. 

1 Tang, Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde, 226. 

2 Patterson, Oxford Guide to Ploys, 351. 

3 Berg-Pan, "Mixing Old and New Wisdom," 208. 

4 Patterson, Oxford Guide to Plays, 351. 

5 Ibid., 352. 

6 For example, in Germany, left-wing writers and intellec- 
tuals made their declarations heard through manifestos, 
articles, and plays. See Berg-Pan, "Mixing Old and 

New Wisdom," 207; and Piazza, "Anti-Imperialist League," 

7 Piazza, "Anti-Imperialist League," 167. 

8 Tang, Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde. 226-227. 

9 Two subsequent translations of the poem into Chinese 
appeared in 1930 and 1935. See ibid., 224 and 226. 

10 Ibid., 224. 

11 Ibid., 151 and 225. 

12 Ibid., 222-223. 

13 Ibid., 226. 


9 A Corner of the City, 1947 

By Li Hua (1907-1994) 


H. 24.0 x w. 36.0 cm 

Collection of the Lu Xun Memorial Hall 

In the background of this image are several buildings 
along the Bund waterfront: they appear grand, pristine, 
and float as if in a dreamland or illusion. However, con- 
fronting the viewer in the foreground is an organic black 
mass of dirt and debris that slashes across the picture 
plane. Amid the dark bulk is a basket holding an infant, 
who in all likelihood has been abandoned on this titular 
erol the 1 try. DC 


( hi the Streets oj Shanghai, 1947 
By Shao Keping (born 1916) 

WoodbllH k 1 1 

H. 22.0 X W. l6.0 1 Ml 

Collection of the Shanghai Art Museum 

Street Corner, 1947 

B) Shan (Ceping (bom 1916) 

Woodbloi k [unit 

H. 21.0 x w. 16.0 cm 

i lollei tion nl the Shanghai An Museum 

I In- 51 H nl agenda for the woodi til movement intensi 

Red 1I111 ing the 19.10s. As relict ted in these two prints, 
societal ills in Shanghai were choice subject mattei tnd 
an even more realistic , more readable pictorial style was 
prefei red to capture the harsh realities: 1 honesl Labi n 
goes unnoticed amid vii e and 101 niption (cat. no. 100); 
and postwar life in cosmopolitan Shanghai seemed to 
benefit only the rich, with little hope and promise for 
the downtrodden (cat. no. 

1 Shrn. "Modernist Woodi ul Movement," 26=;. 

A Public An Movement in Shu I' 


2 Sanmao Follows the Army. 1946 

By Zhang Leping (1910-1992) 

Original cartoon, ink on paper, three sheets 

H.29.5 x w. 40.0 cm each 

Collection of the Shanghai Art Museum 

The Sanmao series is the longest-running comic strip 
(lianhuan manhua)' in China. First published in Shang- 
hai newspapers in 1935, the series appears in China 
now as a televised cartoon. The story follows the life of 
an orphan boy. Sanmao. trying to survive on the streets 
oi Shanghai during the 1930s and 1940s. This series in 
particular, Sanmao Follows the Army, came out of the 
1945 version of the comic strip (published in Shanghai's 
Shenbao). one of four incarnations by Zhang Leping that 
has been identified. 2 When Japan invaded Shanghai in 
1937, Zhang, along with many other artists, fled the city. 
During the ensuing war, he participated in an anti 
Japanese propaganda team (National Salvation Cartoon 
Propaganda Corps, Jiuwang manhua aiant huandui). 
Upon his return to Shanghai in 1945, Zhang resurrected 
lus Sanmao cartoon to reflect upon both the wartime 

r\pe1 lelli e ami llie | .. ■■.t\< .11 nieeil • ■ I SIl.lllL'h.ll 


The continuing popularity oi [Be Sanmao series 
owes much to the original ( artoon format itsell and 

to favorable conditions in Shanghai for cartoon pub- 
lication at the series' inception (see also cat. no. 60). 
In general, the cartoon format relies on directness 
and common imagery for presenting ideas in "humor- 
ous, spontaneous, and often biting images"; 4 Zhang 
himself wrote that many situations in Sanmao Follows 
the Army "border on the absurd."' Yet these situations 
were intended to be easily comprehensible without 
explanatory text, as the majority of China's population 
was illiterate. So each comic strip is paired with only .1 
four-character phrase that serves as a title and thematic 
guide. Zhang Leping was a proponent of the modern 
movement that sought to align visual art with populist 
concerns: Sanmao was not only accessible to China's 
masses but also sympathetic to them." The situations 
were presented through their perspective, as embodied 
by the orphan boy. C 

I arquhar, "Sanmao," 1 v< 

-l.ii and theme, Farquhai distingu 
discrete versions ol Sanmao that appi 

publi 1 935 19 1 194 md po 

[bid - 149-150. 
Han-. Fen i Zil u 
I arquhar, "Sanmao," 150. 
Ibid., 151. 

Shanghai Graphic Arts 1950-1976 

Along with other aspects oi life, artistic production from 
1950 to 1976 was dictated by the government. 1 In touting an 
art policy not dissimilar to Lu Xun's modern woodcut move- 
ment (see "A Public Art Movement in Shanghai" in this 
volume), art in the People's Republic of China was solely 
for public consumption 2 and mass mobilization. Numer- 
ous mediums (both native and foreign-inspired) remained 
in use, including oils (cat. nos. 82-86), watercolors, inks 
(guohua; cats. nos. 87-89), and woodblocks (cat. no. 103), J 
but all content was censored for Party propaganda. And 
in fulfilling the Party credo of "art for the people by the 
people," laypeople in workers' units created art along with 
professional artists in state-owned presses, such as the 
Shanghai People's Fine Art Publishing House (cat. nos. 
108-m). Furthermore, the government maintained robust 
exhibition programs such as the famous Shanghai, Yangquan, 
Lit Da Workers Art Exhibition (1974). 4 

In the graphic arts, perhaps the most ubiquitous prod- 
ucts of the government's visual enterprise were the large- 
format, colorful propaganda posters such as cat. nos. 106 
and 107, which depict celebrations in Shanghai of the new 
Communist regime. Shanghai was reduced to being a minor 
player in artistic production during these years. 5 From the 
examples presented in this exhibition, famous landmarks 
of the Bund and Nanjing Road often appeared in propa- 
ganda posters as sites of new revolutions and campaigns 
against all that the city had symbolized: imperialism, colo- 
nialism, and capitalism. 

Dany Chan 

Wood, "Political and Literary Context," 20. 

Andrews, Painters and Politics, 37. 

Ibid., no. 

Galikowski, Art and Politics, 154-155. 

However, Shanghai became the country's principal producer of comic 

strips (Hanhuanhaa), and the Shanghai People's Fine Art Publishing 

House was a major publisher of the propaganda posters. See Andrews, 

Painters and Politics, 67. 


ningGlowon the Huangpu Rv 

ti Roujian (1918-1998) 

W Ibloi 1 print wuli oil based ink and 

11. ■><•>..> • w. $7.0 cm 

104 During the Great Leap Forward. 1958 
By Slim Roujian (1918 1998) 
( Ihromolithograph on paper 

H. 45.4 x W. 30.7 i 111 

Collet t ion ol the Shanghai Museum 

Industry, both as subject matter and as process, was 

.11 poi 1. nit aspect of printmaking during the Great 

Leap Forward (1958-1961), ' an accelerated economic 
development campaign launched by Mao Zedong aiming 
to catch up with the West within a mere fifteen years.-' 
As subject matter, a new spate of construction scenes 
appeared in print, such as this one depicting ship build- 
ing. Since the 1930s, Shanghai had housed several of the 
largest and most active industries in the country, includ- 
ing arsenals, ironworks, and shipyards; for example, 
the Jiangnan Dock and Engineering Works (at the 
Huangpu River) produced 10,000-ton cargo ships.' 
Shanghai's shipyards saw renewed activity during 
the Great Leap Forward when China raced toward 

As process, artists were expected to match the speed 
of the nation's industries by increasing their output- 
producing better works at a faster pace. 4 And the favored 

style evoked the energy and frenzy of the Gre.n Leap 
Forward, through "the combination of revolution- 
ary realism and revolutionary romanticism" (geming 
xianshizhuyi yu geming langmanzhuyi xiangjiehe I, an 

exaggeration of the earlier Socialist Realism model (sec 
"Western-Influenced Painting in Shanghai, 1945-1980" 
in this volume). Shen Roujian's print adheres to tliis 
artistic rubric by effectively capturing the monumen- 
tality of the workers' task: the brilliant hull of the ship 
towers above their minuscule forms. 7 

Farrer, Chinese Printmaking Today, 74. 

Schoppa, Modem Chinese History, 157. 

Dikotter, Exoth' Commodities. 115-116. 

Laing, "Woodcuts in the People's Republic ot China." 50. 

Ibid., 55. 

Clark, Chinese Cinema, 63. 

Laing, "Woodcuts in the People's Republic of China," 56. 

Morning Toilet on the Huangpu Ri 

B) Shao Keping (1 116) 

Wdddhlix'k print with oil based inks 

II 28.5 ■ W, 45.5 1 111 

Collection of the Shanghai \n Mu eum 

I In- look ami feel ol tliis print by Shao Keping ditlei . 
substantially from that ol Ins earlier ones: tin- two 
prints created in the 1940s (cat. nos. 100 ami mo | 
had an intentional social function, to comment on 
ami contribute to soi 1.1I 1 liangr; tins 1 < j* ■ 1 u 01 1 1I01 
not necessarily share that aim. Rather than actively 
provoking, it focuses on atmosphere, on capturing the 
details of a morning scene on Shanghai's Huangpu River. 
Shao utilized to great effect the intensity of pigment 
in oil-based inks introduced in the 1950s. In deep 
black and dots of brilliant blue, green, and orange, the 
foreground boats and their attendants become the foi us 
of the print, against the muted receding background 
skyline of the Bund. 

1 Qi Fengge, "New Outlook for Chinese Prints.'' 24. 

2 Ibid. 

Shanghai (.'.rapine .V 


106 Parade for the Founding of the People's 
Republic of China (Shanghai), 1950 

By the Hangzhou National Art School; 

published by Mass Fine Art Publishing House 
Poster, chromolithograph 
h. 53.0 x w. 40.0 cm 
Collection of the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre 


r Parade on Huangpu River (i). 1950 

Published hy Da Una Printing Company 

Poster, chromolithograph 

H. 40.0 x w. 53.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Propaganda Poster An iVniir 


108 Waves of Anti-American Any* 
Along the Bund, 1961 

ByZhangYuqingl 1 1 1993) publish I b) 

Shanghai People's Fine An Publishing House 

I'.isk'i. chromolithograph 
H. 53.0 x w. 77.0 cm 

Collection ol the Shanghai Propaganda Postei An Centre 

The focus of cat. no. io8 is a public criticism, described 
as a mob converging upon a small arena where two 
figures kneel on the ground, trying to shield themselves 
from their accuser. Who or what is under attack? Spe- 
cifically, American imperialism is under attack: one 1 'I 
the kneeling figures is dressed in a Western suit (embla- 
zoned with the dollar sign) and top hat (labeled "US") 
and has a miniature missile (also labeled "US") attached 
to his arm. This figure often appears in similar posters 
representing the targeted "capitalists" and "industrial- 
ists"; his kneeling companion resembles a soldier. 

One remarkable feature of this poster is its refer- 
entiality, in that the large billboards depicted here 
were in fact displayed in public spaces at this time. 
For example, the central billboard of the three pointing 
figures in this poster compares to contemporary posters 
of these figures representing the workers and laborei s 
of various nations such as Vietnam, Congo, and Panama 
that fell victim to imperialist aggressors. Opposition 
to colonialism was the primary focus of Chinese propa- 
ganda art during the 1950s and 1960s— with the United 
States regarded as "the world's foremost imperialist 
nation"'— and often came in the form of these workers 
standing side-by-side to symbolize unity in the fight 
for independence. Considering Shanghai's internation- 
alized history, staging such opposition on the Bund 
(in the former International Settlement) puts into 
sharp relief the city's precarious new position within 
the Communist regime. 

This poster was created by Zhang Yuqing, one of 
the most prolific artists of the 1950s and 1960s, and 
an in-house artist of the Shanghai People's I ine Art 
Publishing House." As part of the new Common 1 
publishing system, this publishing house (established in 
1954) stemmed from .1 reorganization "I the major pri- 
vate publishers in Shanghai now controlled by the state. 
In-house artists such as Zhang assembled into ■creation 
studios" to collaborate on commissions that commi ml) 
included propaganda posters, oil paintings, and ?ii<ml>tici 
(New Year's I paintii 

1 s, hoppa Modi m 1 him si Hi I 
1 I and : 

fnxta— mmmmmnz? 

109 Long Live Victory of the Great 
January Revolution, 1967 

Published by Shanghai People's Fine Art Publishing House 

Poster, chromolithograph 

H. 53.0 x w. 77.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre 

A crowd representing Shanghai's various workers' units 
is shown here sweeping through an intersection of 
Nanjing Road swathed in Communist Party banners 
and portraits of Mao Zedong. This poster appeared at 
the rocky start of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) 
as the party sought to consolidate power. The so-called 
"January Revolution" (yiyue geming) refers to the party's 
takeover of Shanghai during that month in 1967' and the 
subsequent formation of the Shanghai People's Com- 
nnmer this campaign inspired later power seizures 
throughout China.'' The campaign was carried out by 
local workers rather than Mao's Red Guards, and it was 
led by two members of the political powerhouse Gang of 
Four, Zhang Chunqiao (1917-2005) and Yao Wenyuan 
(1931-2005), who became first- and second-in-command 
ot the commune, respc I 

Communist Party of China, "Storm of the Ianu.11 \ 


The people's communes functioned as the Communist 

Parry's political and economic administrative units during 

the Cultural Revolution. See Schoppa, Modem Chinese 

History, 170. 

MacFarquhar, "The Cultural Revolution," 44. Andrew G. 

Walder provides an in-depth review of the particulars of 

the campaign in Chang Ch'un-Ch'iao and Shanghai's /anuary 


Landsbergcr. "Shanghai People's Commune (1967 

and Communist Party of China, "Storm of the January 



no Criticizing Lin Biao and Confucius 
to Prevent Revisionist 1 1 19 6 

B\ Shanghai People's Fine Art Publishing House 

t lou.ii In- on papei 

H. 75.0 x w. 108.0 cm 

Collection ol tin- Shanghai Propaganda Postei Art (ruin 

Tlir .mil Lin, anti-Confucius campaign ( 1973-1974) 
branded Communist Party member Lin Biao (1907- 
1971) and sixth-century-BCE philosopher Confucius as 
"embodiments of feudal Chinese society." 1 The ideologi- 
cal link was cryptic at best — Lin had been the second- 
ranking member of the Party and even had been named 
Mao's successor- — but this backlash partly stemmed 
from Lin's failed coup against Mao in 1971.' Further- 
mine, the campaign was directed by the Gang of Four in 
their efforts to position themselves as Mao's successors. 4 
The painting (cat. no. 110) was the eighth in a series 

ol ten < ommissioned in celebration ol the ti nth u 
sary of tin- Cultural Revolution (before Mao's death thai 
M-.ii 1, The Shanghai People's I ine -\rt Publishing 1 

organized theii besl in house artisl - 1 Ilaborate on 

the series, and eat li was signed, "the < ollei tive artisl 
of the publishing house." Exempl. us nl pn .paganda 
art at tins time, the painting was then mechanically 
reproduced into the large-format posters - il no. 111). 
In addition to gouache and watercolor. other mediums 
such as woodcuts and oil paintings were popular as 
models for these posters. 5 

1 Schoppa, Modem Chinese History, 155 and 191 

2 Ibid.. 192. 
i ibid., 125. 

4 Ibid. 

5 Andrews, Painters mid Politics. 60; and Landsberger, Chinese 
Propaganda I'mters, 44. 

Criticizing Lin Biao and Confucius 
to Prevent Revisionism, 1976 

Hv SI ungli.ii People's line Art Publishing House 

Poster, 1 hromolithograph 

H. 77.0 x w. 106.0 cm 

Collection of tlu- Shanghai Propaganda Postei Art Centre 

A Concise Introduction to Modern Shanghai Painting 

As China's most important modern city, Shang- 
hai has been the epicenter of burgeoning culture 
since the late nineteenth century. The city's 
excellent infrastructure, multiethnic residents, 
and booming industry and service sectors, as 
well as its modern, open lifestyle, all combine 
to provide a favorable environment for cultural 
development. At every important stage in mod- 
ern Chinese history, Shanghai has had its unique 
developments, and its painting scene, much like 
fast-paced city life, has been complex and brim- 
ming with vitality. 

Early modern Chinese painting is intricate. 
It is an exchange of the old and new, a fusion 
of East and West. It is independent and innova- 
tive, full of change and transition. Oil painting, 
print art, illustrated storytelling small books, and 
comic and promotional art, which are separate 
from the traditional painting forms, largely found 
their beginnings in Shanghai. The stages of the 
development of painting in early modern Shang- 
hai can generally be dated as follows: around the 
time of the 1911 revolution, from the revolution 
to the early 1930s, from the late 1930s to the 
establishment of the People's Republic, from the 
establishment of the PRC to the 1980s, and from 
after the 1980s to the present. 

During the late Qing, the style of the Four 
Wangs, which had been promoted by the more 
orthodox educated elite, went into decline, and 
a new style influenced by the aesthetic prefer- 
ences of the city's inhabitants emerged and 
formed a new market for painting in Shanghai. 
This change attracted artists from all over the 
Jiangsu and Zhejiang area. The resulting "Shang- 
hai school" of art embodied the spirit of diversity 
and dynamism of the modern city. By combin- 
ing traditional poetry, calligraphy, and folk art 
and employing the methods based on ancient 
calligraphy, known as bronze-and-stone art, the 
Shanghai school created themes that reflected 
the curious, bustling, life-loving nature of the 
common people. Major practitioners of this style 
include the "Three Xiongs" (Zhang Xiong, Zhu 
Xiong, and Ren Xiong) and the "Three Rens" 

(Ren Xiong, Ren Xun, and Ren Yi) of the ear- 
lier period and Wu Changshuo and others of 
the later period. Artists combined the greater 
freehand technique (daxieyi) of the Ming and 
Qing with vibrant colors, including the heavy 
use of magenta, pink, and rose (xiyang hong), 
and created works with bold color and vivid 
contrast. This innovation resulted in the further 
development of the greater freehand tradition 
and formed a style enjoyed by both refined and 
general audiences. 

The early twentieth century brought a surge 
in modern art. As a large number of Chinese art 
students studied abroad in Japan and Western 
countries such as France, new ideologies of the 
Western world made their way into people's field 
of vision. The students who studied abroad in the 
West also became the pioneers of and main force 
behind the teaching and creation of early mod- 
ern art in China, thus establishing a foundation 
for the development of modern art in China. At 
the same time that the Shanghai school pursued 
the expansion and development of traditional 
Chinese painting, those pioneers of art who 
returned from their studies abroad adopted 
certain Western ideas in a quest to improve it. 
From this juncture the idea of "Chinese painting" 
and "Western painting" truly emerged. Although 
these terms existed as early as the Ming dynasty, 
they were not truly accepted by the populace 
until the twentieth century, and coastal cities, 
especially Shanghai, were the main centers for 
this development. The result of the influx of 
Western culture and numerous ideological move- 
ments were twofold: first, the realms of Western 
oil painting, watercolors, and print and poster 
art became active in Shanghai and the coastal 
cities in Zhejiang and Jiangsu; on another front, 
the movement to reform and revamp traditional 
Chinese painting began to gain momentum. Dur- 
ing this period important artists such as Huang 
Binhong. Xu Beihong, Lin Fengmian, Liu Haisu, 
Yan Wenliang, Pan Tianshou. and Li Reran came 
to the fore. 

At the same time, various art schools and 

20 1 

organizations began to settle in Shanghai. 
Vccordingto historical sources, more than 107 
art schools and organizations existed in the 
Shanghai area from the end of the Qing and early 
Republic era to May 1949. These included many 
institutions that were significant in the history of 
Chinese art. Among them were the Tushanwan 
Art School. China's earliest place of Western art 
instruction, which was established in 1862 in the 
Xujiahui district of Shanghai; and Duoyunxuan, 
which was also a publishing house. Established 
in Shanghai in 1900 and rebuilt in the 1960s, 
Duoyunxuan merged with the Shanghai Paint- 
ing and Calligraphy Press and is still in existence 
today. The Shanghai Oil Painting Academy and 
the Chinese and Western Art Correspondence 
School, which provided professional oil painting 
instruction and watercolor instruction, respec- 
tively, were both founded in 1910. In 1912 the 
Shanghai Art Academy, the first modern fine art 
school in early modern China, was established 
by Liu Haisu and his colleagues at 7 Zhapu Road 
in Shanghai. The school not only adopted the 
Western educational system and methods of 
instruction, it also started hiring models in 1914. 
Because nude models had never been employed 
in China up to that point, their appearance 
caused a considerable sensation, and the debate 
among supporters and opponents of figure paint- 
ing lasted decades. 

From the 1930s to the 1940s, "left-wingers" 
started promoting the idea of "art for the people." 
Some artists took to the streets and, borrowing 
from Western methods, painted various scenes 
of laborers, both in the city and in the count 1 j 
side. During the Japanese invasion, the art world 
focused on anti-invasion promotional materi- 
als. Accordingly, there emerged a new woodcut 
movement as well as comics and oils depicting 
wai and societal realities. Print, promotional, 
andcoiiiu art showed unprecedented develop- 
ment, and multidimensional art tonus came into 
vogue, such as Shao Keping's Street ( 'orner and 
Zhang Leping's Sanmau conue set ies. ! he art 
"I Shanghai in the late nineteenth and early 

twentieth centuries developed along with the 
spread of demoi rati< revolution, Enlightenment 

thinking, and Marxist theon in the political, 
economic, ami cultural sectors. These factors 
contributed to Chinese art's expansion into new 
territories, undoubtedly one manifestation of tin- 
desire and efforts of the Chinese people to mod- 
ernize an age-old culture. 

After the establishment of the People's 
Republic of China, under the general principle 
that "art and literature serve the people and serve 
socialism," painting began to regularly depict 
scenes from everyday life. In Shanghai a new 
group of emerging artists included Qian Shoutie, 
Yu Yunjie, Cheng Shifa, and Fang Zengxian. Art- 
ists ventured deep into the countryside, into fac- 
tories, and into the armed forces to create works 
celebrating laborers, farmers, and PLA (People's 
Liberation Army) soldiers. Consequently, figure 
painting advanced by leaps and bounds. Land- 
scape and flower-and-bird paintings started to 
move toward realistic portrayal rather than being 
copies of the masters, as in the old tradition. Pro- 
motional and comic art and even folk art came 
into their own. In major urban centers such as 
Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, Chinese art 
was popularized to an extent never before seen. 
Thus began a period of extreme prosperity for 
Chinese ,111. 

Amid the economic reforms of the 1980s, 
life and people's way of thinking underwent 
profound changes, changes that were acceler- 
ated by cultural and artistic influences from the 
West. Individualism and subjectivity became 
more evident in artwork. The infiltration of 
modern aestheticism gave rise to many new t\ pes 
of painting, such as abstract, ultra realistic, folk, 
"neo-literati freehand" (xinwenren xieyi), and 
multimedia art. \s economic reforms deepened 
and the Chinese Western exchange advanced. 
Shanghai began to move ahead with cultural and 
artistic developments on the international front, 
and all types of ( ontemporar) an exhibitions and 
art galleries opened. Artists drew upon histori 
1 a] experiem e to pondei anew the relationship 

isr [ntrodui 

between painting and reality; younger and 
middle-aged artists appeared who dared to create 
and at the same time undertake intensive study 
of tradition. A brand-new atmosphere took hold 
in the art world of Shanghai. 

From the manifesto of the Storm Society 
(see "Western-Influenced Painting in Shanghai, 
1910-1945" in this volume) to the "New Wave " 
art movement of 1985 to art's multidimensional 
development of today, as China's largest indus- 
trial and commercial city, Shanghai has long 
been a place where Chinese and Western cul- 
tures have gathered, collided, and merged. It 
has also been a passageway for the movement 
and exchange of various types of Chinese and 
Western art. The romantic, refined aesthetic 
that emerged as a result of immigration cul- 
ture and Jiangnan culture unique to Shanghai 

combined with Western influences to create 
the multidimensional tradition of the Shanghai 
school. The school has continued to be a driv- 
ing force behind the development of the art and 
culture of Shanghai. 

This exhibition has given us the opportunity 
to display the various scenes along the path of 
Shanghai's artistic development. It allows us to 
recall the art movements of old and the acad- 
emies, organizations, and exhibitions that built 
them. As we admire the artworks and experience 
the history they invoke, we are also paying trib- 
ute to the artists who were and are active in this 
city; this exhibition is a miniature of Shanghai's 

Li Lei 
Translated by He Li 


Unfettered Dynamic Imagination shanghai art today 


Since Shanghai's inception, the city has through 
accident and design generated .1 uniquely innova- 
tive cultural environment. This is attributable to 
the historical circumstances that led to its initial 
rapid growth in the mid-nineteenth century, fol- 
lowed by the twentieth-century twists of fate that 
shaped its development. It is a short history com- 
pared to that of China's other major cities, not 
so long as to constitute a weighty encumbrance, 
yet rich and characterized always by flux. From 
the start, Shanghai has been (aside from the 
mid-twentieth-century hiatus) a place of wealth, 
opportunity, and international congress. In the 
nineteenth century the population exploded 
in part due to the city's importance as a treaty 
port, and in part because China's internal strife 
compelled hundreds of thousands of people — a 
disproportionate number of whom were wealthy 
or well-educated, including many artists — to flee 
to the safety of Shanghai. This, combined with 
the distance from the orthodox art center of Bei- 
jing, resulted in an enormous outburst of creativ- 
ity. Shanghai is in a similar situation today: it is 
a wealthy trade and banking center rather than 
a political center, poised on the Pacific Rim and 
looking outward with aspirations of world promi- 
nence, and thus presenting opportunities that 
attract people, including artists, from throughout 
China and beyond. 

That Shanghai's current status is one of 
wealth, growth, and cultural prominence is testi- 
mony to the city's quick recovery from the isola- 
tion and restriction of the mid-century political 
movements, ending with the Cultural Revolution 
(1966-1976). When Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997) 
came to power in 1978, implementing a policy 
of practical economic development over dogma. 
Shanghai did not hesitate to race toward a new 
modernism. Throughout China, government con- 
trol of the arts relaxed, conta< 1 \\ tth the outside 
world was reestablished, and a flood of info] ma 
tion about trends in art and philosophy became 
available. While an older generation of Shanghai 
artists had maintained the local understanding of 
earlier Western art movements (for example. Liu 

I laisu [ 1896-1994] continued painting in a man- 
ner indebted to Postimpressionism; see cat. nos. 
22 and 112), many twentieth-century Western art 
movements, such as Pop and Dada, were newly 

\ii Education 

In general, over the past three decades Shanghai's 
climate for art creation and exhibition has been 
more relaxed than that of the city's chief cultural 
rival, Beijing. The most obvious reason for this is 
that distance from China's administrative center 
leads to relative freedom. A less apparent rea- 
son may be that no nationally administered art 
academy is based in Shanghai, bringing with it the 
concentrated competitiveness and political under- 
pinnings generally associated with the academies. 

A century ago Shanghai was home to one of 
China's most important art schools, the Shanghai 
Art Academy (also known as the Shanghai Paint- 
ing and Art Institute), founded in 1912 by Liu 
Haisu. 1 For political reasons the school was moved 
to Wuxi in 1952, becoming part of the East China 
Arts Academy; since then, although there has 
been a succession of art schools and nonteach- 
ing art institutes, there has not been a major art 
academy in Shanghai." For decades, private les- 
sons and art clubs for young artists were key sups 
in an art education and, because their instruc- 
tion was not regulated in the way of major art 
academies, they tended to foster the perpetuation 
of styles that were less prominent elsewhere in 
China.' Many contemporary mid-career Shanghai 
artists began their education with private lessons 
and art club activities, completing it in one of 
the Shanghai institutes of higher education that 
established an art department: Shanghai Univei 
sity, Shanghai Normal University, East China Nor- 
mal University, and the Shanghai Drama Institute 
(Theater Design Department)/ These schools 
afford Shanghai a variety of educational oppor- 
tunities and. because of Shanghai's unparalleled 
ambience, are able to attract important .11 lists to 
serve as professors. 

Activities in the 1980s 

Shanghai has proven consistently to be particu- 
larly fertile ground for innovative exhibitions — 
innovative in terms of content, location, and 
format. Seemingly setting the tone for Shanghai's 
post-Cultural Revolution leadership in the arts, 
an exhibition of watercolor landscapes and still 
lifcs daringly void of political content was held at 
the Xuhui District Cultural Palace in December 
1976, just three months after the death of Mao 
Zedong (1893-1976). 5 More exhibitions followed, 
including those organized by artists' groups, 
notably The Twelve-Man Painting Exhibition at the 
Huangpu District Youth Palace in February I979 b 
and the Grass Painting Society's early 1980 Paint- 
ing Exhibition for the '80s at the Luwan District 
Cultural Palace, where the organizer, Qiu Deshu 
(born 1948), was an artist-worker. 7 Although the 
group self-censored, withdrawing a nude paint- 
ing prior to the opening, the exhibition included 
works influenced by cubism and expressionism, 
as well as ink paintings in new experimental 
modes. 8 

The frequency of such quasi-official exhibi- 
tions organized by groups with no official status 

burgeoned through the early 1980s, and artists 
seemed free to explore unsanctioned directions 
in private, albeit with occasional crackdowns. 
In the winter of 1983, ten artists — most from 
the Shanghai Drama Institute — participated 
in the '6' 3 Experimental Painting Exhibition at 
Fudan University (fig. 1). Although they had 
permission to hold the exhibition there, it was 
closed after a day and a half: the Anti-Spiritual 
Pollution campaign was beginning. 9 The works 
Zhang Jian-Jun (born 1955) had contributed to 
the exhibition were particularly targeted: four 
out of his five paintings were criticized for being 
abstract, including one described as "strange." 
Zhang was the first mainland Chinese artist to 
employ mixed media on canvas, and the "strange" 
painting was in that mode.'" 

As liberalization succeeded the Anti-Spiritual 
Pollution campaign, increasingly unorthodox 
activities were organized with seeming impunity 
throughout China — until the crackdown that 
came in the wake of the June 1989 Tiananmen 
Square massacre. This florescence, known as the 
New Wave or the '85 Art Movement, involved 
over two thousand avant-garde artists who 
participated in more than eighty unofficial art 

Zhang Jian-Jun at the 
'S3 Experimental Painting 
Exhibition at Fudan Univer- 
sity, standing in front of his 
painting Time/Space (1983), 
for which he was criticized. 
(Photograph courtesy of 
Zhang Jian-Jun) 


groups and over one hundred fifty exhibitions 
and meetings." Although Shanghai activities 
from this era have not received as much attention 
as those in other parts of China, Shanghai con- 
tinued as a site of experimental exhibitions. In 
addition, a small number of artists of the genera- 
tion who entered art schools soon after the end 
of the Cultural Revolution ventured to produce 
performance works and public interventions. 
In 1986, for example, Shanghai University art 
students Ding Yi (born 1962), Zhang Guoliang, 
and Qin Yifeng (born 1961) wrapped themselves 
in yellow fabric and then stationed themselves in 
various locations, including in a restaurant, on 
the street, and in a field, calling their work Cloth 
Sculptures on the Street (fig. 2). 1 " During the same 
year "M" Art Group, founded by Song Haidong 
(born 1958), realized several performances at 
the Shanghai Workers' Cultural Palace, generally 
characterized by acts of symbolic violence against 
the artists, including Zhou Tiehai (born 1966), in 
the performance Violence. " 

The 1990s ami Beyond 

The 1980s can be thought of as a gestation 
period, a valuable time of wide-ranging experi- 
mentation that opened the way for an expansive 
maturing art scene. Li Shan (born 1944), whose 
abstract and expressionist paintings had been 
criticized during the Anti-Spiritual Pollution 
campaign, found international acclaim for his 
works in the Political Pop mode. 14 Other lead- 
ing Political Pop practitioners are Shanghai 
painters Wang Ziwei (born 1963), Yu Youhan 
(born 1943), and Liu Dahong (born 1962; not a 
Shanghai native, but now thoroughly ensconced 
there). Influenced by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) 
in their brightly colored renditions of an iconic 
figure (Chairman Mao), they had begun their 

Ding Yi, Zhang Guoliang, and Qin Yifeng, 

Clnr/i Sculnfurrs on tin- Sin rl l«)Si |iei h u mam r. 
Photographs umrtesy of Ding Yi and ShanghART) 

dei onstruction of Mao in the late 1980s, continu- 
ing into the 1990s. The love of color and sense 
oi Fun inherent in Political Pop suited the spirit 
of Shanghai, unlike the comparably celebrated 
painting trend of the early 1990s, Cynical Real- 
ism, which was the expression of a Beijing Zeit- 
geist. The appreciation of color also extends to 
Shanghai's unusual concentration of artists pro- 
ducing abstract works of art in oils or other non- 
ink mediums, including Ding Yi, Shen Fan (born 
1952), Yu Youhan (despite the detour to Political 
Pop), and Li Lei (born 1965). Other dominant 
Shanghai artists found their stride at this time: 
Zhou Tiehai took a judicious taunting of the 

Unfettered 1)\ namil I 

3 Zhou Tiehai, Un/Limited Space (4): The Shower, approx. 1998. 
Installation in progress, German Consulate General, Shanghai. 
(Photograph: Graham Earnshaw; courtesy of Zhou Tiehai) 

international art world as his modus operandi; 
Yang Fudong (born 1971) established himself first 
as a witty commentator on the dilemmas facing 
Shanghai's youthful "intellectuals" and later as a 
master filmmaker; Shi Yong (born 1963) was the 
first mainland Chinese artist to produce a work 
of art distributed by the Internet; Wang Tiande 
(born i960) pushed ink painting beyond its basic 
ink-on-paper existence to create ink installations; 
Zhao Bandi (born 1966) established his loving 
relationship with a toy panda as central to his 
oeuvre; 15 and so on. The sense of fun and appreci- 
ation of color so obvious in Political Pop emerge 
as prevalent factors in Shanghai art, leavening an 
underlying seriousness of purpose. 

Photography, video, and installation became 
important modes of art production in Shanghai, 
as throughout China, increasingly dominating 
exhibitions. At the beginning of the decade they 
featured prominently in the 1991 Garage exhibi- 
tion curated by Song Haidong and held in the 
underground parking garage of the Shanghai 
Education Hall. 16 A decade later, installations 
were taken for granted as the only means of fill- 
ing large-scale exhibitions such as Home (2000), 
curated by Wu Meichun (born 1969) and Qiu 
Zhijie (born 1969) and held in the enormous 
empty halls of the soon-to-open Star Moon Home 

Furnishing Company. ' Other exhibitions taking 
place in unconventional spaces or in the public 
domain include Un/Limited Space (fig. 3), a series 
of small radical exhibitions held during the 1990s 
on the German Consulate's outer wall, where 
Chinese and foreign space physically intersect. 
A supermarket on Huaihai Road was the site of 
Art for Sale (1999), an exhibition curated by art- 
ists Xu Zhen (born 1977), Yang Zhenzhong 
(born 1968), and Alexander Brandt (born 
1971), where small works of art could be pur- 
chased in a supermarket setting, at supermarket 
prices, highlighting the transition of avant-garde 
contemporary Chinese art to marketable com- 
modity. 18 Zhao Bandi, whose public-service- 
announcement-style images, Zhao Bandi and the 
Panda, had been displayed as light boxes at the 
Shanghai Pudong International Airport, brought 
those images to life in his street-theater piece, 
Come and Meet the Panda (2000). His latest 
theatrical productions are fashion shows of his 
Panda Fashion (2007-2008) — panda-inspired 
couture conjuring such readily recognizable 
types as bride, corrupt official, property sales- 
woman, migrant worker, street sweeper, and so 
on (fig. 4). The largest-scale effort to bring art to 
public notice has been Intrude: Art & Life 366, a 
Zendai Museum of Modern Art project in which 


-. Zhao Bandi, Panda Couture, ShanghART Night — Shanghai Jinmao Shengrong Yacht, the Bund, 
Shanghai, 2008. (Photograph courtesy of ShanghART and Zhao Bandi) 

every day during 2008, a public cultural event 
took place in Shanghai, with the aim of bringing 
"global perspectives on art and culture . . . closer 
to the people of the city." 19 

( Jalleries 

Just as the lack of an art academy contributed to 
the shape of the Shanghai art world, so too has 
the emergence of strong commercial galleries 
as well as noncommercial public art galleries. 
Zheng Shengtian opened the first commercial 
space to promote Shanghai contemporary art, 
the Gallery of the Shanghai Drama Institute, but 
it lasted only a year due to unfortunate timing: it 
opened on June 6, 1989 (fig. 5). J " Lorenz Helbling 
established ShanghART Gallery, the earliest such 
gallery to remain in operation, in 1996: it has 
grown from a small venture in the I'ortman Ritz 
Carlton Hotel to a major enterprise with galler- 
ies in both Shanghai and Beijing, consistently the 
most important venue for Shanghai artists and 
1 ittei ing invaluable support tor their projects. 
Two of ShanghART's current spaces are at the 
Moganshan Road Art District, a cluster of old Ea< 
toi \ buildings converted to art galleries and art- 
ists' studios. Also at Moganshatris BizArt, run by 
Divide Quadrio (born 1970) and Xu Zhen as one 

of the pioneering nonprofit art spaces in Asia. 
In addition to supporting and promoting art- 
ists, BizArt has recently completed an ambitious 
series of interviews documenting the state of 
art in Shanghai. 22 Numerous commercial galler- 
ies have opened since the later 1990s, including 
the relatively long-lived Eastlink Gallery and the 
Shanghai Gallery of Art, the latter located in a 
hyper-elegant space on the Bund. 23 Shanghai also 
is home to the Duolun Museum of Modern Art. 
to two newly established private museums that 
aim to adhere to international standards— the 
Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (MOCA 
Shanghai) (fig. 6); and the Shanghai Zendai 
Museum of Modern Arc 4 — and to two art fairs, 
Shanghai Art Fair and ShContemporary. 

In 1996 the Shanghai Art Museum inaugu- 
rated its biennial program with the first Chinese 
periodical exhibition ot contemporary art. 
Although the first two Shanghai Biennales show- 
cased works by Chinese artists, all subsequent 
biennials have been international, and from the 
beginning the plan was to use the biennial as a 
means to achieve equal looting in the intei na 
tional art realm: Shanghai would "open the gate 
fol China's model 11 art to make its way into the 
world arena." Sim e the 2000 exhibition, the 
biennial has a< hieved prominence in a \\a\ 

I Infettered i )\ namii 

FIG. 5 

Opening of the Gallei\ oi the 
Shanghai Drama Institute. 
(Photograph courtesy of 
Zheng Shengtian) 

China's other biennials have been unable to 
match, consistently drawing throngs of interna- 
tional art aficionados. In addition, a cluster of 
particularly lively and challenging privately orga- 
nized exhibitions coincided with the 2000 bien- 
nial, firmly establishing Shanghai's reputation as 
a premier locale for exhibiting cutting-edge art. 

( inclusion 

Shanghai grew from a village to a major metrop- 
olis in very short order. Without a master plan. 

it developed as a livable and beautiful city. Now 
the past symbolically meets the future across the 
waters of the Huangpu, as the elegant buildings 
along the Bund — considered quite grand for their 
time — face the massive towers of record-breaking 
height that populate Pudong: the Jinmao Tower, 
the tallest building in China until the comple- 
tion of the Shanghai World Financial Center, 27 
with both soon to be dwarfed by the Shanghai 
Tower under construction next to them, planned 
to rise 632 meters. 28 Compared to such super- 
towers, architectural projects like Dongtan 

Museum of Contemporary 
Art Shanghai (MOCA Shanghai). 
(Photograph courtesy of MOCA 


Eco-city, being developed as a possibly carbon 
neutral dry on Dongtan Island in the mouth of 
the Yangzi River, are no less an achievement. "' It 
is a strength that Shanghai plays host to varieties 
of imaginative daring. It thus benefits from the 
n-adily observable leaps of faith, such as Pudong's 
mega-towers, or the Shanghai Art Museum's ini- 
tiative to launch Chinese art onto the world stage 
through a new series of biennial exhibitions, or 
the construction of ambitious private museums. 
And it also benefits from the lower-key initiatives, 
such as the construction of an eco-city on a mud 
flat (just as Shanghai began on a mud flat), or 
the green initiatives built into the original Expo 
20 10 Master Plan;'" the perpetuation of early- 
twentieth-century painting styles by such artists 
as Liu Haisu, early artists' groups' exhibitions of 
works beyond the pale, the establishment of com- 
mercial galleries when there was hardly a market 
for contemporary art, early performance art wit- 
nessed by few, and the production of ambitiously 
scaled, short-lived exhibitions in temporary 
spaces, such as Home or the exhibitions ancil- 
lary to the 2000 Shanghai Biennale. The variety 
creates the dynamic that keeps Shanghai visual 
culture fresh and exciting. 

Britta Erickson 

1 Sullivan, Art and Artists, 30. 

2 Andrews, Painters and Politics, 55. 
) Unci. .384. 

4 The Shanghai School of Design, a branch of the China 
Academy ot Art. is located in Pudong. 

5 Andrews, Painters and Politics. 384-385. 

6 Li Chao, Shanghai youhua shi, 314. 

7 Cohen. Ncie ( 'liiiiesr Pninfini;. 67. 

8 Ibid. 

9 E-mail correspondence between the author and Zhang 

fian-Jun, April 9, 2009; and Cohen, New Chim 
Painting, 85. 

10 E-mail correspondm. e between the author and Zhang Inn, April 9, 2009. 

11 Gao Minglu, "Cone eptual Art with Antii onceptual 
Attitude, 131, 

■ Song Dong el al Yesheng \ggyn\art fingzhe shi, 112. 
i ■; Berghuis, Performance in in China, 70. 
1. 1 l.i Shan's paintings can be seen in fig. 5, a photograph 
of the opening ot the Gallery ol the Shanghai Drama 


15 Although Zhao Bandi lives in Beijing, Ins work is ass< h 
ated with Shanghai. F01 links to images and video Foot 
age, see ShanghART, "Zhao Bandi." 

16 Zhang Qing, "Shanghai Modern." 354. 

17 For more on this exhibition, see Wu Hung, Exhibiting 
Experimental Art, 196-203. 

18 For more on this exhibition, see ibid., 172-179. 

19 Zendai Museum of Modern Art, "intrude: Art & Li/e 366." 

20 Erickson, "Interview with Shengtian Zheng," 30. 

21 ShanghART Gallery, 

22 Art hub, "40 + 4, Art is not enough! Not enough," March 1, 

23 Eastlink Gallery, 
Exhibition. aspx?lan = en&c=sh; Shanghai Gallery of Art. 

24 MOCA Shanghai,; 
Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art. http:/Aww» 

25 By this I mean the first Chinese periodical exhibition 
aside from the conservative annual national exhibitions 
held in Beijing or regionally: they are of a character 
entirely different from that of international periodical 
exhibitions. For more information, see Erickson. "Pen 
odical Exhibitions in China," 41-46. 

26 Fang Zengxian, "Preface," Shanghai Biennale n.p. For 
more on the biennial, see Shanghai Biennale. http 

27 Dawson, China's Neu 1 Down. 74. 

28 Wikipedia, "Shanghai lower. 

29 Anip. "Dongtan Eco city"; Kane. Shanghai Plans 

30 Dawson, Chinas Neu 1 Dawn, 50. 

red D) namii 

2 Fuxing Pa 1 1 

B) i in 1 1. 891 1 

Oil on 1 in 1 

n 71.0 x w. 90.0 cm 

Collection of the Shanghai An Museum 

F01 a dist ussion 0) Liu Haisu's life and career, 
see cat. no. 79. 

By the time Liu Haisu painted Fuxing Park he was in 
his mid-eighties. Having been condemned as a rightist 
during the Great Leap Forward and then rehabilitated 
in 1979, he finally enjoyed an extended period when he 
could paint free of political concerns.' He continued to 
work with equal enthusiasm in both oil painting and 
ink painting, employing splashed ink and bold splashed 
color in his brush paintings. As is evident in Ftixing Park. 

his oil painting manner was similarly bold and loose, 
and maintained the ties to the- I'ost impressionists he 
had favored in his youth. 

Liu I [aisu lived lor a time in Shanghai's Luwan 
district, home to Fuxing Park.' 1 Established in the early 
twentieth < cut 111 y. the park belonged to the French 
Concession and was laid out after the manner of French 
public parks, with beds ol llowers and wide, tree-shaded 
paths. Although the park was later modified to suit Chi 
nese tastes, the area represented in Liu I laisu's painting 
resembles a European-style park. Liu peopled it with 
numerous figures wearing the white shirts and dark 
pants common in the 1980s. The park remains a favorite 
gathering place for locals. E 

1 Sullivan, Art and Artists. 217. 

2 Andrews, Painters and Politics, 385. 

Morning on the Long Canal, 1995 

Bj 1 lirn i ifei 1 1946-2005) 

Oil "ii canvas 

11 198.8 ■ w, 19S.8 cm 

Collection of Chong Moon and Reiko I. Lee 

Born in Zhenhai, Zhejiang Province, Chen Yifei stud 
ied ,11 the Shanghai Art A< ademy and, in 19(15, was a 
founder of the Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture 
Institute. An artist with great technical facility, he 
trained in the Socialist Realist manner, which atforded 
him an understanding of the use of color and lighting 
to 1 reate a heightened sense of drama. He was remark- 
ably attuned to his times, utterly responsive to the visual 
aits needs of a variety of cultural moments and settings. 
During the Cultural Revolution he produced propaganda 
paintings and portraits of Mao. His talent as a history 
painter was such that the Military Museum in Beijing 
. ommissioned him and Wei Jingshan (born 1943) to 
paint one of the last major highly political works in this 
genre, The Taking of the Presidential Palace (1977). Travel- 

ing to the I In it i'd St. Mi- 1 1 1 ;t ud) I lien earned an MFA 
from I [untei College in 19K5 and then H-nuiiied in New 

York, where Ins polished portraits, paintings ol beauti 
1 11I young Chinese women, and Jiangnan canal . illage 
landscapes were in demand. He was the most final 
successful mainland Chinese artist o) the tirm 
paintings fetching record prices at auction. Returning 

to China in 1991, he established anentreprei al cul empire based in Shanghai, with the Leyefe fashion 
and housewares lines, Vilei Modeling V.'em \ and othet 
enterprises. In 1993 he became involved in filmmaking. 
The sense of color and dramatic staging that he .11 ijuned 
as a youth served him well 111 his wide range ol loles. 
from propaganda painter to portrait artist to fashion 
designer to film director. 

When Chen Yifei painted Morning on the Long Canal, 
he had been creating scenes of Suzhou or similar canal 
villages for well over a decade. The restrained color 
palette and stable composition combine with the sense 
of the age of the buildings and quiet movement of the 
boatman to capture the peace of early morning. 

4 A Series of Shanghai 
Alleyways 18.2002 

By Liang Yunting (born 1951) 
Oil on canvas 

11. 99.5 ■ vv. 83. , 1 in 

Collection ot the Shanghai An Museum 

Liang Yunting graduated from East China Normal Uni- 
versity in Shanghai. His works depict rapidly vanishing 
prerevolutionary forms of architecture, including Shang- 
hai's characteristic residential lanes, which he began 
painting as eai ly as 1993. A Series of Shanghai Alleyways 
18 was included in the Shanghai Oil Painting Exhibition 
of 2003. 1 

Longtang housing (also called Lilong) developed 
in Shanghai as a blend of European row housing and 
Chinese courtyard dwellings; it was built from the late 
nineteenth century until the early 1940s. The essential 
feature of this form of housing is the neighborhood 
layout: a lane faced with closely packed houses extends 
perpendicular to the main street, and narrow ancillary 
lanes lead off from the primary lane. The entrance to 
that lane, which may be marked by an arching gate, is 
the locus of commercial activity, with small vendors 

clustered close at hand to serve the needs of those dwell- 
ing within the network of lanes. The lanes themselves 
form a quiet neighborhood, acting as an extension of 
the interior living space, and can be a hive of activity. 
By omitting the residents from his painting, Liang 
has created a timeless image of a classic, elegantly 
proportioned Shanghai neighborhood, enhanced by 
the restrained tones of the weathered red brick facade. 
Only two benches and a laundry-hung pole suggest the 
human presence. 2 

1 Shanghai Art Salon, Chinese Arts, "Liang Yunting." 
Art Shanghai, March 11, 2009. 
artsalon/2004/eweb/gallery/index.asp?mid = 31. 

2 Qian Guan, "Lilong Housing"; and Novelli, "Longtang 
Housing," 36-65. 




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Appearance of Crosses 1991- : 

By Ding Yi (born 1962) 
Acrylic on 1 anvas 

11 1 1 W. iXll.O (Ml 

( . mi tesy nl the .hum 

Ding Yi's paintings are a synthesis <>l the abstract 

qualities inhere raditi il Chinese calligraphy 

and brush painting with an understanding <>l Euro- 
pean abstract painting, further reduced in accord with 
the artist's desire to create wot ks ol art that provide 
a pure visual experience and thus can be universally 
appreciated, regardless of the viewer's background and 
education. As such, they are a sophisticated personal 
manifestation of the Shanghai appreciation for color 
and line. Having been born and educated in Shanghai, 
and living there still. Ding Yi is a product of that city. 
He graduated from the Shanghai Arts and Crafts 
Institute in 1983 and from the Fine Arts Department 
of Shanghai University in 1990. Although he began 
creating abstract paintings in 1983, at Shanghai Univer- 
sity he studied traditional Chinese painting. Outside 
of his studies, he experimented with straight lines 
produced with a T-square, and he tried pens, airbrush, 
and digital media in his search for a dispassionate and 
accurate mode of creativity. 1 In 1988 he embarked on 
his major project, the ongoing painting series Appear- 
ance of Crosses. Each painting in the series is built up 
from a single basic unit, the cross form, which is also 
the Chinese character shi (meaning ten). The extreme 
self-imposed restriction to the cross form is related 
to the (much less) limited vocabulary of brushstrokes 
employed in Chinese brush painting, as well as to the 
de Stijl painters, who restricted their vocabulary to pure 
geometric forms. While the latter group employed a 
color palette 1 onfined to the primary colors plus black 
and white, Ding Yi has experimented with a wide range 
of color combinations, resulting in images that maybe 
elegantK restrained or wildly exuberant. In addition, 
layering crosses in different colors can create a sense of 
depth, and the slight irregularities in the lines produce 
asense ol movement. The small lineal irregularities in 
lppearanceo/1 rosses 1991-3 cause certain diagonals and 
plane figures to stand out from tin- apparently evenly 
articulated all over pattern. 

1 Pedersoc 1 1 rati inpoi " in with Chinese 
Charai teri itii 


116 Landscape — Commemorating 
Huang Binhong — Scroll, 2007 

By Shen Fan (born 1952) 
Installation with lights and sound 
H. 222.0 x w. 302.0 x D. 70.0 cm 
Courtesy of the artist 

Shen Fan was born and grew up in and around Shanghai, 
receiving an education in the city and farming in the coun- 
tryside during the Cultural Revolution. He graduated from 
the Fine Arts Department of the Shanghai Light Industry 
Institute in 1986 and has been living in Shanghai ever 
since. He is one of a group of internationally acclaimed 
Shanghai artists working primarily in an abstract idiom 
that is conceptually based in the abstract qualities inher- 
ent in Chinese traditional brush painting and calligraphy 
as well as in twentieth century European abstraction. 
Landscape— Commemorating Huang Binhong — Scroll is a 
logical progression from his painting oeuvre, an expression 
of his aesthetic and interests in a new medium. 

Over the years Shen Fan has produced increasingly 
minimalistic monochromatic abstractions, working with 

primary colors, black, and white. Applying paint with a pal- 
ette knife, he creates arrangements of three-dimensional 
geometric forms atop the paper or canvas. Recently he has 
chosen to move from pure abstraction to hint at landscape 
forms, referencing traditional landscape paintings through 
placement of those forms and through the proportions of 
his canvases. When he was invited to contribute a work 
to the 2006 Shanghai Biennale. he considered that to 
translate his work into neon would be appropriate, given 
that the biennial site, the Shanghai Art Museum, is situated 
on Nanjing Road, known for its abundance of neon signs. 1 
Landscape — Commemorating Huang Binhong — Scroll is 
a smaller variant on the biennial work Lnndscape — 
Commemorating Huang Binhong. The neon tubes can be 
equated to brushstrokes and approximate the idea of 


Huang Binhong's (1865-1955) late works, masterpiei es 
til Chinese landscape painting built up from "raw" 
brushstrokes in uniformly dark ink. A musical composi- 
tion played on the (|m forms an integral part of the neon 
installation: the length, shape, angle, and location of the 
neon tubes decide the length and tone of the musi( al 
notes. As Shen Fan describes the music, "There is no 
melody, no rhythm, no harmony. . . .Who would care 
about the source of the music? Maybe, that is the sound 
ot nature." 2 BE 

, tophei Phillips, "Shen Fan: Into 
Christophei Philli] I Gallery May 2008, http a ' lo6 7- 

1 mail communication with the artist, March 31. 2009. 

117 Shanghai Lily, 2009 
li\ Zhou Tiehai (born 1966) 
Acrylic (airbrush) cm canvas 
n. 250.0 ■ w. 150.0 1 m 
Courtesy ol the artist 

A lifelong Shanghai resident, Zhou Tiehai is the city's best- 
known conceptual .11 list. He established the direction of his 
oeuvre in 1994, a year that marked a turning point in his career: 
prior to that he had participated briefly in the Shanghai-based 
performance group "M" Art Group (1986) and studied at the 
Fine Arts Department of Shanghai University (1987) where, 
although he did not complete the program, he nevertheless 
gained a grounding in representational modes that remained 
somewhat Socialist Realism-inflected. Like many artists of 
China's 1980s New Wave Movement, he became discouraged by 
the difficulty of establishing relations with the art world out- 
side China. Identifying the artist's ability to convince others of 
his importance as the crucial t areei making factor, from 1994 
he resolved to devote his time to liaising with curators, critics, 
and other art-world figures, while assistants produced work 
for him based on his conceptions, including creating paintings 
tor him using an industrial tool, the airbrush. He embarked on 
his signature series Placebo in 2000, irreverently replacing the 
heads on masterpieces of European figural painting with that of 
Joe Camel. The latter sports dark glasses and a smug grin as if 
content in his role of stripping away the artifice of the privileged 
art world. Zhou's remakes of Western film images belong to the 
Placebo series, with Joe Camel's head substituted for that of one 
of the actors depicted, including Marlene Dietrich in Blond Venus 
(2007) and supporting actors in Mata Hari (2007) and The Great 
Dictator (2008). ' 

Shanghai Lily is based on a promotional still for the 1932 
Joseph von Sternberg film. The Shanghai Express, starring Mar- 
lene Dietrich as Shanghai Lily, the notorious White Flower of 
China who has "wrecked a dozen men up and down the China 
coast." 2 She became a seductress only after the man she loved left 
her: as she remarks, "It took more than one man to change my 
name to Shanghai Lily." Her true personality is reveaJed when 
a rebel warlord captures the train she is traveling on, and she 
proves willing to sacrifice herself to save her former love, who 
happens to be traveling on the same train. Both Shanghai Lily 
and the actress herself were constructs that satisfied a craving for 
exoticism, glamour, and sensuality. As such, they are ripe targets 
for Zhou Tiehai's brush, the amusingly jarring substitution of Joe 

Camel's head F01 : of great beauty underscoring Hollywood's 

idle as generator of illusory, self-satisfied myths. E 

1 Zhou Tiehai's first movie related images were Stars of the '80s, ideal- 
ized portraits ol c/outhful earl) post-Cultural Revolution movie stars. 
z TheReveri made this statement to fellow Shanghai 

Express passenger Captain Donald Harve) 

i Mawangdui 2oog, 2009 

By Liu Dahong (born 1962) 
Embroidered silk 

H. 240.0 x w. 100.0 cm each, two pieces 
Collection of the artist 

After receiving his undergraduate degree from the 
Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now the China National 
Academy of Fine Arts) in Hangzhou, Liu Dahong moved 
to Shanghai, where he is a professor in the Fine Art 
Department of Shanghai Normal University. He has 
developed a highly idiosyncratic painting style that 
reflects influences as diverse as the Northern Renais- 
sance masters and Chinese New Year prints. Fascinated 
by detailed observations of vernacular life, of history and 
fantasy, he absorbs the full spectrum of visual culture as 
fodder for his fanciful creations, recombining familiar 
imagery with his own imaginings to produce commen- 
tary on both historical and contemporary society. Both 
contemporary Shanghai and Cultural Revolution China 
have proven to be particularly rich sources of visual 
information. Having been born in 1962, Liu Dahong wit- 
nessed the effects of the Cultural Revolution as a child, 
and that era appears frequently with a satiric twist in his 
work; because of this he was grouped with the highly 
acclaimed Political Pop artists during the early 1990s. 
Liu Dahong's Mawangdui 200a is an embroidered 
version of his oil-on-canvas Mawangdui Silk Painting— 
Red and White Diptych (2001). supposedly "designed 
tin the Memorial Hall of the Cultural Revolution." 

It. 111 turn, was based on the painted silk funerary ban- 
ner (approx. 168 bce) found atop the innermost coffin 
in the tomb of Lady Dai, Mawangdui Tomb No. i. 2 The 
tomb, discovered and excavated near Changsha during 
the Cultural Revolution, dates from the Western Han 
dynasty (206 BCE-25 ce). 

The embroidery of Liu Dahong's Mawangdui 2009 
was accomplished in Zhenhu, a small town near Suzhou 
famed for its embroiderers. The artist estimates that 
four women will have worked more than ten hours each 
day for over six months to complete the banners, work- 
ing in the laborious, delicate style known as Su (short 
for Suzhou) embroidery, whereby images are built up via 
small, flat stitches of fine silk thread. 

Both embroideries composing Mawangdui 2009 
follow the layout of the original banner closely, but one 
mirrors the composition (the composition is flipped 
around a vertical axis), and the artist has substituted 
Cultural Revolution-related iconography for that of 
the Western Han. The fact that the Maoist pantheon is 
sufficiently abundant to provide iconographic parallels 
to the Mawangdui banner twice over underscores the 
extent to which the Cultural Revolution provided quasi- 
religious objects for fervent believers. 


Although the exact meaning of the original 
Mawangdui banner's iconography cannot be known, 
the general consensus is that the banner represents 
the journey of the deceased. Horizontal bars divide the 
vertical structure into four areas, the lowest represent- 
ing hell, the highest being heaven, and the middle two 
portraying stages in Lady Dai's afterlife. Liu Dahong fol- 
lows this pattern, substituting for Lady Dai a peasant girl 
heroine from a Cultural Revolution ballet as the central 
figure for each banner, one being Wu Qinghua from 
The Red Detachment ofWomen and tin- other Xi'er of 
Ma White-Haired Girl. In the top center of the Red ban 
nt'i. based on The Red Detachment o) Women i woman 
appears clad in red: the White banner, based on The 
White-Haired Girl. Features a woman in white. 

In the lowest division "I the compositions, the 
villainous landlords from the two ballets 1\ i 
the South (from Mi, Ri set in 

I laman Island m the south of China) and Twain ol the 
North (Huang Shiren, from Thi Girl.set 

in the northern province of Hebei as timet] 
of lord of the underworld In the next level u] 
original banner features two ritual ol disk 

ami a i hime shaped like .in inverted \ I 

Liu has substituted a straw peasant hat inscribed with 
"Red Army" (the dragon's body crossing over the hat is 
inscribed with the ballet title); and a bridge grouped 
with two pagodas such as are found at West Lake. Where 
the original depicts the corpse and attendant mourners, 
Liu captures the heroines in their most dire moments, 
shackled and observed by their tormentors. In the next 
section up, where the original is thought to portray Lady 
Dai in eternity (the "body in its eternal home"'), Liu 
shows the heroines in their moments of liberation: Wu 
Qinghua is rescued by Hong Changqing, Commissar 
of the Red Detachment of Women, and Xi'er is saved 
by her fiance, Wang Dachun, who had left to join the 
Eighth Route Army but then returned to liberate the 
area. Suspended above their epiphanies is a winged Mao 
Zedong. The third and final horizontal divider is sup- 
ported by walls of cave dwellings such as were found in 
the Communist base area of Yan'an, and seated atop the 
pointed roof in the center are Liu Shaoqi (1907-1971 ), 
who rose to the position of vice premier but died mys- 
teriously in a plane crash after a supposed failed coup, 
and Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997), who was twice purged 
during the Cultural Revolution but survived to become 
China's leader from 1978 into the 1990s, the pair flanked 


by additional figures from the ballets. Above them, ironi- 
cally centered in the double fish symbol of good fortune, 
is the head of Peng Dehuai (1898-1974), a prominent 
military commander who fell from grace and was 
arrested and tortured during the Cultural Revolution. 

The top segment of each image represents heaven. 
Centered above in place of the original mythical 
human headed snake. Liu has placed female Com- 
munist martyrs, Zhang Zhixin (1930-1975) in the Red 
banner (dressed in red) and Sister Jiang (Jiang Zhujun, 
1920-1949) in the White banner (dressed in white). 
Zhang was executed but posthumously rehabilitated for 
having opposed the extremism of the Cultural Revolu- 
tion, including the cult of personality surrounding Mao." 1 
Sister liang was a Communist Party member who was 
, aptured by Nationalist forces and executed after refus- 
ingto reveal secrets to the enemy, rhe martyrs glow 
with a light equal to thai ol the Banking sun and moon. 
the sun occupied by Mao (commonly referred to as the 
Red Sun) and the moon by Zhou Enlai. as well as In 
1I1. raven and rabbit traditional!) associated with those 

celestial bodies, and also depicted in the original. Mao's 
extended hand supports the central "martyr, w here thi 

11. il banner featured small suns below the large sun, 

in reference to the legend in which Archer Yi shot 
nine superfluous suns out of the sky- to save the e.uili 
from scorching, Liu has inserted red disks resembling 
sunflowers and inscribed them with a saying that the 
flowers turn toward the sun, a common reference to 
Mao's followers turning to him for light. Humorous 
details include Shanghai's Oriental Pearl TV Tower 
and the Monkey King behind and below the moon, 
as well as small semi-naked women and women-beasts 
appearing throughout the composition. 6 

1 Liu Dahong, I iu Dahong's Textbook, 58. 

2 l-'ni images of the original h.u ial Mu- 

!ii, 1 nhibitionof MawangduiHanTomb: 
.hi Silk and Ins. ribed Slips. Imp 
hnmuseum/eng what ixhibition mwd ; 5-J s P*- 

; Wu Hung, "Origins ol I ng," 24. 

4 Wikipedia,"3RSSf" (Zhang Zhixin), http://zh.wikipedia 

, Wikipedia,"xEt5rffi" I' u 
org uiki/JESfl. 

rning the iconography was drawn 
e-mail him , wellas from Liu 

forest, 2004 
By Li Hu.iyi (born 1948) 
Ink and colors on papei 
h. 120.0 x w. 368.0 cm 
Pi r ate 1 ollection 

While the fastidious brushwork characterizing Li Huayi's 
paintings hints that they belong to a conservative lin- 
eage of China's great landscape painting tradition, they 
are much more. Li has found in the Chinese landscape 
a protean form that can be molded to accommodate all 
manner of artistic influence and experience. Born in 
Shanghai before the revolution and educated in both 
China and the United States, he has lived through art 
movement extremes. His initial training was in tradi- 
tional painting and calligraphy, as he was tutored by 
Wang Jimei, son of the Shanghai master Wang Zhen 
(1867-1938; cat. no. 17). At age sixteen he opted to study 
Western-style art with Zhang Chongren (1907-1998), 
who was educated at the Royal Academy in Brussels. 
The facility Li Huayi developed with rendering realistic 
subjects in oils proved advantageous during the Cultural 
Revolution, when he could easily adapt it to the pro- 

scribed Socialist Realist manner. Following the close of 
the Cultural Revolution he traveled to sin h noted sites 
as Mount Huang and the Buddhist caves ol Dunhuang, 
seeking to prepare the way for a new artistic direction 
through a direct experience of nature and a reconnection 
with China's early artistic heritage. In 1982 he emigrated 
to the United States, where he earned a master's degree 
from the San Francisco Academy of Art and gained a 
firsthand familiarity with Western modernism. He now 
divides his time between San Francisco and Shanghai. 

Although Li Huayi's paintings typically conjure the 
monumentalism of the great Northern Song (960-1127) 
landscapes, the apparent rationalism of their construc- 
tion is founded in chance. He begins his paintings by 
spreading ink wash, then building on the semi-chance- 
generated results. The process finds roots both in 
Chinese painting history and in Abstract Expressionism. 

Clearly delineated passages join with the more araoi 
phous to i reate a sense of a living, changeable landsi ape. 
Just as Li Huayi's approach to painting is a 

Fusion of past and present, I asl and West, so t ire the 

landscape forms: the pine trees and rocks in his painl 
ings could as easily be derived from California as from 
China. The trees in the painting Fores/ are, however, 
based on a group of ancient cypresses in the grounds 
of Situ Temple on Mount Dengwei near Suzhou. 1 
Planted during the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220 ce) 
by former Prime Minister Deng Yu (2-58), they grew 
to be celebrated for their fabulous contorted shapes 
and venerable age: the Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799) 
gave them the title Qingqt guguai (elegant and strange), 
and they were painted by such masters as Wen Zheng- 
ming (1470-1559). Li Huayi has chosen to foreground a 
single tree, emphasizing its branches' elegantly dramatic 

curves, against .1 bai kdrop thai suggests an infinite natu- 
ral realm untouched by humanity. 

1 Por a photograph of the trees, see: ^-?-$m£iii 
15* Qmgqi guguai I legant .m<l strange|,SJffll8£ 
\m shewing I New photo], December 5, 2007. http:// itos 
= 6o38tw= 821&SZ = ig4&h) = en&start = 28tsig2 = hQlP6b jCCy 
io6&tbnw=i448iprev = /images%3Fq%3D%25E5%258F%2 
SZ2dI6byswO|o6jeBQ (accessed 4 May 2009). 

i The Dimension of Ink No. i, 2008 

By Zheng Chongbin (born 1961) 
Ink, acrylic, and fixer on paper 
H. 144.8 x w. 302.3 cm 
Collection of the artist 

Born in Shanghai, Zheng Chongbin participated in 
Shanghai Art Club activities as a youth, and he was 
privately tutored in ink painting by Mu Yilin (born 
1942)— himself a student of the great Shanghai school 
painters Xie Zhiliu (1910-1997) (cat. no. 19) and Cheng 
Shifa (born 1921)— and Chen Jialing (born 1937). In 1984 
he graduated from the Chinese Painting Department of 
the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou (now the 
China National Academy of Fine Arts), where he special- 
ized in figure painting. Inspired in part by the Surrealists' 
use of negative space, shadows, and psychological nuance, 

he developed a group of works on the borderline between 
figurative and abstract, finally moving to pure abstrac- 
tion. Following graduation he taught at the academy for 
four years and then emigrated to the United States, earn- 
ing his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1991. 
He now maintains a home in Marin County (north of San 
Francisco) and studios in Shanghai and Hangzhou.' 

Although Zheng Chongbin experimented for a time 
with installation art, following his move to the United 
States he returned to ink painting and has pursued the 
development of a new and highly sophisticated approach 


to abstraction. As a means "I i reating an enhanced 
sense ol depth, he paints with white acrylic and Exei in 
, ombination with ink. Thexuan paper absorbs the mate- 
rials to varying degrees, resulting in a layering effect, 
plus they interact with one anothei in a manner that 
can be semi-controlled by the artist. Furthermore, he 
adopted the pnibi or broad brush in place of traditional 
brushes, resulting in .1 heightened mindfulness of long- 
ingrained painting techniques. Hie Dimension of Ink No. 1 
In mgs together the abstract qualities of the calligraphic 
line (most evident in the broad bla< k areas 1 with the 

three-dimensionality of the figurative tradition (appar- 
ent in the white forms left of center), express,, I with an 
understanding of the theatrical use of space drawn from 
SU( li diverse sources as Francis Bacon (1909-1992), 
Caravaggio (1573-1610). and majoi representativi 
the monumental Chinese lands, ape painting tradition, 
such as Fan Kuan (late tenth early eleventh cent 1 1 
andGuoXi (approx. 1020-1090). e 

1 Much of the information in th 1 
interview. See Erickson 

Unfettered I '■■ 

Shadow in the Water, - 

By Liu Jianhua (born 1962) 
Installation with porcelain and light 
11. 48.0 x w. 1200.0 x d. 8.0 cm. 
Collection "I the arti 1 

Over the past decade many Chinese artists have 
commissioned the production of works of art from 
hnoili / lici 1 , loi i vn tunes the elite center ol pou elain 
production and notable as the major source ol line por- 
celain both for the imperial court and lor foreign export. 
Porcelain is Liu Jianhua's signature medium, but foi 
him to employ it is not a simple matter of contracting 
out skilled labor: he has been working with this mate- 
rial since he was a child. Born in Ji'an, Jiangxi Province, 
he moved at the age of twelve to Jingdezhen, where his 
uncle managed a factory. 1 For eight years he worked in 
the Jingdezhen Pottery and Porcelain Sculpturing Fac- 
tory (1977-1985), after which he studied sculpture in 
the Fine Arts Department of the Jingdezhen Pottery and 

Porcelain College (1985-1989). He taught sculpture at 
the Yunnan Art Institute in Kunming (1989-2004) and 
split his time between Kunming and Jingdezhen before 
relocating to assume the position of associate professor 
in the Sculpture Department of the Shanghai University 
Fine Arts School. 

In the rush to modernize, China's cities have lost 
much of their individuality: across the country old 
neighborhoods are razed and trees demolished to make 
way for skyscrapers created with a uniformity of vision. 
Liu Jianhua's Shadow in the Water suggests the sameness 
of China's major metropolises, with an endlessly repeat- 
ing row of towers and skyscrapers. Incredibly, build- 
ings from across China seem to have joined Shanghai's 

Pudong landmarks along the Huangpu River. They bend 
as il reflected in the water, and the shadows projected 
below them play an ambivalent role: together, they sug- 
gest that the current rash of modernity is an unsteady 
illusion. Prioi to > rearing Shadow in the Water, Liu had 
worked primarily in polychrome ceramics and celadons; 
w nli I Ins piece, he adopted the monochrome ware 
qingbai as a less literal and therefore more suggestive 

Among the buildings featured in Shadow in the 
Water are Beijing's China World Trade Center (low 
building with concave roof, flanked by two towers), 
Jingguang Center (skyscraper with a smooth curved 
facade divided into three segments), and Great Wall 

Sheraton (to the immediate lelt ot the Jingguang 
( enter); Shenzhen's tallest building, the DiwangTower 
(quite tall, with a pair ot round turrets): Guangzhi iu's 
OTIC Plaza (skyscraper to the right of the China World 
Trade Center); and Shanghais Oriental Pearl Tower 
(tower with joined globes, (ine ol the tallest towel in 
the world), Jinmao Tower (skyscraper construe ted in 
tiers, to the right of the Oriental Pearl Tower), and Bank 
of China Tower (tallest building between the ( >> iental 
Pearl Tower and the Diwang Tower). E 

i Beltrame, bin, and Liu Jianhua, Liu jiunhua, n.p. 

2 Can You Tell Me?, 2006 

By Liu li mini 1 (1 1 L962) 

Installation with stainless steel 

eai h "book": 
H. 27.0 x w. 39.0 x d. 4.0 cm 
Collection "I the artist 

When Liu Jianhua moved to Shanghai, lie realized that it 
is in the nature of the city to provoke questions, includ- 
ing fantasies, concerning the future. Always changing, 
propelled by its role as an economic powerhouse, the 
city suggests endless possibilities. Fascinated by the mul- 
tivalent relationships of people to the city, Liu Jianhua 
devised Can You Tell Me?, a work that encourages view- 
ers to ponder and discuss Shanghai's possible futures. 

Can You Tell Me? is an installation of up to fifty 
stainless-steel open "books" arrayed either on a plat- 
form or on long narrow tables. Each book presents two 
questions about Shanghai, one on each page, posed in 
five languages: Chinese, English, French, German, and 


fapanese. Often a \ ideo accompanies the installation 
of books, displaying the list of one hundred numbered 
questions, which range from the fanciful to the idealist ii 
and realistii , lunching on such subjects as economic 
concerns, personal relationships, and culture. Represen- 
tative questions include the following: 

3. Can Shanghai make the magic ol David Copper 
field come true, and move the Bund 100 meters 
backward to widen the avenue? 

4. Can Shanghai build the first welfare bank in the 
world to allow poor people to get money whenever 
the) need? 

23. Could the twenty best universities oi the world be 
all built in Shanghai.'' 

; I I >ue I" mteie .ted ei mi lelation.ships, v\ ill 

Shanghai be the > it) with the widest age gap I 
husband and wife? 

63. Will the first golf course built on a skyscrapers 

rool appear in Shanghai? 

94. Seeking for a cultural and artistic image, will 
Shanghai import numerous sculptures from all 
around the world to become the city with the biggest 
collection? BE 

3. ±3S£S^?B*£°««* KK 

3. Can Shanghai make the magic 
Copperfield come true, and move 
100 meters backward to wic ; 

}. La villa de Shanghai peut-elle • 
magie de David Cr 
100 metres le Bund afin d'elarj 

3. ist David Copperfieid uberhE- 
ssin maglscfies TSus: 
alisleren, urn den Hfiuserkcrr, 
um 100 Meter nach hinten verscr. 
n, damlt die Strassen erweife. 

3. ±*tt?*-i *4 V K • iJ V'*—7 4 -fi> I 

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Vestiges of a Process: 
ShiKuMen Project 2007, 2007 

By Zhang Jian-Jun (born 1955) 


5 minutes 47 seconds 

Collection of the artist 

Zhang Jian-Jun began his art education at the age of 
seven, with calligrapliy. He studied ink painting briefly 
as part of the first semester art school curriculum at the 
Fine Arts Department of the Shanghai Drama Insti- 
tute, after which he focused on oil painting. Following 
graduation, he began a long-term association with the 
Shanghai Art Museum, first as a resident artist and later 
in administrative and curatorial roles. He moved to 
the United States in 1989 and has held the position of 
adjunct professor in the Fine Arts Department of New 
York University since 1997. He divides his time between 
New York and his native Shanghai, where he teaches at 
the NYU Shanghai Center. 

Returning to China in 1995 after six years in the 
United States. Zhang [ian-Jun was shocked by the extent 
to which tin' mi I mm environment had changed: entire 
neighborhoods had been demolished and replaced by 
high rise buildings "I an entirely different character. 

His reaction inspired a group of works expressing 
concern with the continuity of culture and of human 
values through time and space. One such work is Vestiges 
of a Process: ShiKuMen Project 2007, a video recording a 
performance in which the artist set up an easel facing 
one of old Shanghai's most distinctive architectural 
features, a carved stone doorway, or shikumen, associ- 
ated with Shanghai's residential alleys or lilong. Zhang 
painted an image of the carved stone doorway using 
a medium that fades with time. The video shows the 
gradual disappearance of the painting of the doorway, 
serving as a direct metaphor for the disappearance of 
those architectural features from the streets of Shang- 
hai. As Zhang paints the doorway, and then as the image 
fades away, local residents pass by, either interested 
or indifferent, reflecting the degrees of engagement 
individuals afford the changes occurring in the cityscape 
around them. BE 


124 Vestiges of a Process: 
Shanghai Garden, 2010 

By Zhang Jian-Jun (born 1955) 

Installation with antique Shanghai bricks, silicone rubber rocks, 

silicone rubber vase, solar-powered plastic leaves, and rice paper 
Dimensions variable; rock #1: H. 202.0 x w. 136.0 x D. 80.0 cm, 

rock #2: H. 120.0 x w. 77.0 x d. 45.0 cm 
Collection of the artist 

Vestiges of a Process: Shanghai Garden brings together 
many of Zhang Jian-Jun's long-term interests, fusing 
signs of humankind and nature, history and contempo- 
rary culture. It is a variant of the installation Sumi-Ink 
Garden of Re-Creation, created for the artist's solo exhibi- 
tion at the He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen (2002) 
and subsequently exhibited in the Fourth Shanghai 
Biennale (2002). Vestiges of a Process: Shanghai Garden is 
an installation composed of two Taihu rocks made from 
silicone rubber, plus a silicone rubber vase, all arrayed 
atop a pavement of gray antique bricks, acquired from 
the demolition of Shanghai houses constructed between 
192 j and 1926, not far from where Xin Tiandi now 
stands. The silicone rocks were manufactured in molds 
formed directly from Taihu rocks, which in traditional 
garden culture are prized for providing cultured city 
dwellers with a kind of symbolic access to nature. In 
designing the silicone vase the artist took as his starting 
point early ceramic vessels, morphing the original form 

to create a postmodern re-envisioning of the vessel that 
reflects a transition between old and new visual idioms. 
Deployed together, the rocks, the vase, the bricks, and the 
garden conventions transcend the bounds of their original 
specific functions, finding broader meaning in the present. 
Visitors can walk over the bricks and between the rocks, 
absorbing notions of time and process. 

Zhang Jian-Jun believes every era is marked by a 
characteristic line, form, color, and material. Linking 
the morphing visual markers is time, as experienced by 
humankind. Culture is propelled in this manner, with 
human experience as a universal quality that unifies across 
time and distance. The artist leads us to an internalized 
understanding of these issues, via the powerful statements 
embodied in his most recent works. E 

>te Since this work is a site-specific installation not com- 
pleted until the exhibition's opening, photographs of the 
finished piece were not available in time for publication. 


Zhang [ian-Jun, Vestiges of a Process: Shanghai Garden: Proposal, 2009. 

Demolished houses, the source of the bricks in Vestiges of a Process: Shanghai Garden. (Photographs: Zhang Jian-Iun) 

Cityi Light. 2000 

By Vim; Fudong (born 197O 


(1 minutes 8 seconds 

Collect f Eloisa and Chris Haudenschild 

Yang Fudong is celebrated lor His photographs, videos, 
and films that frequently express a sense of longing and 
displacement, often taking as their subject the lives i il 
young urbanites who possess education and beauty but 
whose positive attributes do not quite mesh with tin 
tunes. Although he captures the Zeitgeist of Shanghai, 
he was born in Beijing and studied painting at the China 
National Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou (1991-1995), 
after which he returned to the capital. He studied film 
for just two weeks at the Beijing Film School (1996); 
his education as a painter has most significantly shaped 
his expressive use of lighting and color, as well as his 
masterfully controlled framing of both still and moving 
images. In 1998 he relocated to Shanghai. 

City Light is about the disjointed roles and moments 
that make up daily life. A white-collar worker arises 
in the morning and sets out, followed by his doppel- 
ganger. Humorously they mirror one another, walking 
the streets as one holds aloft an umbrella while the other 
mimics the action. Later they prowl on a mysterious 
mission, one with a gun and the other brandishing an 
imaginary weapon. They waltz, with a woman and with 
one another. Does life as a middle-class office worker 
necessitate a parallel fantasy life, or is it just that life 
offers multiple possibilities? Yang Fudong has said that 
this film reflects his early period in Shanghai, when he 
supported himself by working for a software company: 
"Everyday life is like a routine. Sometimes I feel I'm two 
persons. . . . The me during the day works all the time 
while the me at night constantly thinks. . . . City Light is 
about a person's split identity. The comical aspects in the 
film are not necessarily humorous."' 

1 Mall. "Film Is Like Life." 14. 

Unfettered Dynamic Imagination 

s Liu Lan, 2003 

By Yang Fudong (born 1971) 

35 mm black-and-white film presented 

as single-channel digital video 
14 minutes 
Collection of Eloisa and Chris Haudenschild 

Liu Lan unfolds in an imaginary romanticized past that 
hints at the early twentieth century and yet, due to 
its lack of specificity, expands into timelessness. The 
story is timeless, too: the lives of a man and a woman 
intersect briefly; although they seem like two parts of 
a whole, they belong to different worlds and must be 
parted. As the accompanying song relates, "Why are 
people in love always apart?" Here, the protagonists 
are a beautiful young country woman and a handsome 
"intellectual" from the city, traveling a mist-shrouded 
lake in a small boat. Rendered in black and white, the 
tranquil, hazy water scenes bear an affinity to traditional 

Chinese ink landscapes. More than a story of ill-fated 
lovers, however, Liu Lan is a metaphor for the melan- 
choly sense of disjunction experienced by what Yang 
terms "minor intellectuals" (.vtao wenren), people who 
may not stand out from the crowd and yet who maintain 
integrity in difficult times, seeking to express a har- 
monious ideal through the example of their lives. The 
concept of the "minor intellectual" refers back to the 
third century Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, who 
withdrew from the fraught political realm to drink wine 
and engage in elevated discourse. E 


Honey. 2003 

By Yang Fudong (born 1971) 


9 minutes 29 seconds 

Private 1 ollectioE 

While Liu Urn is an elegy of restraint in terms of both 
the story and its presentation. Honey is provocatively 
florid. And although much of the Liu / an narrative is 
It-It to the viewei s imagination, tins is even more the 
< ase \\ ith Honey, whi( h centers on a mysterious young 
beauty. Highly self-controlled, coiffed and made up 
with prei ision, she reveals little emotion but is sensn 
ousfj attired in alternating outfits, one resembling a 

uniform of army green and the other ol fur. She smokes 
and poses on a salmon-pink leather sola, indifferent 
to the regard of various young men in cadres' attire. 
There appears to be 1 deep and tawdry plot m\ 

espionage, but the details do aol thread togethei ii 
cohesive narrative. In this atmosphi irldthe 

present is melded with an exotii past 

Unfettered Dynami 


s^" . 



: The New Book of Mountains 
and Seas Part 1.2006 

By Qiu Anxiong (born 1972) 


30 minutes 5 set onds 

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Li 

Born in Chengdu, Qiu Anxiong studied at the Sichuan 
Fine Arts Institute (graduated 1994) and at the Art Col- 
lege of Kassel University in Germany (graduated 2003). 
He is best known for his videos, but he aJso produces 
large-scale sculptures and installations. Since 2004 he 
has been living in Shanghai, where he teaches at the 
Design College of East China Normal University. 

Like many of Qiu Anxiong's videos, The New Book of 
Mountains and Sens Part 1 is a stylistic amalgam, based on 
black-and-white acrylic paintings that resemble Chi- 
nese ink paintings and animated with a sketchy quality 
similar to that of the videos of William Kentridge (born 
1955). While Kentridge erases and draws over images 




J N*fl.-fa^ 

as he works, Qiu can overpaint, an advantage of a< rylit 
over ink as a medium for animation. The New Hook of 
Mountains and Seas Part i required approximately six 
thousand images ami was < reated in six months.' 

The original Classic of Mountains and Seas is a com- 
pilation nt am lent texts ahout geography and mythology, 
brought into its current form ovet two millennia ago. 
It teat i lies numerous illustrations ol peculiar In In ids. 
often combining common human and animal features 
m inn ommon ways, and foretelling drastic changes 
such as drought, war, and disease. Thi 
Mountains and Seas Part i is a history 'ol the world, 

at first unpeopled, and then gradually Idled with 

the creations of humankind, beginning with small vil- 
lages and progressing to i ities. A strange Hying vehil le 
drops a box — seeminglya Pandora's Box — into thi 
si enario, aftei whit h progress nuns ugly. Roads take 
over, and the reliance on oil is represented through the 
actions of strange beasts that pump and process the oil. 
i 'i ;a ;tei ensues. Although the video is clear) 
the current stati of the world, the allegorj dfords the 

eli i ime distani e from which! ntemplate 

the situation, be 

M i Bi in. 'I. '»''. 11 
f 'hina.i om, 2008. 

red D\ 11.11111. 

fit N * 

( Ihronology 











First Opium War. 

The Treaty of Nanjing establishes Shanghai as a treaty port. 

Erection of the Trinity Church in Shanghai. 

Taiping Rebellion. 

The Shanghai Small-Sword Society launches an uprising and establishes a 

government office in Dianchun Hall in the old Chinese city. 

The Municipal Council of the Shanghai foreign settlements is established. 

Second Opium War. 

First renovation of the Imperial Maritime Customs House. 

British and American settlements are combined as the International 

Settlement. The French Concession is run separately. 

The Pacific Mail Steamship Company launches the first regularly 

scheduled trans-Pacific service with a route between San Francisco, Hong 

Kong, and Yokohama and extended service to Shanghai. 

The Burlingame Treaty, between the United States and China, establishes 

formal friendly relations between the two countries, with the United 

States granting China Most Favored Nation status. 

(May to) The last spike of the American Transcontinental Railroad. 

which connects Sacramento to Omaha, Nebraska, is driven. 

The Suez Canal opens, allowing water transportation between Europe 

and Asia without navigating around Africa or carrying goods overland 

between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. 

Sir Neville Chamberlain arguably creates the game of snooker. 

Electric street lighting is installed in Shanghai. 

(May 6) Passage of the American Chinese Exclusion V t. 

Introduction of photolithography in Shanghai. 

The inaugural issue of Dianshizhai huabao appears. 

Zhang Garden opens to the public. 

Signing of the Treat) o) Shimonoseki. 

Film at rives in China. 

I >i, i turn Press Limited begins opeiat ions. 

In [apan the creative prinl movemi .mis. 

I he lust Chinese film appears. 

The Erst movie theatei in Shanghai opens. 

Fall of the Qing dynasty, establishment ol 
the Republic of China. 

Cai Yuanpei is appointed first Minister of 
Education in the Republic of China. 
Liu Haisu establishes the Shanghai Art 

The Panama Canal opens. 

8 World Warl. 

The Commercial Press introduces offset 
lithography in Shanghai. 

Zheng Mantuo invents the "rub-and-paint" 


The British stop shipments of opium; the drug 

becomes illegal in China. 

Shanghai's first department store. Sincere 

Company Ltd., opens. 

The Great World Entertainment Center opens. 

The October Revolution begins in Moscow. 

The Treaty of Versailles leads to the May 

Fourth Movement. 

The Chinese Communist Party holds its First 

National Congress in Shanghai. 

Dance halls in Shanghai begin accepting 

Chinese clientele. 

(May 21) Exposition Chinoise d'Art Ancien 

et Moderne opens at the Palais du Rliin in 


The Shanghai Municipal Council police kill a 
number of Chinese workers during the "May 
Thirtieth Incident." 

The Xiechang Company begins sale of Singer 
sewing machines. 

Feng Zikai officially designates the term 
manhua for Chinese cartoons. 

Hang Zhiying establishes his own Zhiying 

The Shanghai Art Academy closes. 

Second renovation "I the Imperial Maritime 

Customs House. 

Inaugural issue of The Young Companion. 

Sergei Tret'iakov's play Roar, China/ (Russian: 

Rychi, Kitai!) premieres in Moscow. 

Lin Fengmian establishes the National Art 

Movement Society. 

The Shanghai municipal government is 

established under the Chinese Nationalist 


Completion of the Zhongshan Mausoleum in 

The first official National An Exhibition is 
opened by Cai Yuanpei in Shanghai. 
(October 29) The "Black Tuesday" stock 
market crash in the United States marks 
the beginning of a worldwide economic 

The Cathay Hotel opens. 
Inaugural issue of Sprouts Monthly. 
(March) Inauguration in Shanghai of the 
League of Left-Wing Writers (Zuolian ). 
(October) Lu Xun organizes an exhibition of 
graphic works by artists from Germany and 

Lu Xun offers a course on woodblock 
printmaking taught by Uchiyama Kakichi. 
Passage of a new law setting the legal age for 
marriage at eighteen. 
: Japan attacks Shanghai. 

Release of the Joseph von Sternberg film The 

Shanghai Express, starring Marlene Dietrich 

as Shanghai Lily. 

The Park Hotel is built. 

George Bernard Shaw visits Shanghai. 


The Nationalist Party laum hes the New Life 

Publication of All About Shanghai and 

Environs: A Standard d'uule/iook i Shanghai: 

University Press, Shanghai ). 

First newspaper publii ation of the Sanmao 

cartoon series. 

The International Exhibition oj Chinese In 

takes place at Burlington House in London. 

(April 15) Inaugural issue of Woodcut World. 
3 Sino-Japanese Wai 

(August 1) The International Settlement and 
the French Concession are formally handed 
over to the Shanghai Special Municipality. 
1 \l,n 1 1 he People's I ihei.ition \im\ 
marches into Shanghai. 
(October) Establishment of the People's 
Republic of China. 
(June) Outbreak ol the Korean War. 
Establishment of the Shanghai People's Fine 
Art Publishing House. 
(February) The East China Artists 
Association is formed in Shanghai. 

Construction is completed for the Sino- 
Soviet Friendship Building (now called the 
Shanghai Exhibition Centre, or Shanghai 

Hundred Flowers Movement. 
The Great Leap Forward. 
3 The Cultural Revolution. 

(January) The January Revolution in 


I he .inn I in. .iiit 1 ( lonfucius campaign. 

Opening of the Shanghai, Vangquan, Lii Da 
Workers Art Exhibition. 
Death of Mao Zedong. 

Deng Xiaoping leads the CCP. 

(February 1 I'he Twelve-Man Painting 
Exhibition takes place at the Huangpu 
District Youl h Palai e. 

Formal diplomatic ties are established with 

the United States. 

Anti-Spiritual Pollution campaign. 

Hong Kong communique with the United 

New Wave or the '85 Art Movement. 

(June) Tiananmen Square massacre. 

The Garage exhibition is curated by Song 
Haidong and held in the underground 
parking garage of the Shanghai Education 

i Construction is completed for the Oriental 
Pearl Tower (Dongfang Mingzhu Ta) on 
the Pudong waterfront. 

Zhang Yimou's film The Shanghai Triad 
( Vuo. yao, yaodao waipo qiao) is released. 

Lorenz Helbling establishes ShanghART 

Shanghai Art Museum inaugurates its 
biennial program with the first Chinese 
periodical exhibition of contemporary art. 

) A supermarket on Huaihai Road is the site 

ol the Ail /in Sole exhibition. 

This Shanghai Biennale is regarded as a 
tin ning point for the series' renown. 

Intrude: Art & Life 366 is curated bv the 
Zendai Museum ot Modern Art. 

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Chinese Characters 


A Zhi 

nickname of Xie Zhiliu 

anquan shengchan 

"safety in production" 

Bao Puzi 

title of Taoist text 

Bao Tianxiao 

cabi dancai 

rub-and-paint technique 

cabi shuicai 

rub-and-paint technique 

Cheng yin 

seal of Zhu Cheng 


wheel-and-treadle sewing machine 


"latecomer swallow" 

chuangzuo muke 

creative woodcuts 

Da malu 

Number-One Road 

da xieyi 

greater freehand technique 

dazhong yishu 

public art 

Dianshizhai huabao 

Dianshizhai Pictorial 

Dianshizhai shiyinju 

Dianshizhai Lithographic Studio 



Dongfang Mingzhu Ta 

Oriental Pearl Tower 

Feiyingge huabao 

Feiyingge Pictorial 

Feiyingguan shiyinju 

Ml? if 

Feiying Hall Lithographic Studio 

geming xianshizhuyi yu geming 


"combination of revolutionary realism 

langmanzhuyi xiangjiehe 

and revolutionary romanticism" 


nickname of Li Xiguang 


Chinese-style screen panels 


line drawing 


nickname of Hu Yuan 

Gongzhuan cebaoyin Rong 

"seal of Rong in reverent seal script 
for registering treasures" 

guanggao dawang 

King of Advertising 


traditional Chinese painting; ink paintin; 


national goods 

Guohuo baihuo gongsi 


National Goods Department Store 


"Shanghai style" 

Haishang baiyantu 

hundred beauties of Shanghai 

Haisu chuangzuo 


"created by [Liu] Haisu" 


"horizontal clouds" 



1 ii i.i r 1 11 i 

Chinese wagtail ("painted eyes" ) 

Huang Chujiu 

Huang Guomin 

"Yellow Countryman" 

Huifeng yin hang 


Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank 


offset lithography 


short features 

jinshi pai 

Epigraphic (Bronze-and-Stone) School 

finshi qishou 

"immortality to both bronze and stone" 


nickname of Qian Hui'an 

Jiuren huahui 

Shanghai Society of Nine Artists 

Jiuwang manhua xuanchuandui 

National Salvation 
Cartoon Propaganda Corps 


Chinese Characters 


fuelan she 


funqing zhiyin 


Kaiming shudian 


Laojianzhi er ma 

Li Xiguang yin 

Liang Dingniing 

Liangyou tushu gongsi 

lianhuan manhua 

Lin Biao 

Lin Fengmian yin 



Lu Hui siyin 


luohan chuang 


Malu Tianshi 


Manhua hui 


Meijing shuwu 







Ni Tian zhiyin 

Ni.ui jiushiyi zuo 



pingban yinshua 

Pinghua shuhua she 


Qian funtao 


Qingqi guguai 

Qingyun \ in 


i Inn ' 


Quanguo muke lianhe zhanlanhui 



Storm So, 1 1 -t \ 

nickname oi 1 lu Yin 

seal cit funqing (Wu Changshuo) 


Kai Ming Book Company 
"bitter iron 1 
"old, strong, and wise but dull" 

seal of Li Xiguang 

Liangyou Publishing Compam, 
comic strip 

seal of Lin Fengmian 
"Liu's white coat" 
"dragon -sparrow" bow and arrow 

private seal of Lu Hui 


"putting ink" technique 

Sin vi Angel 

cartoon, comics 

Cartoon Association 

wharf; pier 
"Library with a View of Plums" 

aesthetic education 
"bright star" 

nickname of Ni Tian 


nickname of Yang Borun 

seal of Ni Tian 
"created at age i 1 i ' 

New Year's painting 

broad brush 


Duckweed Society for 
Calligraphy and Painting 

nickname oi Zhou Yong 

iiionoi hrome ware 
"elegant and si i 

seal "I (Wu I Oininim 
"banner robe" 

nickname of Wu I luxiang 

nickname ol Wang 1 1 

National foinl Woodcul Exhibition 

nickname <>l Gu Vim 

Chinese Characters 


Sanshiqi feng caotang 

Sham linn 

Shanghai I engjing 

Shanghai Meizhuan 

Shanghai renmin 

meishu ehubanshe 

Shanghai slii huaren xiehui 

Shanghai shi xinguohua yanjiu hui 

Shanghai sitong bada 

Shanghai xinhuayishu 

zhuke xuexiao 

Shanghai Zhanlanguan 

Shangwu yinshu guan 





Shijie shuju 





Shipo tianjing 




Shuhua shanhui 

Shui jingzhu 




Songnan mengyinglu 




Imping Yulan 

Tianma huahui 

Tongwen shuju 

wang hua 

Wang Su 

Wang Tongyu 

Wang Tongyu yin 


Wang Yirong 

Wang Zhen dali 

Wu Youru huabao 


Wnliu houren 

Wumen Tao Yong huaji 


u uting 

Wuxu Wu 

\\ m u. wangsun 

Xiandai banhua hui 

I lull hed I bttage on 57 Peaks 

nit kii.iinc ol Sli,i hi 
photographic guide to Shanghai 
Shanghai Art Academy 
Shanghai People's hue 

Art Publishing I louse 
Shanghai City Artists' Society 
Chinese Painting Research Society 
"Shanghai was the hub of the wheel" 
Shanghai New China 

Arts School 
Shanghai Exhibition Center 
Commercial Press Limited 
Shenbao newspaper 

World Book Company 
two- or three-storied 

town houses of stone facades 

"working with stone to amaze the world" 
stone-based lithography 

Shubao newspaper 
Benevolent Society for 

Painting and Calligraphy 
Annotations to the Water Classic- 

nickname of Weng Tonghe 
seal of Zhu Shuyu 

Records of the Illusive Dream of Shanghai 
"one grain from Taicang" 
Kingdom of Heavenly Peace 
Peace and Tranquility for Imperial Review 
Heavenly Horse Painting Society 
Tongwen Press 
"imperial painting" 

seal of Wang Tongyu 

"great fortune to Wang Zhen" 

A Treasury ofWu Youru's Illustrations 

dance hall 

"descendant of Eve willows" 
"painted and recorded by Tao Yong 
[Tao Lengyue] of the Wu school" 

dance hostess 

dance hall 

"Wu without mission" 
"royal descendant of the Wu-Yue region" 

Modern Prints Society 


Chinese Characters 


xiangpi ban 


xiao jiating 

xiao wenren 




xin wenren xieyi 

Xinji shuangqing 


xiyang hong 


Yao Wenyiian 

Yao, yao, yao dao waipo qiao 



Yifeng she 

Yin Fu 

Yingxi congbao 

Yingxi zazhi 


^ iting 

yiyue geming 



Yu Yue siyin 

Yubo huaji 


yuyi hua 

Zhang Chunqiao 


Zhao Ruqing 

Zhao Zhiqian yin 

zhaoxiang shiyin 

Zheng Mantuo 

Zhonghua shujn 

Zhongshan ling 

Zhu Quan zhivin 


zilai fengshan 



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Sincere Company Ltd. 

nuclear family 

minor intellectuals 

news items 
"painting idea 

painting in Western styles and mediums 

neo-literati freehand technique 
"tranquil and unperturbed spiritually 
and physically" 

Sun Sun Company, Ltd. 


nickname of Pang Yuanji 

The Shanghai Triad 
seal of Ren Yi 
Art Wind journal 
Art Wind Society 
nickname of Yu Yue 
The Journal of Film 
Film Magazine 
Yipinxiang Restaurant 
nickname of Wang Zhen 
January Revolution 
Wing On Company, Ltd. 
amusement hall 
private seal of Yu Yue 

"painted and recorded by Yubo [Fei Danxu] 
possible nickname of Xu Sangeng 
"implied art" 

Zhang ( larden 

nickname of Zhao Zhiqian 

seal (it Zhao Zhiqian 

photolithography; zinc -plate lithography 

Chung Hwa Book Company 
Zhongshan Mausoleum 
seal of Zhu Quan 
"purple gold" 

nickname ol /hang Xiong 
League hi I .li w ing Writers 

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Ainsworth, Peter. "The Origin of Snooker: The Neville Chamberlain Story." 2007. Intel n 1 

tlona] Billiards and Snooker Federation, 1 pdi 
All About Shanghai and Environs: A Standard Guidebook. Shanghai: Shanghai University 

Press, 1934. 
Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread 0/ National- 
ism. New York: Verso, 1991. 
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About the Authors 

Nancy Berliner is Curator of Chinese Art at the Pea- 
hody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, where 
she is also curator of the Yin Yu Tang house and exhibi- 
tion galleries. In addition, she has curated exhibits of 
Chinese, irt at the Museum of fine Arts, Boston, and 
the Vile I 'imir.iu Ait Gal lei), among others. She has 
lei lured at Harvard University, Dartmouth College, the 
Asia Society of Houston, and the China Institute. She 
has written for the New York Times, the Asian Wall Street 
Journal, the Boston Globe, and Asian Art and American 
Craft magazines, and is the author of Chinese Folk Art; 
Beyond the Screen: Chinese Furniture of the 16th and tyth 
Century; Friends of the House: Furniture from China's 
Towns and Villages: Inspired by China: Contemporary 
Fumituremakers Explore Chinese Traditions: and Yin Yu 
Tang: The Architecture and Daily Life of a Chinese House. 

Dany Chan is Curatorial Assistant of Chinese Art at the 
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. Her forthcoming 
article (2010) in Orientations will focus on the develop- 
ment of Shanghai graphic arts. 

Britta Erickson, Ph.D., is an independent scholar and 
curator living in Palo AJto, California. She is on the 
advisory boards of the Ink Society (Hong Kong) and 
Three Shadows Photography Art Centre (Beijing), as 
well as the editorial boards of Yishu: Journal of Contem- 
porary Chinese Art and ART Asia Pacific. In 2006 she was 
awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in 
Beijing on the Chinese contemporary art market. She 
has curated major exhibitions at the Arthur M. Sack- 
ler Gallery, Washington, DC, and the Cantor Center 
for Visual Arts, Stanford. In 2007 she co-curated the 
Chengdu Biennial, which focused on ink art. Her pub- 
lications include three books: The Art ofXu Bing: Words 
without Meaning, Meaning without Words: On the Edge: 
Contemporary Chinese Artists Encounter the West: and 
1 'hina Onward the Estella Collection: Chinese Contemporary 
Art, 1966-2006. 

He Li is Associate Curator of Chinese Art at the Asian 
Art Museum, San Francisco. She is co-author of Pou't'r 
and Glory: Court Arts of China's Ming Dynasty and author 
of Chinese Ceramics: A New Comprehensive Survey, from 
the Asian Art Museum of Son Fran isi 

Michael Knight is Deputy Dirci 1 1 Strategic Pro- 

grams and Partnerships, and Senior Curator of Chinese 

Art, at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. 1 1, j 
co-author of Power and Glory: Court Arts of China's Ming 
Dynasty and rhe Monumental Landscapes of Li Huayi, 
and author ol Far Eastern Lacquers in the Collection of 
the Seattle Art Museum and Early Chinese Metalwork in 
the Collection of the Seattle An Museum. 

Li Lei is Executive Director of the Shanghai Art 
Museum, Vice President of both the Shanghai Academy 
of Plastic Arts and the Academy of Young Literature, 
and curator of a number of contemporary art exhibi- 
tions in Shanghai. He is also a successful artist and has 
had his works included in many exhibitions in Beijing 
and Shanghai, as well as in New York, Frankfurt. Linz, 
Amsterdam, Brussels, and Rome. In France, he is cur- 
rently represented by ARTFRANCE in Paris, where 
some of his canvases are permanently on display. Since 
1996, a number of books, monographs, and exhibition 
catalogues have been published on his works in China, 
several European countries, and the United States. As 
a member of the Shanghai Artists' Association and the 
Chinese Artists' Association, he keenly follows China's 
growing art movement, passionately channeling his 
efforts into the cultural life of Shanghai. 

Shan Guolin is Head of the Department of Painting and 
Calligraphy at the Shanghai Museum. A leading expei t 
in his field, he is noted for his research on Shanghai- 
school painting. 

Wen-hsin Yeh is the Richard H. and Laurie C. Morrison 
Professor of History at the Institute of East Asian Stud- 
ies at the University of California, Berkeley. A leading 
authority on twentieth-century Chinese history, she 
is the author or editor of eleven books and numerous 
articles that examine aspects of Republican history, 
Chinese modernity, the origins of communism, and 
related subjects. Her books include the Berkeley Prize- 
winning Provincial Passages: Cidture. Space, and the Ori- 
gins of Chinese Communism and The Alienated Aradcpm 
Culture and Politics in Republican China. 1919-1937. Her 
most recent publication, Shanghai Splendor: Economic 
Sentiments and the Mafeing of Modern China. 1X4 3-1949, 
is an urban history of Shanghai that considers the 
nature of Chinese capitalism and middle-class si n ietj 
in a century of contestation between colonial power 
and nationalistic mobilization. 



notes Italic page numbers denote illustrations l" t!i\iinyjiisl, them from worl s 
of art, publications are annotated with a description or the date of publication 

abstraction: in modern Chinese art, 

205, 208, 219, 220, 228, 230, 231; 

in traditional Chinese painting, 

academy, art, 125-126 
advertisements, 136-137, 145, 

aestheticism, modern, 205 
After the horse race (1030s, cat. no. 

43), 114,114-115 
Ah Fong (photographer), 107, 107 
album paintings: Ladies (1890, cat. 

no. 26), 49, 92-93, 93, 246-247 

(det.); Sceneries of the Earthhorn- 

Cymbidium Orchid Thntclied 

House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9), 

56-65, 56-65; Scenes in Yangzhou 

(1876. cat. no. 10), 38, 66-68, 

America. See United States of 

\n American automobile service 

station. Shanghai (1930s, cat. no. 

41), 105, 112. 112 
American Regionalism, as influence, 

American Settlement (Hongkew), 

Shanghai. 13, 92; boundary tablet 

marking (after 1850, cat. no. 25), 

An Lan, Great World Entertainmen! 

Center (1941. cat. no. 63), 52, 117, 

144-145. 145 
Andrews, Julia F., 129 
anii imperialism, 186,200-201, 

.inn I in. .inn Confucius campaign 

(1973-1974), 203, 249 
Anti Spiritual Pollution Campaign, 

208, 209, 249 
archaeology, t alligraphy and. 54 
ar< hitei ture: 1 ontemporary inter 

national, in Shanghai. 25-26, 

21). 212 :ij. 233; depiction 

wrn.n ul. 11. .'.S; Westernized, 

in Shanghai, 26-30, 104-115. 

armchairs (1920-1935, cat. no. 44), 
116, 116 

art, market for, 35, 47, 78 

art clubs, art training and, 207 

art fairs, 211 

artists, of China Trade paintings, as 
anonymous, 35 

Arts and Life. no. 22 (January 1936, 
cat. no. 60), 140, 140 

art societies, 125, 126-127, 160 

art training: abroad. See Europe; 
Japan; United States of Amer- 
ica; and modernization, 207; 
pre-Communist, 48, 51, 53, 89, 
125-126, 205; under the Com- 
munists, 159, 160-161 

Art Wind Journal (Yifeng) (periodical ), 

Art Wind Society (Yifeng she), 127 

Association Amicale Sino-Francaise, 
125, 128 

Augustine Heard and Company 
(1849, cat. no. 3), 38, 40, 40, 43 

automobile, as status symbol, 112 

Bacon, Francis, as influence, 231 
Bada Shanren (Zhu Da; 1626-1705), 

70, 165 
Bai Juyi (772-846), 31 
ballet. Cultural Revolution, 225 
Bank of China, 37. 57, 165. 233 
Bank of Communications Building, 

Bank oi l.uwan, 37, yj 
banner, eml dered silk, .'24-227, 

225. 22(1 
Banque de I'lndcx bine 
B(io Puzi (Taoisl texi i. 54, 5 \ 
Bao I ianxiao (1876-1973), 94 
BAT.Sei British \merican Tobacco 

i lompam 
Beale, I. C.,41 

in suite (1920 1935, cat. no. 

47), 105. 118 119, 119 

Beijing Film School, 241 
Benevolent Society for Painting 

and Calligraphy (Shuhua shan- 

hui), 57 
billiards, 27, 95, 95, 95n3 
BizArt (gallery), 211 
Bonnard, Pierre, 88 
books, assemblage of, as installation. 

234-235, 234, 235 (det.) 
boundary tablet marking the Ameri- 
can Settlement, Shanghai (after 

1850, cat. no. 25), 92, g2 
boycotts, against foreign goods in 

China, 103 
Brandt, Alexander (b. 1971), 210 
Britain: exhibition of Chinese paint 

ing in, 127; settlers from, in 

Shanghai, 114 
British American Tobacco Company, 

Shanghai, 91, 141 
Broadway Mansions Building (1934, 

cat. no. 40), 30, 105, 110. iij 
Buddhism: art of, 60, 85, 228; and 

calligraphy, 55; as influence on 

artists, 66, 82; in Shanghai, 29 
Bund, the: buildings of, 10, 36-37, 

36-37; depictions of, 26, 28-29, 

38, 38-39, 42-41,, 163, 164-165. 

188, 198, 199, 200-201; origins of, 


CAA. See Chinese Artists' Association 

cabinet, small (1920-1935. cat. no. 
46), 105, 117, 117 

Cai Yuanpei (1868-101 
127, 130, 181, 248 

calligraphies, 54-55- S4S5- 70-71. 
1 1 is album Si i ■ ii s W the 
Earthborn-Cymbidiun 1 
Thatched Hou 

no. 9, leaves T-V). 65. (15: on a 
propaganda scroll. 174. 174 

calligraphy, 48-49, 63, 1 jo, 231. 
236; bronze an I 
65, 78, 204; and Buddhism 
clerical sci q 

contemporary painting, 219; 

Fountain-pen, 176; patronage for, 

125; seal script, 54, 54, 55, 65, 65, 

78; small-seal script, 55. See also 

Zhao Zhiqian 
Canton. See Guangzhou 
Caravaggio, Michelangelo Merisi da, 

as influence, 231 
Cartoon Association (Manhuu hui), 

cartooning societies, 140 
cartoons, Chinese (manhua), 52, 140, 

174, 190-191, 191, ig2n5, 205, 248 
Cassagne, Armand (1823-1907), 

Guide Pratique pour les Diff&rents 

Genres de Dessins (pub. 1873), 126 
Cathay Hotel. See Sassoon House 
censorship, 179, 208 
Central Academy, Shanghai, 87 
Central Academy of Arts and Crafts, 

Beijing, 167 
Central Academy of Fine Arts, Bei- 
jing, 163, 167 
Cezanne, Paul, as influence, 164 
Chamberlain, Sir Neville, 95, 247 
Chartered Bank of India, Australia, 

and China, 37, yj 
Chen Baoyi (after 1893-after 1945), 

51, 127, 135 
Chen Chun (1483-1544), 49 
Chen Duxiu (1879-1942), 50 
Chen Honggao (Chen Mantao; 

7-1884), poem by, as inscription, 

70-71, 71 
Chen Hongshou (1598-1652), 48, 59, 

Chen Jialing (b. 1937), 230 
Chen Mantao. See Chen Honggao 
Chen Qiucao (1906-1988), 51 
Chen Shizeng (1876-1923), 70 
Chen Yifei (1946-2005): Morning 

on the Lout; Canal (1995, cat. no. 

113), 215, 215; and Wei Jingshan, 

The Taking of the Presuh-niitil 

Palace (1977), 215 
Cheng Muhao, 20 
Cheng Naishan, The Banker (pub. 

1988), 20 
Cheng Shifa (b. 1921), 205, 230 

Cheng Zhang (1869-1938), 50 
Chengdu Road Police Station 

(approx. 1930-1939, cat. no. 36), 

104, 107, 107 
cheongsam. See qipao 
Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975), 81, 

126, 141; sculpture of, by Zhang 

Chongren, 126 
chiaroscuro, 70 
China Academy of Art, 2i3n4 
China Merchants Bank Building, 36, 


China Merchants' Steamship Naviga- 
tion Company, 103 

China National Academy of Fine 
Arts, Hangzhou, 241; as, for- 
merly, Zhejiang Academy of Fine 
Arts, 224, 230 

China Trade paintings, 28, 35-43, 
3S-43, 103, 124 

China World Trade Center, Shanghai, 
2 33 

Chinese and Western Art Correspon- 
dence School, Shanghai, 205 

Chinese Art Institute, Shanghai, 176 

Chinese Artists' Association (CAA), 
134, 160 

Chinese Culture, no. 43 (1933, cat. no. 
61), 141, 141 

Chinese National Art Gallery, Beijing, 

chinoiserie, and art making in Shang- 
hai, 44, 45 

Chistiakov, Pavel Petrovich (1832- 
1919), 161 

Chowkwa (Su Zhaocheng, active 
1849-1880), 35; Augustine Heard 
and Company's Hong [Warehouse] 
and Residence, Shanghai (1849, 
cat. no. 3), 40, 40, 43; Shanghai: 
The Bund, tWr/im the Premises of 
Russell & Company (approx. 1857, 
cat. no. 5), 40, 42-43, 43 

Chung Hwa Book Company (Zliorcg- 
hua shuju), 136 

Chinch of Our Saviour, Hongkew, 28 

OTIC Plaza, Guangzhou, 233 

Classic of Mountains and Seas (text). 

clothing: qipao (cheongsam), 52, 156, 

156-157; and social status, 77; 

traditional Chinese, 26, 170. 171: 

Western, 12-13, 2 7- '° 2 - io2 > 

117, 125, 200, 201, 201. See also 

coat tree (1920-1935, cat. no. 45), 

colophons, patronage and, 125 
comics, Japanese (manga), 140, 174. 

See also cartoons 
commercial art, in Shanghai, 52 
Commercial Press Limited (Shangwu 

yinshu guan), 136, I37n2, 247, 

communes, people's, 202, 202n2 
Communist Party, First National 

Congress, Shanghai, 6, 16, 186, 

compradors, patronage for the arts 

and, 125 
conceptual art, 222 
Confucius, 18, 19, 29, 50, 153, 203, 

Cormon, Fernand, 88 
courtesans, as subject matter, 100, 

100, 101, 101, 102, 102, 136 
crane, crested, as motif, 122, 123 
Crossman, Carl, 35, 44 
Cubism, 167, 208 
Cuihua Studio, Shanghai. 81 
Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), 

207; art during, 87, 202, 203; 

artists during, 158-159, 160, 164, 

170, 220; industry and, 6, 172 
Customs House. See Imperial Mari- 
time Customs House 
Cynical Realism, 209 
cypress grove, historic, as subject 

matter, 228-229, 22 9 

Da Hua Printing Company, Shanghai. 

Dada, 207 
Dai, Lady, Mawangdui Tomb No. 1, 

Dai Xi (1801-1860), as influence, 64 
dancing, social, as fashionable, 154 
David Sassoon and Sons, 29 


Davidson X Co., .(i 

I laxin I tepai tment Store, ai i exhibi 

turns at, 127 
I laxin ( lallery, Shanghai, 91 
Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997), 31, 207, 

226, 249 
Deng Yu (2-58), 229 
Dent, Beak' Jx Company (cat. no. 4). 

Dent, Lancelot. 41 

Dent. Thomas, 41 

Dent & Company. 41 

department stores, 27, 127, 142, 
142-143. 248 

design, industrial, 142114 

Dianshizhai huabao (illustrated peri- 
odical), 49, 94, 94117, 101, 136, 


Dianshizhai Lithographic Studio 
(Dianshizhai shiyinju), 26, 94 

Dietrich, Marlene, 222, 248 

Ding Yanyong, 132 

Ding Yi (b. 1962): Appearance 0/ 
Crosses 1991-3 (1991, cat. no. 
115), 218-219, 219: Cloth Sculp- 
tures on the Street (1986), 209, 

Disney, Walt, 153 

Diwang Tower, Shenzhen, 233 

Dollar Lines (shipping company), 
San Francisco, 104 

Dongjiadu (St. Xavier) Cathedral, 
Shanghai, 28 

Dongtan Eco-city, 212-213 

dragons, as symbolic, 45. 45, 46, 46 

Dragon-Seal Company (paper manu- 
Fa< turei I, Shanghai. 82 

drawings, brush-and-ink, tor lithogra- 
phy, 94-102 

Du Yuesheng (1887-1951), 16-17; 
portrait of, by Yu Ming, 48, 80, 81 

Duckweed Society tor Calligraphy 
and Painting (JPinghua shuhua 

Dunhuang Caves, 85, 228 

Duolun Museum ol Modern Art. 
Shanghai, 211 

! luoynnxuan 1 art s< hool and publish 
ing house). 205 

dynasty: Eastern Han (25-220), 
229; Han (206 BCE-220 ce), 
55; Ming (1368-1644), 64, 204; 
Northern Song (960-1127), 64, 
228; Qin (221-207 bce), 55; 
Qing (1644-1912), 4, 13, 47-48, 
49, 120, 204, 248; Western Han 
(206 BCE-25 ce), 224; Western 
Zhou (approx. 1200-771 bce), 
54; Xia (approx. 2000-1500 
bce), 54 

East China Art Academy, Nanjing, 

East China Artists Society. Shanghai. 

East China Arts Academy, Wuxi. See 
Huadong Art Academy 

East China Normal University, 
Shanghai, 207, 216, 244 

Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, 211 

East-West Art School, 51 

Ecole Nationale Superieur des Beaux- 
Arts, Paris, 87, 130 

education, overseas, and social status, 

'85 Art Movement. See New Wave 

elect ncit\', introduction of, in Shang- 
hai, 27, 100, 247 

Elliott, Charles, 9-10 

embroidery, Su, 224, 225, 226 

emperor: the Guangxu (r. 1874/ 
75-1908), 47; the Jiaqing 
(r. 1796-1820), 53; the Kangxi 
(r. 1672-1722), 120; the Qian- 
long (r. 1711-1799), 229; the Qui 
shihuang (r. 211-210 bce), 54, 
54; the Tongzhi (r. 1862-1874), 


! urope: Chinese artists in, 50-51, 
87, 88, 89, 126, 128-129, !3°. 
164, 167, 204, 228, 244; exhi- 
bition ol Chinese ai 1 
248; Jews from, as refugees in 
Shanghai, 5 


exhibitions, 53, 84, 89, 90, 91. 127, 

160, 208- -.'< ig ;ii ■ . 

Sale (Shanghai, 1999 I 2 to, 249; 
vperimental Painting Exhibi- 
tion (1983), 208, 208; Exposition 
Chinoise d' ill Im ien el Moderne 
(Strasbourg, 1924), 127, 248; 
Exposition Inti 1 rationale des Arts 
D&coratifs el Industriels Modernes 
(Paris, 1925), 104; Go 
(Shanghai, 1991), 210, 249; of 
German and Russian graphic 
works (Shanghai, 1930), 248; 
Great Leap Forward Exhibition 
(i960), 174; Home (Shanghai. 
2000), 210, 213; International 
Exhibition 0) Chinese Art (London, 
1935), 127, 249; Intrude: Art & Life 
366 (year-long cultural events 
project, 2008), 210-211. 249; 
Long Live Mao Zedong's Thought 
(Shanghai, 1967), 160, 171; Long 
Live the Victor)' 0/ Chairman Mao's 
Revolutionary Line (Beijing, 
1967), 160: modernist art (Ger- 
many, 1934), 127; modernist art 
(Shanghai, 1932), 126; National 
Ait Exhibition (Shanghai, 1929), 
127, 248; National joint Woodcut 
Exhibition (Quanguo muke lianhc 
zhanlanhui), 185; Painting Exhibi- 
tion fbi ilic '80s (Shanghai, 1980), 
208; "Salon des Independents" 
(Chongqing, 1942), 152: Second 
National Art Exhibition (Nanjing. 
1937), 85; Shanghai Biennale. 
211-212, 213, 220, 238, 249; 
Shanghai Oil Painting Exhibition 
(Shanghai. 2003). 216; Shanghai, 
Yangquan, Lit Da Worfei 
/ chibition (19 1 102, 249; Third 
National Art Exhibitio 
134: Thud Motional Art Exhibi- 
tion (scheduled 1959), 174: The 
Ive-Man Painting Exhibition 
(Shanghai. 1979). 208. 249; LW 
Limited Spai 1 Shanghai, 1998), 
210. 210: at the \11hui District 
Cultural Palac e 1 Shangh li 

Expo 2010, 22, 176, 213 

expressionism, as influence, 208, 

Faiss, Fritz (1905-1981), 182 
family, portrayal of nuclear, 17-18, 

149, 149 
Fan Kuan (late loth-early 11th a), 231 
Fang Zengxian, 205 
fashion, contemporary, in Shanghai, 

156, 210, 211, 215. See nisi) clothing 
Fauvism, as influence, 51, 135, 167, 

168, 184 
Fei Danxu (1801-1850), 57 
Fei Yigeng (active mid-late 19th c), 

Sceneries of the Enrthbom- 

Cymbidium Orchid Thatched 

House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 

leaf A), 56, 56, 57 
Feiyingge huabao (periodical), 101 
Feiying Hall Lithographic Studio 

(Feiyinggiian shiyinju), 94 
Feng Chaoran (1882-1954), 50 
Feng Gengshan, portrait of, by Ren 

Yi, 48, 70-71, 71 
Feng Xuefeng (1903-1967), Sprouts 

Monthly 1 (1930, cat. no. 91), 179, 

Feng Zikai (1898-1975), 52, 140, 248; 

Celebrating National Day (1959, 

cat. no. 87), 174, 174 
Fieldhouse, Simon, The Bund — 

Shanghai (2008), 36-37 
film, 17, 27, 30, 215, 247; as artwork, 

210, 242, 242; as influence, 222, 

film industry, 113, 139. See also Ming- 

xing Film Studio 
Film Magazine (Yingxi zazhi), 139 
Finnane, Antonia, I56n4 
Hags, depictions of, 40, 40, 42, 43 
folk art. as influence, 51, 57, 205 
Forbes, H. A. Crosby, 44; with John 

Devereux Kernan and Ruth S. 

Wilkins, Chinese Export Silver, 

1785-1885 (pub. 1975), 44 
"Four Modernizations" program, 20 
Four Rens, the, 70 
Four Wangs, the, 47, 53112, 62, 63, 64, 

72, 204 

France, exhibition of Chinese paint 
ing in, 104, 127, 248 

French Concession, 5 (map); build- 
ings in, 110, 145, 175; depictions 
of, 144-145, 214, 214; establish- 
ment of, 4, 10, 13, 247; exhibition 
in, 126; government of, 16. 81, 
128, 158; redevelopment of, 21, 
149; residents of, 21 

Fujishima Takeji, 90 

furniture and decor, Westernized, 26, 
98, 98, 105, 116-123, 116-123 

Gai Qi (1774-1829), Illustrations of the 

Dream of the Red Chamber, 53 
galleries, 127, 160, 211-212 
Gallery of the Shanghai Drama Insti- 
tute, 211, 212 
Gang of Four, 202, 203 
gangs, in Shanghai, 10-11, 16, 81, 

104, 112 
Gao Kegong (1248-1310), 49, 72 
Gao Yi (1850-1921), 63, 66, 70 
Ge Hong (approx. 281-341), Bao Puzi 

(Taoist text), 54, 54 
Ge Yuan (garden in Yangzhou), 66, 

German Expressionism, as influence, 

Germany, exhibition of Chinese 

painting in, 127 
Glen Line Building, 37, ^7 
Global Heji Poster Company, 145 
globalization, 3, 6, 23 
Gogh, Vincent van, as influence, 

Grand Theatre, Shanghai, 105 
graphic arts, 136-145, 192-203, 248 
Grass Painting Society, 208 
Great Leap Forward (1958-1961), 

158, 159, 160, 171. 172, 195, 249 
Great Northern Telegraph Building. 

Great Wall Sheraton (hotel), Beijing, 

Great World Entertainment Center, 

Shanghai, 52, 144-145, 145. 248 
Green Gang, Shanghai, 16, 17, 21, 104 
Grosvenor House, 30 
Gu Yun (1835-1896): Forms and Styles 

of Southern School Painting (text), 
62; Sceneries of the Earthborn- 
Cymbidium Orchid That bed 
House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 
leafN), 56, 62, 62 

Guan Liang (1900-1986), 127, 
132, 160, 161, 163; Bridge on 
Henan Road (1950s, cat. no. 81), 
168, 168-169; Changde Road 
(1940, cat. no. 55), 132, 132-133; 
Wharf (1940, cat. no. 56), 132, 
134. '34 

Guan Zilan (1903-1986), 51; Still life 
(1943, cat. no. 57), 135, 135 

Guandi Temple, Shanghai, 74 

Guanghua Book Company, Shanghai, 

Guangzhou (Canton): China Trade 
paintings from, 35; Chinese 
export silver from, 44 

Guo Xi (approx. 1020-1090), 231 

Guomindang. See Nationalist Party 

haipai. See school of art; style 

Hang Zhiying (1899-1947), 52, 248; 
Finis/ling an Orchid-Water Bath 
(1930s, cat. no. 71), 152, 153, 153; 
Southern Beauty (1930s, cat. no. 
70), 152, 152 

Hangzhou National Art School, 
Parade for rlie Founding of the 
People's Republic of China (Shang- 
hai) (1950, cat. no. 106), 108 

Han Stone Inscription Studio. 55 

Hardoon, Silas A. (1847/51-1931), 29, 
30, 124, 130 

Hardoon family, 108 

He Tianjian (1891-1977), 50 

He Xiangning Art Museum. Shen- 
zhen, 238 

Heard, Augustine, 103. See also 

Augustine Heard and Company 

Heavenly Horse Painting Society 
(Tianma huahui), 126, 164 

I [elbling, Lorenz. 211, 249 

Hong Ren (1610-1683), as influence, 

Hong Kong, art market in. 35 

Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. See 
Huifeng Bank 

27 1 

hongmu (rosewood), 116, 117. 118-119, 

horse ca< ing, in Shanghai, 114. 
114-115, 163 

HSBC Building, 36, 37. See also 
Huifeng Bank 

Hu Gongshou. See Hu Yuan 

Hu Qinhan (active late 19th c), and 
Lu Hui (1851-1920), Illustrations 
of the Antique ( biiei tion oj Kezhai 
(1892, cat. no. 13), 32-33 (det.), 
74-75, 74-75 (det.), 260-261 (det.) 

Hu Qizao (1915-1965), 182 

Hu Tiemei (1848-1899), Sceneries of 
the Earthborn-Cymbidium Orchid 
Thatched House ( 1869-1884, cat. 
110. 9, leaf K), 56, 61, (11 

Hu Yichuan (1910-2000): Roar, 
China! (1931, print), 186; To tlie 
Front.' (1932, cat. no. 95), 53, 
183, 183 

Hu Yin (Juezhi, active mid-late 
19th c), 61: Sceneries of the 
Earthborn-Cymbidium Orchid 
Thatched House (1869-1884, cat. 
no. 9, leaf J), 56, 60, 60 

Hu Yin (Qinzhou), album of paint- 
ings (Sceneries oj the Earthborn- 
Cymbidium Orchid Thatched 
House, cat. no. 9) for, 56-65, 

Hu Yuan (Hu Gongshou, 1823-1886), 
47, 66; inscription by, 70-71, 71; 
Si enei ies oj the Earthborn- 
Cymbidium Orchid Thatched 
House 1 1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 
leaf B), 56, 57,57 

Hua Yan 1 1682-1756), 66, 70 

HuaYan (1823-1886), 77 

Huadmie, \il V adetm i Fast Cliina 

Arts Academy), Wuxi, 170. 17 ;. 

Huang Binhong 1 1865-1955), 90, 

204, 220-221 

1 hujiu industrialist, 1872- 

1931), 145 
Huang Jinrong (1868-1953), lf,: 

portrait of, by Yu Ming. 48. 

1 in Hi-. Shiquan Ri cord 

/)ienm 11/ Shanghai (Son^iian 

mengying lu) (written 1889), 47 
Huang Zongyang, 29 
Huangpu River (Huangpu Jiang), 

Hughes, Langston, Roar, China!" 

(poem), 186 
Huifeng Bank, wall sconce from, 106, 

"hundred beauties," as theme, 26, 94 
Hundred Flowers Movement (1956), 

84, 249 

Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, 

Tokyo, 128, 164 
Imperial Maritime Customs House, 

17, 28-29, 36, 37, 41, 43, 247, 

Impressionism, as influence, 51, 72, 

90, 129, 131, 134.167, 171, 173. 

177. 184 
India, as British dominion, 95 
industry, in Shanghai, 14-15, 136111, 

176, 194. 195 
inscriptions, 56, 70-71, 71, 125 
installation art, 210, 244; by Liu 
[ianhua, 232-235, 232-235: by 
Shen Fan, 220-221, 220, 221; by 
Zhang Jian-Jun, 238, 239 
interiors, 26-28, 151. See also archi- 
tecture; furniture and decor 
International Settlement, the, 5 
( map): establishment of, 4, 10, 
13, 36, 247; government of, 128, 
158, 249; redevelopment of, 21; 
residents of. 101, 101, 124-125; 
under Communism, 21 
Internet, artwork and, 210 
inters iews, series of, by Biz Art, 211 
Iron Horse Prints Societs. 53 
Islam, as influence on style, 109, 109 

January Revolution (1967), 202, 249 
Japan: aggression of, toward China, 

91, 128, 17s. 186, 248: antipath) 
toward, in China. 103, 128. 163, 
205: art market in, 78: business 
interests of, in China, i" 

nese artists in, 70, 89, 164: Chi 
nese art students in, 51, 121 

130, 132. 135, 163. 174, 175, 204; 
Chinese painting as influi 111 e in 
62; exhibition of art from, 127; 
exhibition of Chines, ni in 1 
.is mlluence on Chinese painting. 
49, 72, 90, 128, 135; as influence 
on clothing, 156, I56n7; manga 
in. See comics; occupation of 
Shanghai by (1937-1945), 11, 
47, 53, 84, 128, 132, 135, 158, 
178119, 205, 248; woodcut prints 
(sosaku-hanga) in, 178, 247 

Jesuits, 28, 94, 98 

Jews, in Shanghai, 5, 29, 36, 108, 124 

Jia Huancheng, 3imo 

Jiang Handing (1909-1963), 91 

Jiang Qing, 164, 167 

Jiang, Sister (Jiang Zhujun, 1920- 
1949), 227 

Jiang Zemin. 21 

Jiangnan Dock and Engineering 
Works, Shanghai, 195 

Jiangsu Federation of Literary and Art 
Circles, 164 

Jin Cheng (1878-1926), 81 

Jin Meisheng (1902-1989), 52; It 
Often Begins with a Smile (1930s, 
cat. no. 66), 148, 148 

Jin Xuechen (1904-1997), 52 

Jingdezhen Pottery and Porcelain 
College, 232 

Jingdezhen Pottery and Porcelain 
Sculpturing Factory, 232 

Jingguang Center, Beijing, 233 

Jinmao Tower, Shanghai, 22, 31, 212, 

Joe Camel, as subject matter, 222 
The Journal oj I ilm 1 ) ingxi 1 niix'bao), 


K St K Printing Co., 140 

Kadouri famirj 

Kai Ming Book Company ( Kaiming 

shudian), 136. 174 
Kang Youwei (1858-1927), 89, 124. 

130, 164; Catalogue of the Art Col- 
lection at the Hin oj 1'n Hi 
pub 1 )iS), 50 
Kassel Univei 44 

Kawabata Art S> hool, Japan, 90 

Kawabata Painting Academy, Tokyo, 

128, 132, 163, 174 
Kentridge, William, as influem e 

Kezliai. See Wu Dacheng 
King & Company, 40 
Kingdom of Heavenly Peace, 13. 

See also Taiping Rebellion 
Kiuyi Sb.en, 127 
Kutie daoren. See Wu Changshuo 

Lai Shaoqi (1915-2000), 182; On 
the Beach (1934), 184; Youth 
(1933-1935, cat. no. 96), 184, 

landscape: contemporary, 214, 214, 
228-229, 228-229; modernist, 
131-132, 131-134; Northern Song, 
64; painters of, 47, 48, 49, 72, 88, 
89; realism in, 50, 205; tradi- 
tional Chinese, 72, 89, 228, 231; 
urban, 91, 91, 162-169, J 77 '88, 
192-193, 214, 214. See also Four 

League of Left-Wing Artists, 53 

League of Left-Wing Writers (Zuo- 
lian), 179, 248 

Lee, James, 110 

Lee Apartments, 110 

left wing, as political and social phi- 
losophy, 53, 179, 205 

Leyefe brand products, 215 

Li Daoyuan (?~527), Annotations on 
the Water Classic (Shui jing zhu) 
(text), 54,55 

Li Hua (1907-1994), 182; A Corner of 
the City (1947, cat. no. 99), 18S, 
188; Roar, China/ (1935, cat. no. 
98), 53, 186, 1S7 

Li Huayi (b. 1948), 158-159; Forest 
(2004, cat. no. 119), 228-229, 

Li Keran, 204 

Li Lei (b. 1965), 209 

Li Mubai (1913-1991), 52 

Li Shan (b. 1944), 209, 2i3ni4 

Li Shutong (1880-1942). 51 

Li Xian'gen, 47 

Li Xiguang (active mid-late 19th c), 

Sceneries of the Earthbom- 
Cymbidium Orchid Thatched 
House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 
leaf R), 56, 64, 64 

Li Yongsen (1898-1998), 51; Shang- 
hai General Post Office (approx. 
1950-1980, cat. no. 24), 91, 91 

Liang Dingming (1898-1959), 141; 
painting of the mausoleum of 
Sun Yat-sen by, 141, 141 

Liang Qichao (1873-1928), 49, 89 

Liang Yunting (b. 1951), A Series of 
Shanghai Alleyways 18 (2002, 
cat. no. 114), 216, 217 

Liangyou Publishing Company 
(Liangyou tushu gongsi), 136 

Lilong housing. See Longtang 

Lin Biao (1907-1971), 203 

Lin Fengmian (1900-1991), 126, 
128, 204, 248; Anchoring a 
boat under pine trees (approx. 
1950-1965, cat. no. 21), 50-51, 
88, SS; "Art for Art's Sake and Art 
for Society's Sake" (pub. 1927), 
51; Beauty holding a mirror 
(approx. 1950-1965, cat. no. 20), 
50-51, 86, 87 

lithography, 26, 93, 94, 136, I37n2, 
247, 248 

Liu Dahong (b. 1962), 209; 

Mawangdui 2009 (2009, cat. 
no. 118), 224-227, 225, 226; 
Mawangdui Silk Painting — Red 
and White Diptych (2001), 224 

Liu Dezhai, 48 

Liu Haisu (1896-1994), 51, 90, 124, 
125, 126. 129, 130, 159, 204, 207, 
213; Shanghai Art Academy and, 
205, 207, 248; works: Blue-and- 
green landscape (1978, cat. no. 
22), 89, Sg; The Bund (1956, cat. 
no. 79), 164-165, 164-165; Fuxing 
Park (1981, cat. no. 112), 214, 214 

Liu Jianhua (b. 1962): Can You Tell 
Me? (2006, cat. no. 122), 234- 
235, 234, 235; Shadow in the Watet 
(2000-2008, cat. no. 121), ii-iii 
(det.), 31, 232-233, 232-233 

Liu Shaoqi (1907-1971), 226 

Liu Xian (1915-1990), illustrations 
lor play, 186 

Liuru. See Tang Yin 

Longhua Pagoda, 29 

Longtang (Lilong) housing, Shanghai, 
216, 217, 236 

Lu Hui (1851-1920), and Hu Qinhan 
(active late 19th c). Illustrations 
of the Antique Collection ofKezhai 
(1892, cat. no. 13), 32-^ (det.), 
74-75. 74-75 (det.), 260-261 

Lu Xun (1881-1936), 103, 178, 182. 
192, 248; /ade-Attracting Col- 
lection (pub. 1934), 53; October 
(1933. cat. no. 92), 180, 180; 
Prints from the Soviet Union 
(pub. 1936), 53; and Qu Qiubai 
(1899-1935), George Bernard 
Shaw in Shanghai (1933, cat. 
no. 93), vi-vii (det.), 181, 181; 
and Rou Shi, Selections 0/ Mod- 
em Woodcuts (pub. 1929), 53; 
Selected Paintings from New Russia 
(publication), 53; Selected Prints 
by Kathe Kollwitz (pub. 1935), 53; 
Sprouts Monthly 1 (1930, cat. no. 
91), 179, 179 

Lu Yanshao (1909-1993), 50 

Luen Wo workshop, Coffeepot with 
dragon spout (approx. 1875, cat - 
no. 6), 45, 45 

Luo Pin (1733-1799), 78 

Luo Qingzhen (1904-1942), Against 
the Current (1935, cat. no. 97), 
185, 185 

Lu Xun Academy, Shenyang, 177 

Lu Xun Memorial Hall. Shanghai, 

Maksimov, Konstantin. 161, 170. 171 
Malraux, Andre, Man's Fate (La 

Condition Humaine) (pub. 1933), 

Malu Tianshi (Street Angel) (film), 27, 

Manchurian Incident (1931), 53 
Mao Zedong (1893-1976), 203, 208, 

249; Shanghai and. 19. 158, 195; 


as subject matter, 160, 171, 172. 

209, 215, 227 
maps. 5 
Mark Apartment Building (1930s, 

cat. no, 39), 105, 110, no 

"M" Ait ( I roup, and pet I111 main e art. 

209, 222 

Mass Fine Art Publishing House, 
Shanghai, 198 

Matisse, Henri, as influence, 51, 87, 

May Fourth Movement (1919). 103, 
128, 248 

May Thirtieth Incident (1925), 103, 

McBain Building, 36, 36 

medium: embroidery, 224; gouache 
(shui/en), 35, 51-52; guohua (ink 
and color), 85, 127, 174, 175, 
176; ink on paper, 38, 165, 208, 
230-231; oils, 35, 51; porcelain, 
232-233, 2^2-z^y, splashed ink, 
214; watercolor, 49, 51, 72; xihua 
(Western), 127 

Meidao ren. See Wu Zhen 

Metropole, the, 30 

Mi Fu (1051-1107), 49, 72, 89 

Military Museum, Beijing, 215 

Mingxing Film Company (Bright Star 
Pictures), 113 

Mingxing Film Studio (1930s, cat. no. 

42). 113. "3 
missionaries, 9, 28, 74, 94, 98, 176. 

See also Jesuits 
M. K. Woodcut Research Society, 53 
MOCA Shanghai. .See Museum of 

Contemporary Art Shanghai 
models, use of, in art training, 126, 

164, 205 
modernism: as politic al goal, 20-21, 

207; Shanghai as center of, 5-6, 

modernity: images ol women 

exemplifying, 94-102, 95-102. 

'34- 130-159- 137. 138, 146-155. 

147-153, 15s: in painting. 124; 

perceptions ol, 1 1 12; periodic als 

as arbiters of, 137; in woodcut 

prints. i.s.| 

Model 11 I'l nils Six iel\ ( Vinmliii bun 

hua liui), Guangzhou, 182 
Modigliani, Aniedeo, as influeni e, 


moon, scenes with, 84, 84 

Moreau, Gustave, 88 

Morning Flowers Society, 53 

Mount Huang, 228 

The Movie World, no. 13 (1940, cat. 
no. 59). 138.139 

Mu Yilin (b. 1942), 230 

multimedia art, 205 

Municipal slaughterhouse in the 
northeast section of Shanghai 
(early 1930s, cat. no. 38), 108, 
109, 109 

Museum of Contemporary Art Shang- 
hai (MOCA Shanghai), 211, 212 

music, as accompaniment to art- 
works, 221 

Muslims, in China, 109 

Minima dacheng (early history of 

traditional painting), 126 
Nanjing Academy of Arts, 164 
Nanjing College of Arts, 84 
Nanshi. See Shanghai. Chinese city- 
National Academy of Arts, Beijing. 
167; East China Division, Hang- 
zhou, 163, 167 
National Art Movement Society, 126, 

National Central Art Academy, 161, 

National Central University, Chong- 
qing, 170 
National Goods Campaigns (guohuo 

17, 103, 137 
nationalism, growth of, in China, 

i°3. 174 
Nationalist Party (Guomindang): 
China, 81, 85, 141, I56n4, 178, 
179, 249; as government oi 
China. 4 5. 11. 14, 16-17 
Nationalist Revolution (1927), 11 
Nationalist Revi my. it' 

National [inan (Zhejiang), Suzhou, 

National Salvation Cartoon Propa- 

ganda Corps 1 liuwang manhua 
xuanchuandui), 140, 191 

Neolithic period, pattern in, 120 
neon, as medium, 220-221, 220-221 
New Art (publishing house), 159 
New Chinese Painting Research 
Society (Shanghai shi xinguohua 
yanj'm hut), 160 
New Culture Movement, 49-50, 103, 

New Life Movement, 152-153, 249; 
posters associated with, 152-153 
New Wave Movement ('85 Art Move- 
ment), 206, 208-209, 249 
New Year, artworks for, 201, 224 
New Yorfcer (periodical), 140 
New York University, 236 
Ni Tian (1855-1919), 48, 57; The 

Esteemed Wu Junqing at Age Sixty- 
six (1909 or 1910; cat. no. 14), 
48, 57, 76, 77 
Ni Yide (1901-1970), 51, 126. 130, 
135. 159, 160, 163; Nanjing 
Road (1947, cat. no. 78), 162- 

163, 163 

Nian Rebellion (1851-1868), 4 

1933, as name for the municipal 
slaughterhouse, Shanghai. 109 

Ningbo Native Place Society, art exhi- 
bitions held by, 127 

NKK Building, 36, }6 

North China Daily News Building, 

37 37 

Northern Expeditionary Revolution- 
ary Troop, 132 

nude. the. 111 Chinese art, 87, 89, 126, 

164, 184. 1S4, 205, 208 
NYU Shanghai Center, 236 

October Revolution (1917). Sec Russia 
old masters, style of, as adopted in 

China, 53. 180. i.So 
One Hundred Flowers Movement 

1956 84,249 
opei 1. Chinese, 87 
opium, trade in, 4, IO, ll 

10 |. 2 l&. Si 1 
m bid cyi 

59, 59, 60, 60, 90, 90 


Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai, 22. 

31, 227, 233, 249 
Overend, Gurney and Company, 41 

P & T Architects and Engineers Lim- 
ited, 106, 110 

Pacific Mail Steamship Company, 4, 

Pacific Painting Academy, japan, 132 

painting: contemporary, in Shanghai, 
204-13; traditional Chinese, 
35. 47-49. 50, 79- 84, 85. 120, 
124, 126; Western-influenced, 
124-135, 158-177; Westerniza- 
tion of traditional, 47-49, 50, 66, 
72, 87, 89, 93, 204 

Palace Hotel, 37, yj 

Palmer (architect). See P & T Archi- 
tects and Engineers Limited 

Pan Sitong (1904-1980/81), 51 

Pan Tianshou (1897-1971), 70, 126, 

Pang Xunqin (1906-1985), 51; Shang- 
hai Street (1959, cat. no. 80), 
166-167, !&7 

Pang Yuanji (1864-1949), portrait of, 
by Wang Zhen, 82, S3 

Paramount Theatre, Shanghai, 105 

Park Hotel, Shanghai, 30-31, 248 

patronage, 28, 124-125, 159 

pattern. Art Deco, for rugs, 120, 
120-123, 122 

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, 
Mass., 47 

Peace Hotel. See Sassoon House 

peasants, as subject matter, 185, 185, 
'93- 225 

Peng Dehuai (1898-1974), 227 

People's Liberation Army (PLA), 11, 
19, 22, 205, 249 

People's Park (Reranin Gongyuan), 
114, 163 

People's Republic of China, 6, 158, 
192, 205, 249 

performance art, 209, 209 

periodicals: on art, 127, 128, 136; 
on films. [38, 139: lithography 
and, 94; middle-class consumer, 
136-137, 137. 140,1 fo; woodcuts 
for, 179-182, 179-182 

Perry, Commodore Matthew C„ 128 
perspective. Western, 49, 56, 93, 94 
photographs, period (1930s), 107-115 
photography: as contemporary art, 
210; effect of, on China Trade 
painting, 103, 124; use of, in 
commercial publishing, 136-137 
Picasso, Pablo, as influence, 164 
PLA. See People's Liberation Army 
plum, as symbolic, 82, 85 
Plum Pavilion Society for Calligraphy 

and Paintings, 60 
poetry, 186; inscribed on paintings, 

70-71, 71, 78, 78, 82, 8y 174 
Political Pop, 209, 210, 224 
politics, and developments in art, 49, 


pomegranates, as symbolic, 45 

Pop art, 207. See also Political Pop 

porcelain, as medium for contempo- 
rary art, 232, 2^2-2^ 

port. See treaty ports 

portraits, 27, 80, S3, 130, 172, 215, 222, 

posters: advertising, 52, 139, 142- 
155; calendar posters, 52; paint- 
ings as models for, 160, 203, 2oy, 
propaganda, 160, 192, 192ns, 

Postimpressionism, as influence, 51. 
87, 129, 207, 214 

Pott, F. L. Hawks, 27, 29 

prints, copperplate, 49, 136 

propaganda art, 53, 158, 160, 191, 192, 
215; anti-lapanese, 163, 191, 205; 
as associated with Western art, 
159. See also posters 

Protestants, as missionaries, 98 

publications, on art, 127, 128 

Pu Hua (1832-1911), 70 

Public Produce Market on Small 
Shadu Road (1930s, cat. no. 37), 
24-25 (det.), 104, 108-109, ioS 

publishing, in Shanghai. 94, 136, 
136111. 159 

Pudong Native Place Association, 10 

Pudong New Area. Shanghai. 5 
(map), 9, 31, 212. 213 

Punch (periodical), 140 

punkah. 98, q8 

Qi Baishi (1864-1957), 70, 90 

Qian Hui'an (Qian Jisheng, 1833- 
1911 ). 47; Sceneries of the Earth- 
born-Cymbidium Orchid Thau hed 
House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 
leaves C-E), 56, 57-58, 57-58 

Qian lisheng. See Qian Hui'an 

Qian Juntao, print by, adapted for 
book cover, 180, 180 

Qian Shoutie (1896-1967), 205; Early 
Dawn Illuminates Military Exer- 
cises (1964, cat. no. 88), 175, 175 

qin, 221 

Qin Yileng (b. 1961), Cloth Sculptures 
on the Street (1986), 209, 209 

qingbai (porcelain), as medium. 233 

qipao (cheongsam): blue-gray medium- 
sleeved (1920s, cat. no. 73), 156, 
156; 1920s (cat. no. 75), 30, 156, 
is": 1930s (cat. no. 77), 156, 157; 
orange short-sleeved (1930s, cat. 
no. 76), 156, 157; rose medium- 
sleeved (1920s, cat. no. 74), 156, 

Qiu Anxiong (b. 1972), The New 
Book of Mountains and Seas Part 
1 (2006, cat. no. 128), 244-245, 
244. 245 

Qiu Deshu (b. 1948), 208 

Qiu Ying (approx. 1482-1559), 64 

Qiu Zhijie (b. 1969), 210 

Qu Qiubai (1899-1935), and Lu Xun 
(1881-1936), George Bernard 
Shaw in Shanghai (1933, cat. no. 
93), i>i-vii (det.), 181. 1S1 

Quadrio, Davide (b. 1970), 211 

rabbit, jade, as symbolic, 82 
realism: in Chinese painting. 48. 49, 
50. 130; as social criticism, 205; 
in woodcut prints, 185, 189. See 
also Cynical Realism 
The Red Detachment of Women (bal- 
let). 225 
Red Guards, 158, 164, 167, 202 
refugees, in Shanghai. 4, 5. 14 
religion: buildings as symbolic 1 >t 28; 
references to. in Chinese art, 98; 
as subject matter, 49 
Ren Bonian. See Ren Yi 


Ren Fuchang. See Ren Xun 

Ren Weiyin (b. 1918), 159; Huaihai 

Road (1970s- 1980s, cat. no. 90), 

177. 177 
Ren Xiong (c. 1820-1864), 47- 48, 59, 

62, 204 
Ren Xun (Ren Fuchang, 1835-1893), 

47, 48, 204; Sceneries 0) the 

Earthborn-Cymbidium Orchid 

Thatched House (1869-1884, cat. 

no. 9, leaf H), 56, 59. 59 
Ren Yi (Ren Bonian, 1840-1896), 

47, 48, 61, 62, 63, 66, 204; Feng 

Gengshnri (1877, cat. no. 11), 48, 

70-71. 71,' as influence, 77, 78, 

Reus, the Four, 70 
Reus, the Three, 204 
Republican Revolution (1911). 11 
Republic of China ( 1912-1949), 6. 

48-49, 52, 248 
restaurants, in Shanghai, 27, 96, 96, 

Romanticism, as influence, 184 
Rou Shi (1902-1931), 53 
Royal Academy, Brussels, 126, 228 
rugs. Art Deco-style (1920-1935, 

cat. nos. 48-52), 103, 120, 

120-123, 122 
Russell. Samuel, 43 
Russell & Company, 4 
Russell & Company Building, 36, 36, 

Russia: October Revolution (1917) in, 

53, 180. i<S'o. 248; refugees from, 

in Shanghai. 5. See also Soviet 

Russo-Chinese Bank, 37, 37 

Salon, Pans. ,s.s 

San Francisco Academy of Art, 228 
San 1 rancisco Art Institute. 230 
Sanmao (cartoon character), 52, 

190-191, 191, 249 
San \in (Three Gold) Company, 81 
Sassoon, IXn id 1 17112 1864), 29 
S.issuiin family, 29-30, 40, 108. 124 
S.issiKin House (C.ilh.n Hotel Pi ICi 

Hotel), 5, 30, 37, 37. 40. 105 


Ni cileries u| the I arlldumi ( vmlmiiiiiii 

iii, In,/ rii, hi ln',1 House (1869- 
1884, cat. no. 9), 56-65, 56-65 

st IhiiiI ol .ill (style): bum 'e and 
stone calligraphy ("epigraphic"; 
(inslii pai), 49, 54, 65, 78, 204; 
l.ingnan, 88; (Yun 
Shouping), 48; Northwest 
(U.S.A.). 129: Orthodox, 53112, 
63, 72; Shanghai (huipai), 48, 
59, 61, 62, 70, 78, 82, 93, 125, 
146, 204, 206, 230; Wu, 59, 84; 
Xin'an, 66, 67; Yangzhou, 77. 
See also art training; style 

script. See calligraphy 

sculpture, contemporary. 2^2, 
232-233, 244 

seals: carving of, 48, 49, 55, 90; 
patronage and, 125 

Senefclder, Alois, 94114 

Series of Views of Shanghai. See Shang- 
hai fengjing 

service station, depiction of Ameri- 
can-style, 105, 112, 112 

Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove 
(3rd c), 242 

sewing machine, 97, 97, 248 

Sha Fu (1831-1906), Sceneries of the 
En rtli born - Cymbidi 11 m Orch id 
Thatched House (1869-1884. cat. 
no. 9, leaf O), 56, 62, 62 

Shandong University, 164, 170, 173 

Shanghai: Battle of, 19; Chinese 
city (Nanshi) as division of. 4, 
5 (map), 10; colonial, mystique 
of, 30-31; as i osmopolitan, 11, 
13, 22, 25, 30; development of, 
4-6, 9-23; geographii location 
of, 11. 47; maps of, 5; migration 
into, 13 14: redevelopment of, 
alter 1990, 21-22, 51; views of, 
as personal artwork. 159 

Shanghai V adenn ol Oil Painting, si 

Shanghai \< adem) oi Social Sci- 
en< es, 22 

Shanghai Ait Academy I Shanghai 

Painting and Art Institute; 
Shanghai Meizhuan), 89; demise 
ot. 1 vi. 164, 170, i~;. 248; estab 
lishmi ntol 125 1 6 105 

248; instruction al. 1 50, 134, 163, 

Shanghai Art Club, 230 
Shanghai Art College, 91 
Shanghai Art lair. 211 
Shanghai Art Institute ol Drawing 

.mil Painting, 89, 90 
Shanghai Art Museum, 47, 90, 114. 

211, 213, 220, 236, 249 
Shanghai Ai is and ( rafts Institute. 

Shanghai Art School, 159 
Shanghai Chinese Arts University, 135 
Shanghai Chinese Painting Academy, 

Shanghai City Artists' Society (Shang- 

hai shi huaren xiehui). 160. 163. 

Shanghai Club, 36, 36 
Shanghai Commercial Association. 

Shanghai Culture and History 

Library, 176 
Shanghai Drama Institute, 207, 208, 

211, 236 
Shanghai Exhibition Center (Shang- 
hai Zhanlanguan). 30, 249 
The Shanghai / icpress (film), 222,248 

Sllilllgll(ll feng/llie, ( Sit i.s ill \ 11 » ■. m| 

Shanghai, guidebook, pub. 1916, 
1917), 29, 142. 142-143 
Shanghai Fine Ai is Iiauiin;', Scl I 

Shanghai Gallery of Art. 211 
Shanghai Gas Company, Ltd., 100 
Shanghai General Post Office, depic 

tions of, 91, 91, 168. 168-169 
Shanghai Histor\ Museum, 47 

Shanghai Industrial Arts Sot ie 

Shanghai Institute ol Oil Painting 

and Plasiu Ails. 170 
Shanghai liaotong University, 170 
Shanghai 1 ight Industp, Institute, 

Shanghai 1 il\ 
Shanghai Mansions, v. Broadway 

Shanghai Modern An hitei tural 

Desi t : 11110 


Shanghai Municipal Art Gallery, 160 

Shanghai Museum, 47, 114 

Shanghai New China Arts School 
(Shanghai xinhua yishu zhuke 
xuexiao), 177 

Shanghai Normal University, 207, 

Shanghai Oil Painting Academy, 205 

Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture 
Institute, 215 

Shanghai Painting and Calligraphy 
Press, 205 

Shanghai Painting and Art Institute. 
See Shanghai Art Academy 

Shanghai People's Fine Art Publishing 
House, 159, 170, 192, ig2n5, 201, 
202, 203, 249; Criticizing Lin Biao 
and Confucius to Prevent Revision- 
ism (1976, cat. no. no), 203, 203; 
Criticizing Lin Biao and Confucius 
to Prevent Revisionism (1976, cat. 
no. 111), 203, 203 

Shanghai School of Design, 213114 

Shanghai Society for Calligraphy and 
Painting, 77 

Shanghai Society of Nine Artists 
Qiuren hua hui), 160, 163 

Shanghai Tower, 212 

Shanghai University, 159, 207, 219, 
222, 232 

Shanghai University of Art, 134 

Shanghai World Financial Center, 212 

ShanghART Gallery, 211, 249 

Shao Keping (b. 1916): Morning Toilet 
on the Huangpu River (1961, cat. 
no. 105), 196-197, 197; On the 
Streets of Shanghai (1947, cat. no. 
100), 53, 189, 189: Street Corner 
(1947, cat. no. 101), 53, 189, 189, 

Shaw, George Bernard, in Shanghai, 
181, 1S1, 248 

ShContemporary (art fair), 211 

Shen Fan (b. 1952), 209; Landscape- 
Commemorating Huang Binhong — 
Scroll (2007, cat. no. 11(1). 

Shen Roujian (1918-1998): During 
the Great Leap Forward (1958, cat. 

no. 104), 15 (det.). 194, 195; Eve- 
ning Glow on the Huangpu River 
(1955, cat. no. 103), 8-9 (det.), 

Shen Shuyong (1832-1873), 55 

Shenbao (newspaper), 49, 139, 191 

Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, 20 

Shenzhou Guoguang Press, Shanghai, 

Shi Yong (b. 1963), 210 

shikumen (carved stone doorway), as 
subject matter, 105, 236, 237 

Shikumen Museum, Shanghai, 

ships, depictions of, 15 (det.), 38, 
38-39, 104, 176, 176, 194, 195 

Shitao (1642-1707), 49, 67, 165 

Shouzhi Yuan (garden in Yangzhou), 

Shubao (newspaper), Guangzhou, 

Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, 244 

Sichuan University, 84 

Silent Society for Painting, Shanghai, 

silk: contemporary banners of, 224- 
227; Japanese, for qipao, I56n7 

silver, Chinese export, 44-46 

silverware, production of, in China, 

Sincere Company, Ltd. (Xianshi), 29, 
142, 143, 248 

Sino-Soviet Friendship Building. 
See Shanghai Exhibition Center 
(Shanghai Zhanlanguan) 

Situ Temple, Mount Dengwei, 229 

Skidmore Owings and Merrill (archi- 
tects), 31 

slaughterhouse. See Municipal 

Small Swords Society, 13, 247 

Snow, Edgar, 6 

Socialist Realism, 158-159, 160-161, 
171, 178, 195, 215, 222, 228 

Societe des Artistes Decorateurs, 
France, 104 

Song Haidong (b. 1958), 209, 210. 

SongQingling, 181 

Southerland, Thomas, 106 

souvenirs, China Trade paintings as, 

Soviet Union, Chinese artists in, 134, 
160-161. See also Russia; Social- 
ist Realism 

Sprouts Monthly, 248. See also Feng 
Xuefeng; Lu Xun 

Stage Set and Painting School, 
Shanghai, 89 

Sternberg, Joseph von, 222, 248 

Stewardson and Spence (architects), 

Stijl, de, movement, as influence, 

still life, 135, 135 

St. John's University, Shanghai, 

Stone House, 43 

Storm Society (]uelan she), 51, 126, 
163, 167, 206 

street theater, 210 

style: Art Deco, 29, 30, 36, 104-105, 
110. in. 112. 112. 113, 113. 156; 
Bauhaus, as influence, 104, 
107, 107, 108, 108; Beaux-Arts, 
36, 104, 168; Chinese Revival 
(of silver), 44; Moorish, 108; 
"neo-literati freehand" (xinwen- 
ren xieyi), 205; Northern Song, 
64; Northern Wei (386-534), 
48; Shanghai Deco, 105, 
116-120, 116, 117, 125; Shanghai 
haipai, 7, 13, 30, 125, 146; Stalin- 
ism, 30 

Su Zhaocheng. See Chowkwa 

Subei people, 14 

Sullivan, Michael, 124-125, 128 

Sun Chuanfang (warlord), 126 

Sun Sun Company, Ltd. (Xirtxin), 142. 

Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925). 141 

Sun Yat-sen, Mme, 181 

Surrealism, as influence, 230 

Suzhou Academy of Art, 159, 164. 
170. 173 

Suzhou Art College, Shanghai, 91 

Symbolism, as influence, 88 

synagogue, in Shanghai, 29, 108 


l.iilin in ks. as siil>|i-< i matter, 2 18 
raiping Rebellion (1851-1864), 1 13, 

55, 66, 247 
TaipingYulan (ency< lopedia, comp. 

977-985). 54 
Tang Jmgchang, calligraphy by, 

Tang, Xiaobing, 183 
Tang Yifen (1778-1853), 64 
Tang Yin (Liuru; 1470-1523), as 

influence, 57 
Tang Yingwei (b. 1915), Woodcut 

World 1 (1936, cat. no. 94), 182, 

Tao Lengyue (1895-1985), 50; Plum 

blossoms under the moon (1933, 

cat. no. 18), 84, 84 
Tao Songqi, 91 

Taoism, and Chinese art, 54, 54, 82 
tea, trade in, and the opium market, 

teaching, as livelihood for artists, 12s. 

130, 132, 134, 135, 159, 163, 164, 

170, 173, 176, 177, 207, 224, 232, 

technique, 48, 57, 84; airbrush, 222; 

brush painting, 219; daxieyi (free 

hand), 204; gongbi, 81, 93; luomo 

ink, 85; pnibi (broad brush), 

231; rub-and-paint (cabi shucai 

or cabi dancai), 139, 150-151, 

150, 151. 248; splashed-ink, 49; 

Western. 49, 50, 51, 70, 94. 102; 

xieyi (painting ideas), 90. See also 

Temple. Shirley, image of, on period: 

cal cover, 140, 140 
Temple of the City Cod. Shanghai. 

Teng Baiye (1901-1980), 129 
text, in contemporary art, 234-235, 

"Three Disaster Years" (1959-1961), 

161, 171. 174 
rhree Kens. the. 204 
I luce Whs and One Feng, the. 50 
I bree Xiongs tin 104 
["iananmen Square Beijing, 

' \9 

lobey. Mark, inlluence on, 129 

lok\o At adeni) (il line Aits, 12.S, 1^2, 


Tongwen Press (Tongwen shuju), 94 

town house (shikumen), 105, 236 

trade, and the development o) 

Shanghai, 3-4, 9, 10, 35-36, 47, 

\ Treasury oj Wu Youru's Wusfrations 
( Wu Youru huabao), 3tn4, 94, 

Treaty: Burlingame (1868), 247: oi 
Nanjing (1842), 4, 9, 114, 247; of 
Shimonoseki (1895), 103, 247; of 
Versailles (1918), 103, 128, 248 

treaty ports, 4, 9, 35, 47, 103, 175 

Tret'iakov, Sergei: Rychi, K'ifai.' (play), 
186, 248; Rychi. Kitai! (poem), 
186, i86n9 

Trinity Church, Shanghai, 28, 101, 
101, 247 

Tuck Chang workshop. Bowl with 
dragon handles (approx. 1875, 
cat. no. 7), 46, 46 

Turner (architect). See P 8t T Archi- 
tects and Engineers Limited 

Tushanwan Art School, 48, 51, 70, 

Tutankhamun, tomb of King, as deco- 
rative influence, 105 

Two Wangs, the, 48 

1 1 hiyama Kakichi, 248 

Union Building, 36, 36 

United States of America: Chinese 
artists as residents in, 228, 230, 
236; Chinese art students in, 129, 
215, 228; Chinese Exclusion Act 
I 1SH2) in, 103, 247: and trade 
with Shanghai, 4, 103-104 

unknown artist; si: Long Live th Vii 

iih v oj the (.nut January Revoiu 
tion 1967, i .11. no. 109), 202, 
202; Parade mi Huangpu Rivei I 1 ' 
(1950, cat. no. 107), 199, 199 
1111 known painter 1 s): House of Dent, 
Bi all S 1 ompan) ■ approx. 1857 
1859, cat. no. .) ). 41, 41; Shanghai 
ipprox. 1855-1862, cat. no 

38, }<;; \ iew oj the Shanghai Bund 
(approx. 1862-1865, cat - no - 2 ). 
Unnamed Woodcut S01 iet) | | 

Vatiaur, Ahc e, N; 

video, as contemporary art, 210, 235, 
236-237, 240-241, 243. See also 

Volunteer for liberty: Organ of the 
International Brigades (periodi- 
cal), 186 

wall sconce (c. 1923, cat. no. 35), 

106, 106 
Wang Hui (1632-1717), 53n2, 64 
Wang Jian (1598-1677). 53n2 
Wang limei, 228 
Wang Jiyuan (1893-1975), 51 
Wang Li (1817-1885), 47, 56, 62; 
Sceneries of the Earthborn- 
Cymbidrum Orchid Thatched 
House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 
leaf L), 61,61 
Wang Meng (1308-1385), 72, 74 
Wang Shimin (1592-1680), 53n2 
Wang Su (Xiaomei, 1794-1877), 77 
Wang Tiande (b. i960), 210 
Wang Tongyu (1855-1941), inscrip- 
tion by, 75 
Wang Xianzhi (344-386/388), 48 
Wang Xizhi (303-361), 48 
Wang Yachcn, 126 
Wang Yirong (1845-1900), 64; 

inscription by, 75 
Wang Yuanqi (1642-1715), 53n2 
Wang Zhen (1867-1938), 70, 90, 
126. 175, 228; Pang Yuanji Hold 
a Rnbbit (1927, cat. no. 17). 

Wang Ziwei (b. 1963), 209 

Win ., the four, .17. S3'>2. 62. 63, 64, 
72, 204 

Wangs, the iwo, 48 

w.i 1 ■ ■ 1 hinesi 1 ivil( 1946-1949), 

11, 19; First World. 14. 103. 12S. 

2.|iS; Korean 1950 

249: Opium 1S56- 

1 9, to, 20. }S- 4I1 47- 

247; Shanghai ( 1932), 183; Sino- 
Japanese (1937-1945), 11, 14, 19, 
20, 85, 182, 249 

Warhol, Andy, as influence, 209 

Wei lingshan (b. 1943), and Chen 
Yifei, The Taking of the Presiden- 
tial Palace (1977), 215 

Wei Kingdom (220-265 bce), 90 

Wei Zhijun, 47 

Wen Yuanning (critic), 127 

Wen Zhengming (1470-1559), 64, 

WengTonghe (1830-1904), 56, 
64; Sceneries of the Earthborn- 
Cymbidium Orchid Thatched 
House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 
leaf T: inscription), 65, 65 

Westernization: effect of, on Chinese 
art, 49-51; Shanghai as focus for, 

The White-Haired Girl (ballet), 225 

Wliite Snake (opera), 87 

Wild Grass Publishing House, Shang- 
hai, 181 

Wild Spike Society, 53 

Wilson, Woodrow, 128 

Wing On Company (Yongan). 29, 
142. 142 

women: as artists. See Guan Zilan; 
images of, as exemplifying 
modernity, 18, 23, 146-155, 
J 47 _I 53. ! 55; images of, on peri- 
odical covers, 136-137, 137; as 
models for art classes, 89; status 
of, 18-19; as subject matter, 26, 

Wong, C. H. (photographer), no, 110 

woodcut prints: Chinese (muke), 53, 
136, 178-192, 182-1S5, 1S7-188, 
205, 248; Japanese (sosafcu- 
hanga), 178, 247 

Woodcut World (periodical), 182, 182, 

wood engraving, described. I78n2 

workshops: and Chinese export 

silver. 44-46; and the production 
of China Trade paintings. 55 

World Book Company (Shijie shuju), 

World Expo (2010), 176. See also 
Expo 2010 

World Fairs, Chinese art exhibited 
at, 84 

Wu Changshuo (Wu Junqing, 

1844-1927; a.k.a. Kutie it n 

47-48, 49, 64, 70, 204; as infln 
ence, 82; inscription by, 82, 83; 
poem by, 78, yg; portrait of, by Ni 
Tian (1909 or 1910, cat. no. 14), 

48, 57, 76, 77; Red plum blossoms 
(1916, cat. no. 15), 49, 78, 79 

Wu Dacheng (Kezhai, 1835-1902), 
57; catalogue of collection of, 
32-33 (det.), 74-75. 74-75 (del.), 
260-261 (det.) 

Wu Gan (active mid-late 19th c). 
inscription by, 70, 71, 71 

Wu Guxiang (1848-1903), Sceneries 
of the Earthborn-Cymbidium 
Orchid Thatched House (1869- 
1884, cat. no. 9, leaf S). 56, 64, 

Wu Hufan (1894-1968), 50, 84; 
inscriptions by, 74, 74 

Wu Junqing. See Wu Changshuo 

Wu Meichun (b. 1969), 210 

Wu Qinghua (character in ballet), 

Wu Qingyun (Wu Shiqian, 1845- 
1916), 47; Morning Sun Rising 
Over the Sea (1891, cat. no. 12), 

49. 72. 73 

Wu Shiguang (1885-1968), 51 
Wu Shiqian. See Wu Qingyun 
Wu Youru (1839-1897), 26, 49, 94, 
102; Distinguishing Local Flavor 
(1890s, cat. no. 28), 27, 96, 96; 
Fragrant Hairpin in Precious Bun 
(1890s, cat. no. 31), 49, 99, 99; 
Haishang baiyantu (One Hun- 
dred Beauties of Shanghai) (pub. 
1890s), 26-28, 94; Ladies (album 
of paintings, 1890, cat. no. 26), 
49, 92-93, 93, 99; Reciting Poetry 
This Evening (1890s, cat. no. 
30), 26, 49, 98, 98; Rivaling the 
Coming Night (1890s, cat. no. 
29), 49, 97, 97; Shining Eyes and 

White Wrists (1887-1893, cat. no. 
27), 27, 49, 95, 95, 101; Wander- 
ing Eyes Giving Way to Wandering 
Thoughts (1890s, cat. no. 32), 26, 
49, 100, 100 

Wu Zhen (Meidao ren, 1280-1354), 

Wu Zheng (1878-1949), 50 

Wu Zishen (1894-1972), 50 

Wu Zuoren, 129 

Wu-Yue (Zhejiang and Jiangsu) 
artisans (5th c. bce), 54, 55 

Xiaomei. See Wang Su 

Xie Zhiguang (1900-1976), 52, 151; 
Facing One's Reflection in Vanity 
(1930s, cat. no. 69), 150, 151; 
Sightseeing Arm-in-Arm (1930s, 
cat. no. 68), 150, 150 

Xie Zhiliu (1910-1997), 50, 230; 
Bird and flower blossoms 
(1943, cat. no. 19), 85, 85; 
Camellia, 85 

Xiechang Company, Shanghai, 97, 

Xi'er (character in ballet), 225-226 

Xinhua Academy, 126 

Xintiandi, Shanghai, 31, I05ni2, 238 

Xiongs, the Three, 204 

Xiyang Academy of Fine Arts, 135 

Xu Beihong (1895-1953), 50, 51, 
90, 124, 128, 130, 164, 204; Five 
Hundred Warriors Traversing the 
Fields, 50; The Fool Who Moved 
the Mountain, 50; Garden (1940s, 
cat. no. 54), 50, 131, 131; Portrait 
of Kang Youwei's wife (cat. no. 
53). 5°. 52. 130. 130 

Xu Dazhang. 130 

Xu Gu (Zhu Huairen, 1824-1896), 
47, 48, 66, 70; Scenes in iflng- 
zhou (1876, cat. no. 10). 66-68, 

Xu Sangeng (active mid-late 19th c), 
Si eneries oj the Earthborn- 
Cymbidium Orchid Thau hed 
House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 
leaf V), 56, 65. 65 

Xu Wei (1521-1593), 49 


Xu Xi (10th c), 85 

Xu Xiaocang, 82 

Xu Yongqing (1880-1953), 5'. 5 2 
Xu Zhen (b. 1977), 210, 211 
.Yuan paper, 231 

Yakovlev, A. S., October (pub. 1923), 

Yali University, Changsha, Hunan 

Pro\ nice, 84 
Yan Wenliang (1894-1988), 84, 204 
Yan Zhenqing (709-785), 48 
Yang Borun (Yang Nanhu, 1837- 
1911), 47; Sceneries of the Earth- 
born-Cymbidium Orchid Thatched 
House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 
leaf F), 56,58,58 
Yang Fudong (b. 1971), 210; City Lisjhr 
(2000, cat. no. 125), 240-241, 
241; Honey (2003, cat. no. 127), 
243, 24y, Liu Lan (2003, cat. no. 
126), 242, 242 
Yang Nanhu. See Yang Borun 
Yang Zhenzhong (b. 1968), 210 
Yangzi Insurance Association Build- 
ing. 37. 37 
Yao Wenyuan (1931-2005), 202 
Yasui Sotaro, as influence, 135 
Yeh, Wen-hsin, 4-5, 103, 125, 128 
Yichun Gallery, Shanghai, 82 
Yifei Modeling Agency, 215 
Yipinxiang (restaurant), Shanghai, 

96, 96 
Yokohama Specie Bank, 37, c 
The Young Companion (Liangyou hua- 
bao) (periodical), 128, 135, 140, 
248; The Young Companion no. 
101 (January 1935, cat. no. 58), 
136-137, 137 
Yu Ming (1884-1935), 48; Huang 
linrongand Du Yuesheng (1924, 
cat. no. 16), 48, 80, 81 
Yu Qifan, 127 
Yu Youhan (b. 1943), 209 
Yu Yue (1821-1906), Sceneries of the 
Thatched Housi 1 1869 1884, cat. 

no, 9, leal I in 11 1 i] n 1, 56, 


"in Yunjie (1917-1992), 161, 205; Mao 

Zedong (19(18, 1 at, no. 84), 170, 

171, 172.- Oui / and, Our People 

(1948, cat. no. 82), viii-ix (det.), 

170. 171; Peeling ' brn 1 1963, cat. 

no. 83), 170, 171, 11. Studying 

Industry (1974. cat. no. 85), 170, 

171-172, 172 
1 11. in Shi kai (president of Republican 

China), 81 
Yuan Songnian (1895-1966), Working 

by Lamplight (1950-before 1966, 

cat. no. 89), 176, 176 
Yuan Xiutang: Moonlight ovei 

1 [uangpu River ( 1930s, cat. no. 

64), 146, 147, 147; A Prosperous 

City That Never Sleeps (1930s, cat. 

no. 65), 146, 148, 148 
Yu Garden, Shanghai, 29, 57, 74, 77, 

81, 131 
Yun Nantian. See Yun Shouping 
Yun Shouping (Yun Nantian, 1633- 

1690), 47, 61. See also school of 

art, Nantian 
Yunnan Ait Institute, Kunming, 232 

Zao Wou-ki (Zhao Wuji), 132 

Zendai Museum of Modern Art, 
Shanghai, 210-211, 249 

Zhang Chongren (1907-1998), 51, 
228; sculpture of Chiang Kai- 
shek by, 126 

Zhang Chunqiao (1917-2005), 202 

Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), 85 

Zhang Gongjian, 60 

Zhang Guoliang. Cloth Sc\dptures on 
tin- Street (1986), 209, 209 

Zhang lian-Jun (b. 1955), 208; Sumi- 
Ink Garden 0/ Re-Creation (2002), 
238; Time/Spat e 1 1983), 208; 
oj a Proi ess Shanghai 
Garden Proposal ( 2009), 239; 

VeMigi linu; s 'fiai 

Garden soio cat no. 124), 238, 

> '■ fa Proa JhiKu 

WenProjecl .1007(2007, cat. no. 

Zhang Leping (1910-1992), 52, 205; 
1 oj the M andi 

Sanmao. 52: Sanmao Follows the 
Army (1946, cat. no. 102), 52, 
190-191, 191 
Zhang Longji (b. 1929), Powei Di tri 
button Worker ( 1957 or 1959, cat. 
no. 86), 173, 173 
Zhang Meisun (1894-1973), 51 
Zhang Qi (Zhang Zhiying), 47 
Zhang Shichuan, 113 
Zhang Xiaolin (1877-1940), 81 
Zhang Xiong (Zhang Zixiang, 1803- 
1886), 47, 61, 204; inscription 
by, 70, 71, 71; Sceneries of the 
Earthborn-Cymbidium Orchid 
Thatched House (1869-1884, 
cat. no. 9, leaf G), 56, 58-59, 

Zhang Yimou, The Shanghai Triad 

( Yao. yao, yaodao waipo qiao) 

(film), 17, 249 
Zhang Yuguang, 126 
Zhang Yuqing (1909-1993), Waves 

0/ Anti-American Anger Along 

the Bund (1961, cat. no. 108), 

200-201, 201 
Zhang Zhixin (1930-1975), 227 
Zhang Zhiying. See Zhang Qi 
Zhang Zhongli, 22 
Zhang Zixiang. See Zhang Xiong 
Zhang Garden (Zhang Family Wei- 

chun Garden; Zhangyuan), 12, 

95. M7 

Zhao Bandi (b. 1966), 210, 2131115; 
Come and Meet the Panda (street 
theater, 2000), 210; Panda Cou- 
ture (2008), 211; Panda Fashion 
(fashion shows, 2007-2008), 
210; Zhao Bandi and the Panda 
(series), 210 

/\\.\i< 1 ang, llir t oursc oj .1 Mai 
(1930s, cat. no. 67). 1 1 

Zhao Shuru (1874-1945), 50 

Zhao Weimin, Nanjing Road (aftei 
1923, cat. no. 62). 29, 52, 112. 117, 

\42, 1 ; 

iji See Zao Wou-ki 
Zhao Zhiqian 1 3 

\S pi ; ;, 78 ■ Jligraphies In 
f-55. ll S 

Zhejiang Academy of Fine Ai Is. .See 
China National Academy of Fine 

Zheng Chongbin (b. 1961), The 
Dimension of Ink No. 1 (2008, 
cat. no. 120), 230-231, 230-231 

Zheng Mantuo (1885/88-1961), 52, 
150, 248 

Zheng Shengtian, 211 

Zheng Wuchang (1894-1952), 50, 78 

Zheng Zhengqiu, 113 

Zhi Yin, Gliding Like Celestial Beings 
(1930s, cat. no. 72), 105, 154, 

Zhiying Studio, Shanghai, 153, 248 

Zhong Kui (deity), 48 

Zhongshan Mausoleum (Zhongshan 
ling), 141, 141, 248 

Zhou Bichu (1903-1995), 51 

Zhou Enlai, 227 

Zhou Manhua, image of, on periodi- 
cal cover, 13S, 139 

Zhou Muqiao (1868-1923), 30, 52, 
151; Brilliant Clothing (1890s, cat. 
no. 34), 27, 101, 102, 102: Only 
When Looking Far Does It Become 
Clear (1890, cat. no. 33), iv-v 
(det.), 27, 101, 101 

Zhou Tiehai (b. 1966): Placebo 
(series; 2000), 222; Shanghai 
Lily (2009, cat. no. 117), 222, ziy. 
Stars of the '80s (series), 222m; 
Un/Limited Space (4): The Shower 
(approx. 1998), 210; Violence 
(1986), 209-210 

Zhou Xiang, 51, 164 

Zhou Yong (active late 19th c), 
Sceneries of the Earthborn- 
Cymbidium Orchid Thatched 
House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 
leafP), 56, 63, 63 

Zhou Zhiyuan (active mid-late 16th 
c). 58-59 

Zhu Cheng (1826-1900), 57, 77; 

Sceneries of the Earthbom- 
Cymbidium Orchid Thau hed 
House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 
leaf M), 56. 62, 62 

Zhu Da (Bada Shanren, 1626-1705), 

Zhu Huairen. See Xu Gu 

Zhu Qizhan (1892-1996), 126; 

Grapes (1983), 90; Secluded Valley 
Yields Fragrance (1982, cat. no. 
23), 90, 90 

Zhu Quan (active mid-late 19th c), 
Sceneries of the Earthborn- 
Cymbidium Orchid Thatched 
House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 
leafQ), 56, 64, 64 

Zhu Shuyu (active mid-late 19th c), 
Sceneries of the Earthborn- 
Cymbidium Orchid Thatched 
House (1869-1884, cat. no. 9, 
leaf I), 56, 60, 60 

Zhu Xiong (1801-1864), 62, 204 



was produced under the auspices of the 
Asian Art Museum-Chong-Moon Lee Center 
for Asian Art and Culture 

Thomas Christensen 

Produced by Wilsted & Taylor Publishing Services 
er Christine Taylor 
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Typeset in Whitman, New Caledonia, and Helvetica Neue 
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He Li and Chu-tsing Li 

8V2 x 10 in., 104 pages, 80 color illustrations, 0-939117-23-1 (paper) 

Fang Zhaoling: A Life in Painting 
Melissa J. Walt and Michael Knight 

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Hidden Meanings: Symbolism in Chinese Art 
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The Monumental Landscapes of Li Huayi 

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8 x 12 in., 128 pages, approx. 65 color illustrations, 0-939117-26-6 (paper) 

Power and Glory: Court Arts of China's Ming Dynasty 

He Li and Michael Knight 

8% x 12 in., 280 pages, approx. 300 color illustrations, 978-0-939117-42-0 

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