Pictorial Shanghai (Shanghai huabao, 1925-1933) and Creation of Shanghai’s Modern Visual Culture

Julia Andrews , Professor, Department of the History of Art, Ohio State University

This talk will examine the seductive images of China’s new culture and society that emerge from the pages of the tabloid periodical Shanghai huabao (Pictorial Shanghai) from 1925 to 1933. Closely connected to Shanghai Art Academy, and by featuring in words and images the exhibitions, performances, and personal lives of both China’s artistic elite and its aspiring youth, Shanghai huabao created a complex and richly textured lifestyle into which its readers were lured. The appearance of photographs, gossip, publicity and reviews on its pages offers vivid material for better understanding artists, both male and female, of the formative decade of the 1920s. Over time, the publication created a vision of a new Chinese modernity, demarcating those areas of traditional social and artistic practice that might suitably merge with elements from an imported lifestyle.  Shanghai huabao vividly embraces the cultural psychology of the late 1920s, when writers might be both classically-educated and European-trained, and simultaneously speak in a tone of Neo-Daoist escapism and European ennui.  This talk will argue that Shanghai huabao, despite the seeming randomness of the articles and images it juxtaposed, served to effectively create and document the new tastes of a cosmopolitan Chinese culture, a hybrid culture that has left its traces in Shanghai’s cultural world today.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 | 12:00 pm — 1:30 pm | RSVP
Old Knight Building, Room 102, 521 Memorial Way

Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Center for East Asian Studies