The complex interweaving of different Western visions of China had a profound impact on artistic exchange between China and the West during the nineteenth century.
Beyond Chinoiserie addresses the complexity of this exchange. While the playful Western “vision of Cathay” formed in the previous century continued to thrive, a more realistic vision of China was increasingly formed through travel accounts, paintings, watercolors, prints, book illustrations, and photographs. Simultaneously, the new discipline of sinology led to a deepening of the understanding of Chinese cultural history. Leading and emerging scholars in the fields of art history, literary studies and material culture, have authored the ten essays in this book, which deal with artistic relations between China and the West at a time when Western powers’ attempts to extend a sphere of influence in China led to increasingly hostile political interactions.
A Modern Miscellany: Shanghai Cartoon Artists, Shao Xunmei’s Circle and the Travels of Jack Chen, 1926-1938 Paul Bevan explores how the cartoon
(manhua) emerged from its place in the Chinese modern art world to become a propaganda tool in the hands of left-wing artists. The artists involved in what was largely a transcultural phenomenon were an eclectic group working in the areas of fashion and commercial art and design. The book demonstrates that during the build up to all-out war the cartoon was not only important in the sphere of Shanghai popular culture in the eyes of the publishers and readers of pictorial magazines but that it occupied a central place in the primary discourse of Chinese modern art history.