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Art and Literature in Pictorial Magazines during Shanghai’s Jazz Age
Author:
In Intoxicating Shanghai, Paul Bevan explores the work of a number of Chinese modernist figures in the fields of literature and the visual arts, with an emphasis on the literary group the New-sensationists and its equivalents in the Shanghai art world, examining the work of these figures as it appeared in pictorial magazines. It undertakes a detailed examination into the significance of the pictorial magazine as a medium for the dissemination of literature and art during the 1930s. The research locates the work of these artists and writers within the context of wider literary and art production in Shanghai, focusing on art, literature, cinema, music, and dance hall culture, with a specific emphasis on 1934 – ‘The Year of the Magazine’.
Textualization and Performance, Authorship and Censorship of the “National Drama” of China from the Late Qing to the Present
Author:
What was the most influential mass medium in China before the internet? Jingju (Peking opera)! Although its actors were commonly thought to have been illiterate, written and other inscripted versions of plays became more and more important and varied.
This book shows how increasing textualization and the resulting fixation of a performance tradition that once privileged improvisation changed the genre. It traces, from Jingju’s birth in the 19th century to the present, how texts were used for the production and consumption of this important performance genre and the changes in the concepts of authorship, copyright, and performance rights that took place during the process. The state’s desire to police what was performed is shown to have been a major factor in these changes.
The scope and coverage of the book is already unprecedented, but it is also supplemented by an additional chapter (on where the plays were performed, who performed them, and who went to see them) available for download online.
Shanghai Cartoon Artists, Shao Xunmei’s Circle and the Travels of Jack Chen, 1926-1938
Author:
In 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.
Volume Editors: and
Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China is a comprehensive introduction to the manuscripts known as daybooks, examples of which have been found in Warring States, Qin, and Han tombs (453 BCE–220 CE). Their main content concerns hemerology, or “knowledge of good and bad days.” Daybooks reveal the place of hemerology in daily life and are invaluable sources for the study of popular culture.
Eleven scholars have contributed chapters examining the daybooks from different perspectives, detailing their significance as manuscript-objects intended for everyday use and showing their connection to almanacs still popular in Chinese communities today as well as to hemerological literature in medieval Europe and ancient Babylon.
Contributors include: Marianne Bujard, László Sándor Chardonnens, Christopher Cullen, Donald Harper, Marc Kalinowski, Li Ling, Liu Lexian, Alasdair Livingstone, Richard Smith, Alain Thote, and Yan Changgui.
Eight studies examine key features of Chinese visual and material cultures, ranging from tomb design, metalware, ceramic pillows, and bronze mirrors, to printed illustrations, calligraphic rubbings, colophons, and paintings on Buddhist, landscape, and narrative themes. Questions addressed include how artists and artisans made their works, the ways both popular literature and market forces could shape ways of looking, and how practices and imagery spread across regions. The authors connect visual materials to funeral and religious practices, drama, poetry, literati life, travel, and trade, showing ways visual images and practices reflected, adapted to, and reproduced the culture and society around them. Readers will gain a stronger appreciation of the richness of the visual and material cultures of Middle Period China.

Patronage, Kiln Origin, and Iconography of the Yixian Luohans
Monks in Glaze is a complete reassessment of the famous group of large glazed ceramic sculptures known as the Yixian Luohans. Drawing upon hitherto-unknown epigraphic documents, Eileen Hsiang-ling Hsu proposes a new date (1511–1519) for the group’s production and, for the first time, identifies the kiln centre near Beijing as its birthplace.
Removed more than one hundred years ago from a massive grotto in northern China, the group’s provenance disappeared after its dispersal between 1913 and 1933. Delving into the social and economic issues of religious patronage, imperial workshop practice, and nuanced style of post-Yuan Buddhist art, Hsu convincingly shows that such a large group of masterworks were products of well-developed commercial economy of the Ming dynasty.
Ancestral Rites, Weights and Measures, and the Means of Protest
Author:
Michael Loewe calls on literary and material evidence to examine three problems that arose in administering China’s early empires. Religious rites due to an emperor’s predecessors must both pay the correct services to his ancestors and demonstrate his right to succeed to the throne. In practical terms, tax collectors, merchants, farmers and townsmen required the establishment of a standard set of weights and measures that was universally operative and which they could trust. Those who saw reason to criticise the decisions taken by the emperor and his immediate advisors, whether on grounds of moral principles or political expediency, needed opportunities and the means of expressing their views, whether as remonstrants to the throne, by withdrawal from public life or as authors of private writings.

Chinese Contemporary Art in the Post-Mao Era
Author:
Between State and Market: Chinese Contemporary Art in the Post-Mao Era examines the shift in the system of support for contemporary art in China between 1979 and 1993, from state patronage to the introduction of the market, and the hybrid space that developed in between. Today, soaring prices for contemporary art have triggered a debate about the deleterious effect of the market on art. Yet Jane DeBevoise argues that, in the post-Mao period, the imaginary of the marketplace was liberating, offering artists an alternative framework of legitimacy and support. Based on primary research, DeBevoise explores the entangled role of the state and the market, and how experimental artists and their champions in China negotiated to find a creative space between the two systems to produce and promote their work.
Author:
Western scholars of ancient Chinese ceramics have long thought blue and white porcelain manufactured before the Ming (1368-1644 A.D.), dates to the Yuan (1279-1368 A.D.). Even in China today these porcelains are still termed “Yuan Blue and White.” Based upon first-hand surveys of sites in Inner Mongolia, Adam T. Kessler’s Song Blue and White Porcelain on the Silk Road demonstrates that blue and white was made during the Song (960-1279 A.D.) ended up in the hands of the Xi Xia (1038-1226 A.D.) and the Jin (1115-1234 A.D.). Blue and white found today in hoards was buried prior to Mongol invasions of China in the 1200s. Sites from the Philippines to Egypt have yielded Song blue and white. Also reviewed is the cobalt-bearing ore used by Song China to create blue and white.