Picturing Men and Women in the Chinese 1911 Revolution

In: NAN NÜ
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Login via Institution

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€25.00$30.00

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century many Han Chinese, under the leadership of Sun Yatsen (1866-1925) and others sought to overthrow the Manchu Qing dynasty. This movement culminated in the Revolution which began in October 1911 and ultimately deposed the Qing imperial household, permitting the establishment of a republican government. As the Revolution progressed, the commercial popular print business, through inexpensive lithographs and woodblock prints, provided citizens with illustrations of important events in the Revolution, as well as portraits of male and female participants. Modern commentary on these prints identifies the subjects depicted, but neglects the artistic elements. To fill this gap, this study examines the artistic aspects of these prints and reveals that the source of the compositional formats lies in well-established formulae, some of which go back to the eighteenth century. For specific portraits of male participants in particular, print designers often relied on current photographs, thus melding old and new. For representations of female military participants, print designers, mostly eschewing photographs of them, provided imaginary portraits, some of which are based on depictions of anonymous women, again, already a part of the print legacy. The prints frequently feature two military women famous at the time, one real (Cao Daoxin) and one fictional (Xu Wuying); this essay explains how and why images of them were so widespread in the popular print media.

  • 6

    Hummel, ed., Eminent Chinese of the Ch’ing, 128.

  • 12

    David Strand, An Unfinished Republic: Leading by Word and Deed in Modern China (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2011), 24.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13

    Strand, An Unfinished Republic, 26. Other participants in the revolutionary movement will be identified as needed below.

  • 25

    Boorman and Howard, eds., Biographical Dictionary of Republican China, 2:159-166.

  • 28

    Boorman and Howard, eds., Biographical Dictionary of Republican China, 1:359.

  • 29

    Biography in Boorman and Howard, eds., Biographical Dictionary of Republican China, 3:220-223.

  • 31

    Hanchao Lu, The Birth of a Republic: Francis Stafford’s Photographs of China’s 1911 Revolution and Beyond (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010), 7-9; Zouxiang xinhai geming zhi lu, 120—this book also reproduces many of Stafford’s photographs.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32

    Dingle, China’s Revolution, viii.

  • 33

    Gao Lao 高勞, “Geming zhanshi ji 革命戰事記,” Dongfang zazhi 8, no. 9 (1911): 7-24 (photocopy; Taipei: Taiwan Shangwu yinshuguan, 1971-1973), 20683-20700.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 36

    Lu, Birth of a Republic, 72.

  • 42

    Nancy Berliner, “The Eight Brokens: Trompe-l’oeil Paintings in China,” Orientations 13 (1992): 61-70; Nancy Berliner, “Questions of Authorship in Bapo Trompe l’oeil in Twentieth-Century Shanghai,” Apollo 147 (1998):17-22.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 45

    For an example, see Bo Songnian, Chinese New Year Pictures (Beijing: Cultural Relics Publishing House, 1995), 100.

  • 47

    Terese Tse Bartholomew, Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art (San Francisco: Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 2006), 76.

  • 49

    Bartholomew, Hidden Meanings, 155.

  • 50

    Bartholomew, Hidden Meanings, 206.

  • 51

    Bartholomew, Hidden Meanings, 30.

  • 52

    Bartholomew, Hidden Meanings, 31.

  • 53

    Robert Opie, Rule Britannia: Trading on the British Image (Middlesex and New York: Viking, 1985), 64.

  • 54

    John Fitzgerald, Awakening China: Politics, Culture, and Class in the Nationalist Revolution (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996), 181.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 57

    Fitzgerald, Awakening China, 181.

  • 60

    Lin Wei-hung, “Activities of Woman Revolutionists,” 247. This observation is echoed by Rong Tiesheng, “The Women’s Movement in China Before and After the 1911 Revolution,” in Chün-tu Hsüeh, ed. The Chinese Revolution of 1911: New Perspectives (Hong Kong: Joint Publishers, 1986), 139-74, and see 154.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 61

    Lin Wei-hung, “Activities of Woman Revolutionists,” 245-299.

  • 62

    See Ono, Chinese Women in a Century of Revolution, 72-73.

  • 63

    Barbara Bennett Peterson, Notable Women of China (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2000), 269-75. See also, Lan Dong, Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2011), 21-23.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 65

    Frederick Wakeman, Jr., The Fall of Imperial China (New York: Free Press, 1975), 161, n. 17.

  • 66

    Ono, Chinese Women in a Century of Revolution, 74.

  • 67

    Lin Wei-hung, “Activities of Women Revolutionists,” 258.

  • 68

    Lin Wei-hung, “Activities of Women Revolutionists,” 258-59.

  • 69

    Lin Wei-hung, “Activities of Woman Revolutionists,” 299.

  • 72

    Ono, Chinese Women in a Century of Revolution, 75.

  • 74

    Yuxin Ma, Women Journalists and Feminism in China, 1898-1937 (Amherst. NY: Cambria Press, 2010), 104; Rong, “The Women’s Movement in China,” 159. The Yin sisters were students of Qiu Jin; they participated in several armed uprisings and later carried out liaison and spy activities in Shanghai. See also, Lin Wei-hung, “Activities of Woman Revolutionists,” 284 and Louise Edwards, Gender, Politics, and Democracy: Women’s Suffrage in China (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), 48.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 75

    Rong, “The Women’s Movement in China,” 158. For an account of Chen’s role in the Revolution, see Rankin, Early Chinese Revolutionaries, esp. 203-209; for a full biography of Chen Qimei , see Boorman and Howard, eds., Biographical Dictionary of Republican China, 1: 163-165.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 76

    Rong, “The Women’s Movement in China,” 158.

  • 77

    Lin Wei-hung, “Activities of Woman Revolutionists,” 284; Rong, “The Women’s Movement in China,” 158-159.

  • 78

    Ma, Women Journalists, 103-04.

  • 80

    Edwards, Gender, Politics, and Democracy, 50.

  • 86

    Ono, Chinese Women in a Century of Revolution, 75. He would later contribute an essay on the Shanghai Women’s Northern Expedition Dare-to-die Brigade (“Shanghai nüzi beifa gansidui,” see n.79). Another possible school where women might have learned military tactics was the Shanghai nüzi shangwu hui上海女子尚武會 which in February 1912, sent a message of congratulations to Yuan Shikai as president of the Republic. See Linshi gongbao 臨時公報 (19 February 1912 Beijing; reprint, Taipei: Zhongyang wenwu gongyingshe, 1968), 171.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 87

    Paul J. Bailey, Gender and Education in China: Gender Discourses and Women’s Schooling in the Early Twentieth Century (London and New York: Routledge, 2007), 69.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 88

    Lin Wei-hung, “Activities of Woman Revolutionists,” 290; Strand, An Unfinished Rep­ublic, 111; Du Wei, “Shanghai nüzi beifa gansidui,” 62.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 96

    Edwards, “Dressing for Power,” 51.

  • 98

    Li Xisuo and Xu Ning, “Minyuan qianhou (1911-1913) Minguo ‘Canzheng re’ pingxi,” Tianjin shehui kexue 2 (1992): 52, cited in Strand, An Unfinished Republic, 97.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 99

    Lin Wei-hung, “Activities of Woman Revolutionists,” 290.

  • 100

    Paul Bailey, “‘Women Behaving Badly’: Crime, Transgressive Behavior and Gender in Early Twentieth Century China,” Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in China 8. 1 (2006):156-97, and see 194.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 102

    Strand, An Unfinished Republic, 109.

  • 105

    Sun Yuanchao 孫元超, “Xu Xilin nianpu 徐錫麟年譜,” in Xinhai geming silieshi nianpu 辛亥革命四烈士年譜(Beijing: Beijing tushuguan, 1981), 4.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 108

    Ma, Women Journalists, 104; Wu Zhenglan, “Funü yu geming 婦女與革命,” Funü shibao 6 (November 1911), 3 (photocopy, 2:651).

  • 112

    Meng Yue, Shanghai, 81-83. For other examples, see Meng Yue, 107, 109-10.

  • 113

    Beahan, “The Women’s Movement and Nationalism in Late Ch’ing China,” 312; Lin Wei-hung, “Activities of Woman Revolutionists, 255.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 114

    Meng Yue, Shanghai, 114.

  • 115

    Strand, An Unfinished Republic, 115-116.

  • 119

    Lin Wei-hung, “Activities of Women Revolutionaries”, 289.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 229 159 11
Full Text Views 56 30 1
PDF Downloads 38 21 1