Poll: Your favorite Shanghai era

[polldaddy poll=2608818]

The museum’s Shanghai exhibition is organized into four main time periods. One of the themes that runs through the show concerns the attitudes to women expressed in Shanghai art. These four images of women will give a taste — but only a taste, since in each period the range of artistic activity is of course much wider than these images suggest — of the various phases in Shanghai’s artistic development. Asking you to name a favorite is a little silly, like asking what’s your favorite color, as if you would want everything in the world to be green or whatever; still, suppose you only had a few minutes to catch the show — which section would you head for?

Beginnings (1850-1911)

Shining Eyes and White Wrists, 1887-1893
By Wu Youru (1839-1897)
Ink on paper
H. 53.5 x W. 65.7 cm
Collection of the Shanghai History Museum

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High Times (1912-1949)

Southern Beauty, 1930s
By Hang Zhiying (1899-1947) or Zhiying Studio
Poster, chromolithograph
H. 78.0 x W. 54.0 cm
Collection of the Shanghai History Museum

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Revolution (1920-1976)

Peeling Corn (detail), 1963
By Yu Yunjie (1917-1992)
Oil on canvas
H. 80.0 x W. 120.0 cm
Collection of the Shanghai Art Museum

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Shanghai Today (1980-2010)

Honey, 2003
By Yang Fudong (b. 1971)
Video
9 minutes, 29 seconds
Private Collection

3 Responses to “Poll: Your favorite Shanghai era”

  1. nico  on January 28th, 2010 at 10:20 am

    while I love the drawings and appreciate the context of colonialism, and pretty ladies are hard to resist (but I’m tired of them), there’s no denying that the political growing pains-stage are the most interesting.
    “Marxist hotbed” doesn’t usually connote artistic greatness, and much of it falls to kitsch (cherries and fat babies and workers!), but I love it.
    When I finally see more than stills of the Kentridge-like video art, I reserve the right to change my mind.

  2. duriandave  on January 28th, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I had to go with High Times, since I never tire of those Shanghai calendar girls. But I’m certainly not averse to Revolution.

    Actually, High Times and Revolution are not totally exclusive. A lot of the leftist films of the early 30s mixed glamor with revolution. And the calendar girl pictorial style was later co-opted for the Communist propaganda posters, which continued to focus on pretty girls, albeit of a more proletarian nature. And how about those soldier ballerinas in the revolutionary model operas of the late 60s and early 70s!

    Here’s a clip of my favorite revolutionary glamor girl Li Lili in the 1933 silent film Daybreak.

  3. xensen  on January 28th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Duriandave, you’re right that the eras are not exclusive (in fact, you might notice that the dates overlap). They’re groupings of convenience, really.

    Thanks for the great clip. I’ve embedded it here.


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