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New Wine in Old Bottles: The Art of Ren Bonian in Nineteenth-century Shanghai
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New Wine in Old Bottles: The Art of Ren Bonian in Nineteenth-century Shanghai (Hardback)

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While modern scholars stress the transmission of western art and its influence on twentieth-century Chinese painting, the flow of modernisation and foreign influences actually began during the late nineteenth century, through the contacts of the Shanghai Painting School with Japan and the West. The main purpose of this book is to explain the dependent interrelationship of the most celebrated painter of his time - Ren Bonian (1840-1895) - and the cultural circumstances defined by his urban environment - the treaty port of Shanghai from the first Opium War (1839-1842) to the First Sino-Japanese War (1895-96). In addition to the usual approach of art historians, this study of Ren Bonian in late Qing Shanghai adopts two key themes which appear continuously throughout the book: theme one is Shanghai as the site for China's first phase of modernity, in the form of technological experimentation and innovation; theme two is Shanghai as a metropolitan site for cultural pluralism and social change.

In taking Ren Bonian as a key exemplar, this book explores the degree to which a traditional Chinese artist chose to adopt his new role as modern-day man in a changing society, and the extent to which he accepted or refused foreign conventions. In viewing Ren's art in the context of nineteenth-century Shanghai, his work thus become a source not only of information about his education and class, but also about the situation of the artist. The situations that had reinforced the popular appeal of Ren's art in his times are consequently what defined the Shanghai School and its modernity.

Art, Fashion & PhotographyArt monographs, history & theoryHistory of art / art & design stylesArt styles not defined by dateArt, Fashion & PhotographyArt monographs, history & theoryHistory of art / art & design stylesHistory of art: c 1800 to c 1900 Publisher: EAPGROUP Publication Date: 02/02/2007 ISBN-13: 9781872843506  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Yang Chialing received a BA and MA from the National Taiwan University and Warwick University respectively, and a PhD at the University of London (SOAS). Currently she is a Lecturer of Art History at the University of Sussex. Dr Yang also lectures on the British Museum courses in Chinese Painting and has contributed to publications on modern Chinese art.

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