Jenny Lin

2 Shanghai’s art in fashion The contemporary Chinese art/fashion system Since opening, the shopping mall and cultural complex Xintiandi has hosted a number of retailers claiming connections to old Shanghai or even more specific ties to the city’s cultural heritage.1 The complex has housed international hair salon Vidal Sassoon, owned by a descendant of Sir Victor Sassoon, a wealthy Sephardic merchant who played a seminal role in building Republican Shanghai’s International Settlement; and Layefe, a designer housewares store and fashion label founded by Chen

in Above sea
The Baghdadi Jewish community, 1845-1931
Chiara Betta

This chapter is concerned with the presentation of the Shanghai Baghdadi Jewish community from a fresh perspective, that of its marginal position within the Shanghai Western community. 1 For this purpose Baghdadi Jews will be considered in the following pages as ‘marginal Westerners’. The definition used here is meant to be broadly inclusive, and indeed incorporates five generations of Baghdadi Jews who differed substantially in the attitudes to the West and the Western presence in Shanghai. It should also be noted that

in New frontiers
An insulated community, 1875-1945
Christian Henriot

imperialism have paid little attention to the Japanese experience. The outstanding exceptions are the ground-breaking studies on the Japanese empire edited by Peter Duus, Mark Peattie and Ramon Myers. 1 The present chapter will contribute to this reflection through the study of a unique Japanese settlement in China. The Japanese community in Shanghai represents a special case in the Chinese context: ‘While the city was the earliest and most important focus for the interplay of Japanese power, capital, and settlement in China

in New frontiers
Dr Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People and the hybrid pathways of Chinese modernity
Alice Tsay

tale also suggests the ubiquity and pervasiveness of the product to which it alludes. In real life, Dr Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People never languished in the sea but made it across several oceans. This chapter examines advertisements for the product in Chinese-language publications in Shanghai during the early twentieth century, comparing them to English-language advertisements printed in Shanghai, England, and the United States. Much like the telephone poles that refuse to be silenced, the long advertising history of Dr Williams’ Pink Pills

in Progress and pathology
Mark F. Wilkinson

In 1930 Edgar Snow published an essay entitled ‘The Americans in Shanghai’. It is an ugly caricature of carousing hucksters, cross-eyed Bible peddlers and rampant venereal disease. Snow’s Americans proudly considered themselves the most wicked, and also the most cosmopolitan, of Shanghai’s foreigners – contemptuous of both the colonial British who ran the city and the Chinese who populated it. 1 Like many caricatures, this one contains some elements of truth, but the reality was less lurid and more complex. The

in New frontiers
Marcia R. Ristaino

Shanghai’s Russian connection began as a transhipment point for tea from Russian tea factories in Hankou destined for Russia. The Odessa Volunteer Fleet ferried the preferred red teas through the Shanghai port, greatly enriching those Russians involved in the tea trade. In 1860 the Russian government established a consulate at Shanghai which was managed initially by an American. British and American merchant consuls often ran the official affairs of governments with less than substantial interests in the city. By 1880

in New frontiers
The British recruits of 1919
Robert Bickers

workaday British servants of the world opened up to British empire. This chapter examines the lives, careers and mentalities of one such group in Shanghai: British men in the Shanghai Municipal Police (SMP). In particular it looks at seventy-four men recruited in 1919. Records of lower-class colonists have often failed to survive in the archives, except perhaps in court records. Fortunately, personnel and administrative files of the SMP, and files of the Secretariat of the Shanghai Municipal Council which oversaw it, survive in

in New frontiers
Jenny Lin

From Shanghai to New York by way of conclusion In writing this book, I set out to examine Shanghai’s ghosts, forgotten artists, and repressed cultural histories lingering beneath the city’s designer surfaces. I explored how contemporary artists have confronted and constructed projects around Shanghai’s specters. Considering the prevalence of superficial emphases on old Shanghai seen in contemporary Shanghai-based design projects like Xintiandi and Shanghai Tang, I, like many of the artists I presented (e.g., Ding Yi, Yang Fudong, Xu Bing), found it necessary to

in Above sea
Abstract only
Contemporary art, urban culture, and the fashioning of global Shanghai
Author: Jenny Lin

Shanghai, long known as mainland China’s most cosmopolitan metropolis, has recently re-emerged as a global capital. Above sea: Contemporary art, urban culture, and the fashioning of global Shanghai offers the first in-depth examination of turn of the twenty-first-century Shanghai-based art and design—from state-sponsored exhibitions to fashionable cultural complexes to cutting-edge films and installations. This book offers a counter-touristic view of one of the world’s fastest developing megacities, one that penetrates the contradictions and buried layers of specific locales and artifacts of visual culture. Informed by years of in-situ research, including interviews with artists and designers, the book looks beyond contemporary art’s global hype to reveal persistent socio-political tensions accompanying Shanghai’s explosive transitions from semi-colonial capitalism to Maoist socialism to Communist Party–sponsored capitalism. Analyses of exemplary design projects such as Xintiandi and Shanghai Tang and artworks by Liu Jianhua, Yang Fudong, Gu Wenda, and others reveal how Shanghai’s global aesthetics construct glamorizing artifices that mask historically rooted cross-cultural conflicts between vying notions of foreign-influenced modernity versus anti-colonialist nationalism, and the city’s repressed socialist past versus its consumerist present. The book focuses on Shanghai-based art and design from the 1990s–2000s, the decades of the city’s most rapid post-socialist development, while also attending to pivotal Republican and Mao-era examples. Challenging the “East-meets-West” clichés that characterize discussions of urban Shanghai and contemporary Chinese art, this book illuminates critical issues facing today’s artists, architects, and designers and provides an essential field guide for students of art, design, art history, urban studies, and Chinese culture.

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Imperialism's new communities in East Asia, 1842-1953

In the new world order mapped out by Japanese and Western imperialism in East Asia after the mid-nineteenth century opium wars, communities of merchants and settlers took root in China and Korea. New identities were constructed, new modes of collaboration formed and new boundaries between the indigenous and foreign communities were established. This book explores two themes at the heart of the colonial process: agency and identity. The agents of British empire in China included the usual suspects: Britons from the official and military castes, as well as Iraqi Jewish merchants, Parsis and Indian Jews, Eurasians, South East Asian Chinese. The reliance of colonial regimes on local middlemen has become an essential part of any explanation of colonialism, though it is only very recently that the model has been systematically applied to Hong Kong. The Daniel Richard Caldwell affair could hardly have broken out at a more difficult time for the young and problematic British colony at Hong Kong. The book defines the ambiguous positioning of the Baghdadis vis-a-vis the British, and shows that their marginality did not represent, as a whole, a significant hindrance to their sojourn in the Shanghai foreign settlements. In Shanghai the German community recognised the leading role which the Nazi party held and which everyone, even the other foreign communities, seemed to accept. The book also looks at the aspects of their economic, social and political life that Indians led in the colony of Hong Kong and in the Chinese treaty ports.