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Portraits of Republican Leaders


Michel Hockx
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 14
Topic starter  

Hi Giulia, I really enjoyed your presentation. The editorial strategies to do with placement and contextualization of photographs, as well as choices to use different technologies, are all really important for the study of magazines. It's great to see Heidelberg scholars continuing to do important work in this area.

A lot of the material you use comes from Zhenxiang huabao , which as you mention was a pictorial magazine edited by famous artists. How does the political commentary you find in the materials fit into their overall artistic programme, often described as the "Lingnan School"?

Giulia Pra Floriani
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 6

Thank you Prof. Hockx for your comment and question!

Gao Jianfu, Gao Qifeng and Chen Shuren, that have been grouped under the Lingnan school of painting, first became members of the Tongmenghui Revolutionary league during their stays in Japan in the first years of the 20th century. Back to China, not just their political thought had undertook important changes, also the subject matter and style of their painting had changed importantly. Ralph Croizier in his Art and revolution in modern China reconstructs this period and the legacy of Japanese paining in their works.

I think the key to connect the mutually constitutive political and artistic programs embraced by the artists is the idea of newness and "modernity" that the revolution promised on both plans. While in this presentation I have mainly introduced photographs and sketches, paintings by the authors were often inserted in the magazine Zhenxiang Huabao The True Record via color prints. The paintings' subjects and style became a synonym of change and a call for revolution in both politics and art. The magazine provided space for art theory too: Chen Shuren kept a column titled Xin Huafa New Painting Methods where he introduced painting techniques that would be able to renew Chinese painting to make it suitable to represent a modern Nation, posing the roots for the idea of Guohua National painting.