The growth of Shanghai in the late nineteenth century gave rise to an exciting new art world in which a flourishing market in popular art became a highly visible part of the treaty port’s commercialized culture. Art Worlds examines the relationship between the city’s visual artists and their urban audiences. Through a discussion of images ranging from fashionable painted fans to lithograph-illustrated magazines, the book explores how popular art intersected with broader cultural trends. It also investigates the multiple roles played by the modern Chinese artist as image-maker, entrepreneur, celebrity and urban sojourner. Focusing on industrially produced images, mass advertisements and other hitherto neglected sources, the book offers a new interpretation of late Qing visual culture at a watershed moment in the history of modern Chinese art.
Art Worlds will be of interest to scholars of art history and to anyone with an interest in the cultural history of modern China.