Pedith Pui Chan

The Making of a Modern Art World

Institutionalization and Legitimization of Guohua in Republican Shanghai

Brill 2017

New Books in ArtNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in East Asian StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books Network November 20, 2018 Ricarda Brosch

The Making of a Modern Art World: Institutionalization and Legitimization of Gouhua in Republican Shanghai (Brill, 2017) investigates the production and consumption of guohua...

The Making of a Modern Art World: Institutionalization and Legitimization of Gouhua in Republican Shanghai (Brill, 2017) investigates the production and consumption of guohua (“national painting”) in Shanghai between 1929 and the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese war in 1937. Defining the art world as sociologically constructed, Pedith Chan’s systematically researched book focuses on collective practices of artists and art associations, periodicals, art colleges, exhibitions, and the art market, all of which contributed to the institutionalisation and legitimisation of guohua in Republican Shanghai. Based on extensive primary source material, Chan lays bare the modus operandi of a modern art world in Republican Shanghai.

The book is an indispensable resource for anybody working in the field of 20th century Chinese painting, highlighting the changing hierarchies, networks and discursive practices that constituted Republican Shanghai guohua.


Ricarda Brosch is a curatorial assistant at the Asian Art Museum Berlin (Museum fur Asiatische Kunst Berlin – Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz), which is due to reopen as part of the Humboldt Forum in 2019. You can find out more about her work by following her on Twitter @RicardaBeatrix or getting in touch via [email protected].

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