Abstract

Establishing a strong identity is always a critical strategy in commercial graphic design. To achieve a sympathetic response from consumers by building an identity figure in advertising is the goal of each graphic designer. From the perspective of the history of Chinese graphic arts, the scholar occupies a significant position in this area. On the one hand, paintings by Chinese scholars established a style of Chinese painting called “Scholar Painting” (Wen-ren Hua 文人畫). On the other hand, these scholars frequently were present in or presented themselves in Chinese visual arts. Indeed, building the image of Chinese scholars has been a primary issue for pictorial designers in China for thousands of years. In the crucial year of 1843, Shanghai opened her harbor to the world, which meant that Chinese scholars then faced a variety of visual cultures from the West. In addition, the impact of the West forced Chinese scholars to rethink their image, as well as their attitude toward the public, especially after the May 4th Movement. This paper starts with a style analysis and uses iconographic studies methods to investigate the graphic design of the Chinese scholars’ image in painting and print media, such as books, magazines, and newspapers. Taking into account the communication and interaction between the West and the East, and tradition versus modernity, the graphic designers in Shanghai have reshaped a diverse image to depict the new Chinese scholar. All in all, this paper will draw attention to the issue of how the image of the Chinese scholar has been reshaped or is represented in modern Shanghai; it also attempts to demonstrate the deep relationship between design and culture from the past to the modern times in China.

Keywords

iconography, image, Chinese scholar, modern Shanghai

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Reshaping the Image of the Chinese Scholar in Modern Shanghai

Establishing a strong identity is always a critical strategy in commercial graphic design. To achieve a sympathetic response from consumers by building an identity figure in advertising is the goal of each graphic designer. From the perspective of the history of Chinese graphic arts, the scholar occupies a significant position in this area. On the one hand, paintings by Chinese scholars established a style of Chinese painting called “Scholar Painting” (Wen-ren Hua 文人畫). On the other hand, these scholars frequently were present in or presented themselves in Chinese visual arts. Indeed, building the image of Chinese scholars has been a primary issue for pictorial designers in China for thousands of years. In the crucial year of 1843, Shanghai opened her harbor to the world, which meant that Chinese scholars then faced a variety of visual cultures from the West. In addition, the impact of the West forced Chinese scholars to rethink their image, as well as their attitude toward the public, especially after the May 4th Movement. This paper starts with a style analysis and uses iconographic studies methods to investigate the graphic design of the Chinese scholars’ image in painting and print media, such as books, magazines, and newspapers. Taking into account the communication and interaction between the West and the East, and tradition versus modernity, the graphic designers in Shanghai have reshaped a diverse image to depict the new Chinese scholar. All in all, this paper will draw attention to the issue of how the image of the Chinese scholar has been reshaped or is represented in modern Shanghai; it also attempts to demonstrate the deep relationship between design and culture from the past to the modern times in China.

 

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