Title

Modernization of China “All that is Solid Melts into Air”

Lead Author Major

Studio Art

Lead Author Status

Senior

Format

Senior Art and Design Exhibition

Faculty Mentor Name

Daniel Kasser

Faculty Mentor Email

dkasser@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Department of Art and Graphic Design

Abstract/Artist Statement

The theme of my senior project has a strong autobiographical foundation. It is about the transformation of my hometown city, Shanghai, China. I have become fascinated by my city’s evolution and how this theme has precedents in other modern cities throughout Asia and Europe.

My artworks are created from historical photographs of Shanghai from the 1920s to 2017. The photographs I used to create my montaged images come from several sources and interpretations of Shanghai’s history widely available on the internet. In essence, I am appropriating images and editing a personal view of Chinese history. I use photomontage techniques to juxtapose the collision of time and to express the profound changes that resulted in the physical landscape and cultural life of Shanghai. Being a part of the Shanghai community, I saw my beloved city changing step by step, eagerly embracing the possibilities of modernism. The progression was repetitive: tearing down the old buildings, erecting a glamorous modern building. Then the consequences came: large scale industrialization, environmental pollution of water and air. In my photomontages I illustrate the transitional conditions from old to new China. From this perspective, I frequently juxtapose gray scale images of the old city with colorful images of the new city.

Using the autobiographical premise for my artworks, I want my viewers to share my personal understanding of modernism and the paradoxes that the Chinese people have encountered by embracing the new and watching what Karl Marx said of modernism “All that is Solid Melt into Air.”

Location

Reynolds Gallery

Start Date

19-4-2017 12:00 PM

End Date

13-5-2017 6:00 PM

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Apr 19th, 12:00 PM May 13th, 6:00 PM

Modernization of China “All that is Solid Melts into Air”

Reynolds Gallery

The theme of my senior project has a strong autobiographical foundation. It is about the transformation of my hometown city, Shanghai, China. I have become fascinated by my city’s evolution and how this theme has precedents in other modern cities throughout Asia and Europe.

My artworks are created from historical photographs of Shanghai from the 1920s to 2017. The photographs I used to create my montaged images come from several sources and interpretations of Shanghai’s history widely available on the internet. In essence, I am appropriating images and editing a personal view of Chinese history. I use photomontage techniques to juxtapose the collision of time and to express the profound changes that resulted in the physical landscape and cultural life of Shanghai. Being a part of the Shanghai community, I saw my beloved city changing step by step, eagerly embracing the possibilities of modernism. The progression was repetitive: tearing down the old buildings, erecting a glamorous modern building. Then the consequences came: large scale industrialization, environmental pollution of water and air. In my photomontages I illustrate the transitional conditions from old to new China. From this perspective, I frequently juxtapose gray scale images of the old city with colorful images of the new city.

Using the autobiographical premise for my artworks, I want my viewers to share my personal understanding of modernism and the paradoxes that the Chinese people have encountered by embracing the new and watching what Karl Marx said of modernism “All that is Solid Melt into Air.”