The Rise of Moder­nity: First- Gen Chi­nese Ar­chi­tects from Upenn

Au­gust 18 – Oc­to­ber 14, 2018 Power Sta­tion of Art, Shang­hai

China Pictorial (English) - - CULTURE -

The emer­gence of in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and ur­ban­iza­tion hap­pened in Shang­hai in the early 20th cen­tury, trig­ger­ing cit­i­zens’ dual needs for prac­ti­cal and aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing ar­chi­tec­ture. The era was also a his­tor­i­cal turn­ing point for China’s “first-gen­er­a­tion ar­chi­tects” (roughly 20 prom­i­nent trail­blaz­ers in­clud­ing Zhu Bin, Fan Wen­zhao and Liang Sicheng) who stud­ied at the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia and then re­turned to China to be­come the back­bone of modern ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign and ur­ban con­struc­tion in the coun­try.

The ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures two parts. The first sec­tion fo­cuses on con­tri­bu­tions in ar­chi­tec­tural prac­tice in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tional sys­tems, aca­demic jour­nals and ur­ban plan­ning of the “first-gen­er­a­tion ar­chi­tects.” The sec­ond part an­a­lyzes lo­cal pub­lic and res­i­den­tial projects: Shang­hai The­ater, Ma­jes­tic The­ater and more. Through each sin­gle case, the study il­lu­mi­nates the in­tri­cate in­ter­ac­tions be­tween in­di­vid­ual, city and the times.

A draw­ing of the Ma­jes­tic Theatre by Fan Wen­zhao, 1941.

Evo­lu­tion of the Gen­eral Ap­pear­ance of Tim­ber-framed Halls by Liang Sicheng in the 1930s.

A de­sign sketch of wooden man­tels and fire­places by Tong Jun, 1925.

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