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From the Modern Girl to Traditional Chinese Landscapes: Lang Jingshan's Art Photography in Republican Shanghai (1911-1949)


This thesis aims to explore the various stages of Lang Jingshan's photography from the modern girls, cityscapes to his well-known composite photographs during Republican Shanghai. Photographs that he submitted to popular magazines before the 1940s were often neglected in the media when one tries to tell a story about Lang. Thus, I will reveal his experiments in various photography styles, genres, and show that he was a complex artist who was not only an advocate for Chinese culture. The first section of the works I discuss is his portrays of modern Shanghai women published in popular magazines. These artworks celebrated modernity in Shanghai and exposed Lang's role as a trendy photographer. The second group of photographs is of scenes of the city, which Lang Jingshan focused on portraying modernity in Republican Shanghai to popular media. The third and last group of photographs is typical examples of Lang's composite photographs exhibited in western art salons that resembled traditional Chinese paintings. These aspects of his style not only showed the process of his photography development but also that he was conscious of the art scene during the Republican period and that he tailored each style with different audiences in mind.

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