Arts and Culture
With the massive attacks of the Japanese in 1937, the Chinese were forced into a mass migration inland. After continuous withdrawals, the Guomindang Party in 1938 decided to settle permanently in a naturally well-defended site: Chongqing. The new Nationalist capital became the home of the ruling class, the literati, and some major international relief groups. Due to its proximity to Chongqing, Chengdu experienced a period of strong artistic vitality, which is still understudied. Nevertheless, the experience of a few refugee artists may help us understand this process.
This research attempts to investigate the artistic production of the city during the war, and to reveal new aspects of the development of modern Chinese art, especially between the 1940s and the 1980s. This study examines the role of Chengdu as an international cultural hub; it relates the city to its previous situation, and reviews its main intellectual and stylistic evolutions.
The final goal of this research is to show the contribution of this particular historical moment within the development of Chinese art in the twentieth century.
The project was kindly supported by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation’s Library Travel Grant.