Unveiling the enigma of Shanghai Style in art

An exhibition titled "The First Round Art Research Exhibition of Shanghai Style Painting from 1843 to 1927," is currently showcased at Liu Haisu Art Museum through March 17.

WHAT is Shanghai Style in art and who initiated this style?

Local visitors may find their answers at an exhibition titled “The First Round Art Research Exhibition of Shanghai Style Painting from 1843 to 1927,” currently showcased at Liu Haisu Art Museum through March 17.

In fact, many of the paintings displayed at the exhibition are being unveiled to the public for the first time. And big names in the art world, including Ren Bonian(1840-95), Wu Changshuo (1844-1927) and Huang Binhong (1865-1955), have pieces on show. Different from some art research exhibits that appear quite obscure in historical materials, the organizer has tried to present a more attractive exhibition mode.

For example, a replica of the Yu Garden entrance is set up on site, conjuring up a distant yet immersive feel for visitors. There are also some short videos being screened using figures and animals in the original artwork, telling an interesting story based on H5 technology.

The whole exhibition fully utilizes the on-site immersive scene, the original paintings, related historical materials and electronic interaction.

Jin Wenyi, curator of the exhibition, said: “Since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), a cluster of masters appeared in Shanghai, whose style combined both East and West. The beginning of modern Chinese art is originated from this Shanghai Style.”

The highlight of the exhibition is a fan painting created by Mei Lanfang (1894-1961), a notable Peking opera artist in modern Chinese theater. Known as “Queen of Peking Opera,” he was exclusively known for his female lead roles and particularly his “verdant robed girls,” young or middle-aged women of grace and refinement.

However apart from Peking Opera, Mei was also interested in fine art. He was tutored under Wu Changshuo, a prominent painter, calligrapher and seal artist of the late Qing period.

Date: 9am-4pm, through March 17

Address: 1609 Yan’an Road W.


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