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Re-framing the Ordinary: The Place and Time of “Art Photography” in Liangyou, 1926–1930

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Chapter Summary

This chapter uses Liangyou as an entry point into this early history of art photography in China in the mid to late 1920s as it was simultaneously being framed and re-framed. The re-framing of art photography initiated in Liangyou under Liang Desuo made it possible for art photography - not individual photographs - to signify Liangyou's engagement with contemporary debates about modern art seen most often in ink and oil painting circles in Republican China. The role of editorial design in re-framing art photography is evident from its very first appearance in the fifth issue of Liangyou in 1926, which features three overlapped landscape photographs. One could argue that this display of art photography in Liangyou allowed the photographs to be viewed as ontologically distinct from the photographs that appeared on its news pages.

Keywords: art photography; landscape photographs; Liang Desuo; Liangyou; oil painting; Republican China



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