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Blossoming Beyond the Pages: Female Painterly Modernities in Liangyou

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that for women artists, especially traditional painters, popular pictorials only partially served their modernity project. It follows two analytical threads - art-historical and social - to examine the modernities that female painters manifested in late 1920s and 1930s Shanghai. Women guohua artists shared the same passion with other Chinese Painting Society (CPS) members for developing and promoting Chinese art domestically and abroad. One may assume that Liangyou wanted to show the tame and approachable side of these women, for which they perhaps were not known publicly, to reassure readers of their "classic" female qualities. While Liangyou perpetuated certain old-society attitudes toward strong women, it also repackaged female virtues in a modern way: the society is tolerant of a whole spectrum of do-good ladies operating within the social register.

Keywords: Chinese art; Chinese Painting Society (CPS); female painters; Liangyou; Shanghai; Women guohua artists



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