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Difference of the Imagery Style between Chinese traditional Wood Block Art and Late Qing Lithography Art

Wed, June 24, 11:05am to 1:00pm, South Building, Floor: 7th Floor, S702


Beginning in the late Qing Dynasty, the western technique of lithography was been introduced into China and developed rapidly in the port city Shanghai. This technique has played a critical role in creating the modern style of print image and forging the modern printing industry of China. The adoption of this specific technique, accompanied by the pursuit for new culture by the emerging social group of urban middle class citizens, has facilitated the transformation of printing works from the old tradition of wood block works and helped create new imagery and concepts, which reflect greater affinity with the descriptive and realistic western model. The new inter-culture print image, which immediately gained popularity, has the great advantage of being able to carry mass information and expressing modern views and opinions. Represented by pictorial magazines, the new media provided an efficient way for the circulation of images, and generated great social influence. Combined with news press, commercial activities, and education, the print image of lithography, characterized by its special visual language and wide coverage, has greatly contributed to the evolution and transformation of the urban culture and social opinions. By comparing the imagery styles of Chinese traditional wood block art and late Qing lithography art, this paper intends to explore the technical and conceptual reasons behind the differences, and why the latter has replaced the former.