Click the player below to listen to Lynn Pan's 2008 talk at the Shanghai International Literary Festival. Podcast audio provided by SILF at Glamour Bar or click here to save the mp3 to your computer. Sound recording and engineering by Tom Lee Pettersen.
BOOK LAUNCH: Shanghai Style: Art and Design Between the Wars It’s the iconic style that defines Shanghai, but where did it come from? In Shanghai Style, Lynn Pan takes the first in-depth look, in any language, at Shanghai’s grand interwar experiment with modernity in the visual arts. Pan will introduce the engaging personalities – artists, designers, architects, interior designers -- who were working in Shanghai during the first half of the 20th century, and trace the historical and artistic roots of Shanghai Style.
Lynn Pan is the modern-day writer of China's vast diaspora. Brought up in Malaysia by parents who tried to "recreate Shanghai of the heydays in the jungle" and so left her all but ignorant of the Malaysian culture around her, Pan left for England and studied at the universities of London and Cambridge. It was there, she says, that she discovered the culture of the city of her birth for the first time. Her Sons of the Yellow Emperor, which won the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, has become a classic of popular scholarship on the Chinese diaspora, while Tracing It Home described her personal rediscovery of Shanghai. As director of the Chinese Heritage Centre in Singapore, she compiled The Encyclopedia of Overseas Chinese. She has lived in London, Helsinki, Geneva, Singapore and Hong Kong, and now lives in Shanghai, the city of her birth.
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Modernism, fauvism, surrealism, cubism. Corinthian, Bauhaus, Matisse, Le Corbusier. Lynn Pan spoke of all these influences and more in relation to Shanghai and it's classic/ever-evolving style. "Art Nouveau" then is now "Art Deco"? "Shanghai style," or haipai, is actually a rebellion again traditional Beijing designs? Shanghai had a Le Corbusier-inspired market?! I am devouring Pan's book, word by word, photo by photo--absolutely fascinating.
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