Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Visual Culture in Contemporary China
Paradigms and Shifts

$32.99 (G)

  • Date Published: March 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107446373

$ 32.99 (G)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Exploring a wealth of images ranging from woodblock prints to oil paintings, this beautifully illustrated full-color study takes up key elements of the visual culture produced in the People's Republic of China from its founding in 1949 to the present day. In a challenge to prevailing perceptions, Xiaobing Tang argues that contemporary Chinese visual culture is too complex to be understood in terms of a simple binary of government propaganda and dissident art, and that new ways must be sought to explain as well as appreciate its multiple sources and enduring visions. Drawing on rich artistic, literary, and sociopolitical backgrounds, Tang presents a series of insightful readings of paradigmatic works in contemporary Chinese visual arts and cinema. Lucidly written and organized to address provocative questions, this compelling study underscores the global and historical context of Chinese visual culture and offers a timely new perspective on our understanding of China today.

    • A rich, informative and in-depth analysis of a continually changing China through its visual expressions since 1949
    • Challenges prevailing western perceptions of contemporary China
    • Places Chinese visual culture within a global and historical context, illustrating the diversity of Chinese history and society
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is a must-read for anyone interested in China’s post-socialist and socialist eras and the continuing, lively interaction between the two. In putting visual culture at the centre of contemporary Chinese historical developments, Tang challenges our assumptions about what China is and is not."
    Paul A. Clark, University of Auckland

    "A thought-provoking and outstanding contribution to the field. Xiaobing Tang urges Western viewers and reviewers to set aside constrictive paradigms and consider China’s socialist and contemporary culture in its complexity and uniqueness."
    Richard King, University of Victoria

    "This is an indispensable volume for understanding the development of Chinese modernity."
    Chang Tsong-Zung, curator and co-founder of the Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong, co-founder of the Hong Kong chapter of AICA, and guest Professor, China Art Academy

    'In this gorgeously illustrated, richly produced book, Xiaobing Tang introduces visual culture studies to several cultural sectors in the People’s Republic of China … Tang’s book is a timely and forcefully argued study that points the way for future research of visual culture in China.' Sean Macdonald, Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

    '… in this very readable history of the development of visual culture in contemporary China, Tang has succeeded in bringing together a number of vastly different topics and artistic styles and developments.' Stefan Landsberger, Pacific Affairs

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107446373
    • length: 287 pages
    • dimensions: 247 x 174 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 90 colour illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    A brief timeline of relevant events
    Introduction: toward a short history of visual culture in contemporary China
    1. How was socialist visual culture created? Part I. Revelations of an Art Form:
    2. How was socialist visual culture created? Part II. Revelations of a History Painting:
    3. What do we see in New China cinema?
    4. What does socialist visual experience mean to contemporary art?
    5. How (not) to watch a Chinese blockbuster
    6. Where to look for art in contemporary China?
    Conclusion: seeing China from afar
    Select bibliography

  • Author

    Xiaobing Tang, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Xiaobing Tang is Helmut F. Stern Professor of Modern Chinese Studies and Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on twentieth-century Chinese literature, visual arts, and cultural politics. He has published in Chinese and English on a broad range of topics and different cultural texts. His English publications include Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde (2008) and Chinese Modern (2000). In 2011, he guest-curated Multiple Impressions: Contemporary Chinese Woodblock Prints for the University of Michigan Museum of Art and edited the exhibition catalogue.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.