Segments in this Video

Modern City in China (04:36)


Political refugees fleeing the Bolsheviks and Nazis flocked to Shanghai, seeking asylum in the 1920s. The Cercle Sportif Francais first incorporated Art Deco. Sir Victor Sassoon erected the Cathay Tower.

Foreign Architects (02:59)

Five percent of those who lived in Shanghai emigrated from other nations. László Hudec designed the first skyscraper in Asia—the Park Hotel Shanghai. Types of art deco include vertical focus, streamline detail, and Chinese deco.

Chinese-born Architects (04:33)

Poy Gum Lee was born in New York City and moved to China to design YMCA's. Chiang Kai-shek appointed Dong Dayou to design the Shanghai City Center. Robert Fan founded the Chinese Architect society.

Cinemas (02:47)

Most movie theaters incorporated the art deco style. Hudec and Fan respectively designed the Grand and the Majestic Theaters. The film industry resided in Shanghai during the 1920s and 1930s. Tourists could purchase maps that provided listing of where actors resided.

Art Deco in Movies (04:36)

In "The Goddess," the leading actress wore an art deco print to advertise she was a prostitute. "New Women" discusses the difference between the Chinese community and Westernized living. Cranley examines a qipao from the time period.

Art Deco Furniture (06:51)

Manufacturers incorporated Western design into Chinese construction techniques. Almost all art deco furniture in China is made from wood. Experts describe how furniture was mass produced and examine unique pieces.

Incorporating Western Influences (03:19)

Lu Xun became a leading figure of modern Chinese literature and published several books on Western art. Chinoiserie was an important component to art deco. Residents who lived in Shanghai wanted to be considered shimao.

Gender Equality (02:08)

Chinese schools forbade girls to cut their hair. Ruan Lingyu emerged as a prominent film star of the 1930s. Erte and Edgar Brandt copied the Chinese cloud design to use in their art.

Department Stores (06:05)

The Sincere contained a restaurant, hotel, and entertainment center. The Wing-on encompassed a restaurant, hotel, bank, and amusement park. Shanghai residents began to attend dance halls; musicians blended jazz with folk music to create a new style.

Posters and Advertisements (06:12)

Experts discuss the impact of the Shanghai pin-up girl. Borders were produced by different artists such as Zheng Guangyu, Liang Dingming, and Xie Zhiguang, and combined with the image. Women still wear qipaos of the time period.

Cultural Revolution (03:11)

Experts discuss how Communism influenced posters and advertisements. Art Deco faded from popularity. Artists started portraying peasants working to improve society and everyday life.

Attracting New Audiences (03:47)

Liu Jipiao studied at the L'Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts and showed designs at the Art Deco Expo of 1925. The architect wanted to bring China into the modern world and expose residents to western culture. Shanghai became the marketing and publishing center of the country.

Art Deco Calligraphy (06:11)

Jipiao wanted to be considered an artist even though he studied architecture. The West Lake Exhibition mimics the Art Deco Expo of 1925. Descendants discuss how the family fled to the United States after the Japanese invasion.

Art Deco Continues (02:02)

Experts discuss how Shanghai architects attempt to merge art deco with modern styles. Recently, the movement has experienced a renaissance.

Credits: Shanghai Deco (00:31)

Credits: Shanghai Deco

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Shanghai Deco

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $199.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $299.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



Art Deco design is where our modern world began and Shanghai may have been the place where art deco enjoyed its most diverse interpretation. During the 1920s and 30s, Shanghai was the most glamorous, cosmopolitan city in Asia. Dubbed “The Paris of the East,” it had both an expatriate community and a middle-class Chinese population that adopted many of the trappings of Western lifestyle: jazz, dancing, and nightclubs, as well as Art Deco design. Shanghai Deco focuses on the contributions of the Chinese designers and the problems of artistic repression in times of war and political upheaval, as well as the factors that led up to the adoption and eventual demise of Shanghai’s Art Deco lifestyle.

Length: 60 minutes

Item#: BVL154806

ISBN: 978-1-64347-865-4

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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