By Jason Cody Douglass Armed with a Type-38 rifle to protect herself from bandits, 16-year-old camerawoman Duan Xiaoxuan ventured into the countryside outside of Changchun with half a dozen fellow animators to complete research and preproduction for Thank You, Kitty (1950). Duan had already worked at the Northeast Film Studio for two years at that … Continue reading Chinese Animation and Socialism: From Animators’ Perspectives, edited by Daisy Yan Du. Brill, 2022. 287 pp.
By Muyang Zhuang In December 2020, an exhibition was held by the Guardian Art Center in Beijing to celebrate the 120th birthday of Zhang Guangyu (1900–1965), one of the most important Chinese cartoonists. According to the curator, Zhang Guangyu was the pioneer of not only Chinese cartoons, but also graphic design and animation.The curator divided … Continue reading Bell Boy: Cartoonists and Animated Filmmaking in Southern China, 1940–1949
By Christopher Rea Animation appears throughout Chinese cinema of the Republican era (1912-1949). Historians have paid close attention to the handful of available fully-animated Republican films. Yet dozens of live-action films also include animated segments, and examining where, when, and why such short animations appear might open up new possible approaches both to animation studies … Continue reading Animation and the Republican Chinese Film Industry
By Adela Hurtado It was Fall 2016, and I was studying law for a semester in Shanghai at the East China University of Political Science and Law (“ECUPL”) when I first became interested in Chinese animation. I had loved China itself since I was a child after reading “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” in the … Continue reading Journey to the Best: A Journey through Law and Policy for a Flourishing Chinese Animation Industry
By John A. Crespi What exactly are manhua, otherwise known as Chinese “cartoons”? The word manhua is easy to trace. It is a cognate of the Japanese word manga, though the two-character compound was used on occasion in China from the Song dynasty, in reference to a bird rather than pictures. The art of manhua, … Continue reading Manhua as Magazine: The Case of Shanghai Sketch no. 10
By Chuanhui Meng Rebecca Scott’s PhD dissertation, “The Production and Distribution of Lianhuanhua 1949-1966″ (University of Nottingham, 2016), looks at an intriguing and understudied medium lianhuanhua (linked pictures) during the first 17 years of socialist China. Through comprehensive and in-depth survey of both the production and distribution of lianhuanhua, Scott sheds exclusive light on political … Continue reading The Production and Distribution of Lianhuanhua 1949-1966, Ph.D. Dissertation, by Rebecca Scott, University of Nottingham, 2016. 322 pp.
By Jeremy E. Taylor John A. Crespi’s Manhua Modernity: Chinese Culture and the Pictorial Turn represents an important contribution to the study of print and visual cultures in mid-twentieth-century China. Given the prominence of Republican Shanghai in Crespi’s narrative, this book might also be seen as part of a broader attempt to re-assess the place … Continue reading Manhua Modernity: Chinese Culture and the Pictorial Turn, by John A. Crespi. University of California Press, 2020. 198 pp.
By Li Guo In her recently published monograph Puppets, Gods, and Brands: Theorizing the Age of Animation from Taiwan, Teri Silvio insightfully observes that for the author, the animation model could also be utilized to display “how specific local cultural traditions make sense of and contribute to global transformations.” Further, Silvio observes that “recent transformations … Continue reading Hauntological Aesthetics in Taiwanese Animation Feature Grandma and Her Ghosts (1998)
By Muyang Zhuang Manhua, a Chinese term that can be translated into English as cartoon or caricature, was a popular art form that flourished in early 20th century China. Emerging in treaty ports such as Shanghai and Tianjin in the late Qing Dynasty, most manhua was published in newspapers or pictorial magazines. Mainly serving as … Continue reading A Literature Review on Manhua Studies
By CHEN Yishui; adapted by Yixing Li While Chinese animation originated in the 1920s and had an early impact on world animation, animation studies in mainland China remained rudimentary until the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. The field developed steadily after the Reform and Opening-up and has made significant progress in … Continue reading An Overview of Animation Studies in Mainland China, 1949-2020