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China's Modern Sketch I
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Lu Shaofei
“Unbridled Fantasy”
The Tumultuous Year of 1935 Begins

January 1935 [ms13_004_ModernSketch]

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Lan Weibang
“The March of the Japanese”

January 1935 [ms13_005_ModernSketch]

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Shen Yiqian
“The Lead Role, the Fans, and the Onlookers”

June 1935 [ms18_014_ModernSketch]

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Chen Juanyin
“Easier to Do than to Understand”

November 1935 [ms23_035_ModernSketch]

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Shen Yiqian
“Chinese Chess”

December 1935 [ms24_006_ModernSketch]

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Chen Juanyin
“Viewing the Sunrise over the East China Sea”

December 1935 [ms24_042_ModernSketch]

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Yang Yi Ding Jia
“Like My Lord Jesus, Do Not Resist”

January 1936 [ms25_006_ModernSketch]

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Fang Junhua
“Taken Down, One by One”
[Signboard:] “Imperialist Cuisine”
[Dough ball:] Shanxi & Shandong
[Rolling pin:] Manchuria & North China
[In bowl:] Taiwan, Ryukyu Islands, Korea


February 1936 [ms26_022_ModernSketch]

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Lu Fu
“Heaven, Earth, Emperor, Ancestor, Sage”

February 1936 [ms26_033_ModernSketch]

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Dou Zonggan
“A Glorious Day for Our Nation!”
(Humbly dedicated to the comrades of China’s armed forces)

July 1936 [ms28_020_ModernSketch]

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Feng Zili
“North China Collage”

August 1936 [ms29_010_ModernSketch]

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Lu Shaofei
“Reduced to a Pawn!”

October 1936 [ms31_000_ModernSketch]

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Zhang Wenyuan
“Setting the Tone”

October 1936 [ms31_022_ModernSketch]

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Qian Yuren
“Come Join the Race!”

October 1936 [ms31_046_ModernSketch]

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Dou Zonggan
“Military Supervisors of the Puppet-Bandit Army”

December 1936 [ms33_023_ModernSketch]

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Lao Ji
“The Winds of Fascism Blow Over the Land of the Apes”
Note: As everyone in the world knows, the Land of the Apes
are good at imitation and poor at invention. Now they are
again piling onto the bandwagon of the latest fashion,
thinking to outdo even their fascist forerunners!


May 1937 [ms38_006_ModernSketch]

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Nine Thematic Visual Narratives

7. The Japanese Menace

During the several years before Modern Sketch began publication, Japan had invaded Manchuria, taken over the neighboring province of Jehol (Rehe), and occupied even the Great Wall of China. By 1936, the Nationalist Government had been pressured into signing treaties that effectively ceded to Japan the northern provinces of Chahar, Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi, and Suiyuan. For Chiang Kai-shek, appeasing Japan meant more resources to attack a domestic foe: the Chinese communists. But China’s elites, cartoonists included, were outraged by this disregard for national integrity. Nor were they pleased with political passivity among their countrymen, or worse, the acts of collaboration—whether willing or coerced at bayonet-point—reported from the occupied northern provinces. The artists of Modern Sketch responded to the impending national crisis with unruly imagination, portraying Japan and the threat it posed with a cascade of unpredictably diverse satirical imagery.
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