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China's Modern Sketch I
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Yu Yongpeng
“Repairing a Rich Man’s Head”
Instructions: The face is painted green to facilitate malingering.
The scalp is lubricated to slip out of tight situations. The eyes are different colors for sizing up different sorts of characters. The
ears are nailed shut to help shirk responsibility. The teeth are sharp
and the tongue coated with honey as an aid to persuasion. But little
does the rich man know how the small-timers leech off of him!


November 1934 [ms11_020_ModernSketch]

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Wang Dunqing
“Western Civilization”

March 1935 [ms15_020_ModernSketch]

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Pang Xunqin
“Aquatic Life”

April 1935 [ms16_000_ModernSketch]

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Chen Juanyin
“Spawn of the Local Kingpin”

April 1935 [ms16_020_ModernSketch]

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Lu Zhensheng
“Shanghai Dairy Farm”

May 1935 [ms17_019_ModernSketch]

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Lu Shaofei
“Peace No More!”

June 1935 [ms18_042_ModernSketch]

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Shang Ban Yu
“Bacteria from the ‘Sick Man of Asia’ at 2000x Magnification”

July 1936 [ms28_021_ModernSketch]

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Zhang Wenyuan
“World of Beasts”

November 1936 [ms32_023_ModernSketch]

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Zhang Wenyuan
“Emptying the Mind of the Four Temptations”
(clockwise from top left)
Bodhisattva Guanyin (The Money Lender)
Buddha of Immortality (The Opium Addict)
Daoist Immortal Liu Hai (The Capitalist)
Amida Buddha (The Philantropist)


April 1937 [ms37_021_ModernSketch]

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Huang Weiqiang
“The Internationalized Hong Kong Meat Market”

May 1937 [ms38_023_ModernSketch]

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Wang Zimei and Xi Yuqun
“Hung by the Heels in Hell”

June 1937 [ms39_010_ModernSketch]

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Wang Zimei
The massive expenditures of General Franco,
occupier of Bilbao, as seen by a Spanish infant


June 1937 [ms39_013_ModernSketch]

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Nine Thematic Visual Narratives

8. Modern Grotesque

Many streams of artistic influence fed the imagery of Modern Sketch. Where representations of the “modern girl” and “modern boy” drew mainly from stylish American jazz-age magazine illustration, other cartoonists picked and chose from among modern-art movements like cubism, surrealism, fauvism, and dada. Few rules applied to the young, almost totally uninstitutionalized art of Chinese cartooning, and the results could be fascinatingly grotesque.


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