October 2013

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 3:32 am

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 5:52 am


Native Dieselpunk?

1. Santa Fe Indian Market, 1938.

2. Crow Fair, 1940.

3. Joe Medicine Crow, who completed all the traditional tasks to become a war chief in Germany during WWII.

4. Red Cloud Woman getting her nails done in Denver, 1941.

5. Zitkala-Sa, a writer and activist who wrote the first American Indian opera in 1913 and founded the National Council of American Indians in 1926.

6. Choctaw Code Talkers in WWI, when they were still not even citizens of the US.

7. Women surrounding a sign on the Yakima reservation warning non-Indians to stay out, 1950s.

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 1:33 am

During the 1920s and 30s, Shanghai’s movie, music and fashion industries started to take off. Modelled on the fashion of Western countries and imitating the ‘star-making factories’ that produced starlets and sirens became the driving force behind the Chinese entertainment industry. The result was a generation of actresses – from the traditionally demure to the modern seductress – that have become legends for both their successful careers and scandalous personal lives.

Read more at the source.

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 1:29 am

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 1:07 am

Shanghai Expression: Graphic Design in China in the 1920s and 30s

As featured in the book Chinese Graphic Design in the Twentieth Century by Scott Minick and Jiao Ping

About half of this 160-page book is devoted to the 1920s and 30s, when the ideas of writer and artist Lu Xun were very influential, particularly on the young design professionals involved with the May Fourth Movement. My favorite factoid in the book: Lu Xun—who introduced modern woodblock techniques to China—loved the German Expressionists and Käthe Kollwitz in particular. The authors point out that though Lu Xun taught many Western techniques, he always encouraged designers to seek inspiration in Chinese design history.

Publisher’s description:

From posters and advertisements to book covers and magazines, this book presents a dazzling panoply of modern graphic design in China.

Beginning with the basic traditions of Chinese graphics, the authors show how the writer and artist Lu Xun became the center of cultural revival in the new China. We see Art Deco coming to China in the Shanghai Style, and the birth of a dynamic national design style, born of Russian Constructivism and China’s own drive for new technology. The Socialist Realist art of Mao in turn adopted folk art traditions to fuel the Revolutionary machine, while the continuing search for a new identity can be seen in the graphic images of protest from the summer of 1989. 150 color and 135 black-and-white photographs and illustrations.

Chinese Graphic Design in the Twentieth Century makes a nice companion to the Steven Heller’s Art Deco Graphic Design series for Chronicle (though it’s published by Thames & Hudson).

See more at the source.

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 1:02 am

Black Empire: George Schulyer, Black Radicalism and Dieselpunk–Guest blog by P. Djeli Clark

Black Empire: George Schulyer, Black Radicalism and Dieselpunk–Guest blog by P. Djeli Clark

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 12:59 am

In the 1930s, Adelaide “Su-Lin” Young, the pampered and glamorous daughter of a New York nightclub owner, morphed into one of the first female explorers to venture into the part of China devastated by last week’s earthquake.

It was an unlikely transformation that led to an unusual distinction: She became the namesake for two giant pandas living in the United States.

“She was very strong," Jackie Wan said of her mother. "She had to be to do what she did.”

Mrs. Young died on April 17 of natural causes in a home-care facility in Hercules. She was 96.

Born in New York City in 1911 and raised by a family that had its own chauffeur, she traded luxury for adventure when she married explorer Jack Young in 1933.

The next year, the bride left with her husband, brother-in-law Quentin Young and others on a nine-month expedition to China to acquire specimens for the Museum of Natural History in New York.

“As the sole woman in the company of men, she was an oddity if not scandalous,” saidJolly King, one of Mrs. Young’s three daughters. “It was not accepted at that time.”

Mrs. Young, believed to be the first American female explorer to enter the Tibetan-Himalayan region, figured she could apply the skills she’d acquired at camp in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It was harder than she thought.

In China, she learned to cook over a campfire in the snow, make bread in a discarded tin, sleep with a loaded pistol under her pillow to fend off bandits, and take shelter where she could, including Tibetan yurts, when the rest of the expedition was elsewhere. She drew a crowd wherever she went, even while doing something as simple as brushing her teeth.

“People would watch her bathe,” said Boston writer Vicki Croke. “She was viewed by the Chinese as an American and by Americans as Chinese – she was really between cultures, and it was liberating for her.”

On Mrs. Young’s 90th birthday, Croke interviewed her for “The Lady and the Panda,” a book she wrote about another female explorer, Ruth Harkness, that came out in 2005.

“She was vivacious and self-deprecating,” Croke recalled. “And Harkness was charmed by Su-Lin.”

She must have been: In 1936, when Harkness brought the first live giant panda to the United States, she named it Su-Lin, which means “a little bit of something precious.” The description, Croke said, applied to both the human and the bear.

Mrs. Young was working as a reporter for several publications in Shanghai, including theChina Journal and North China Daily News, when she met Harkness.

“She had some admonishing advice for Harkness,” Croke wrote. “The travel would be dirty and uncomfortable. In Tibet, Su-Lin had sometimes stayed in yak-hair tents, drinking yak-butter tea, warmed over a yak-dung fire. Everything she ate was suffused with stray strands of yak hair. The smell of it all was unfortunately unforgettable to her.”

Equally memorable, King said, was an incident that traumatized her mother for many years: Handy with a rifle, she shot to death a large Asian bear on her first expedition to China.

Although mounted trophies were customary in those days, Mrs. Young vowed never to kill an animal again and persuaded her husband and brother-in-law to bring creatures back alive instead of dead.

King said the Young family explorers brought a half-dozen pandas to the United States. The one that Harkness named for Su-Lin Young lived in the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago and is mounted in that city’s Field Museum. The second Su-Lin resides at the San Diego Zoo.

“My mother would say, ‘That’s nothing,’ but the first thing she’d do was show people pictures of them,” King said. “Bottom line: She was thrilled.”

Kathy Haaga met Mrs. Young in 2001. Haaga, the Memphis Zoo’s former exhibits coordinator, was creating a tribute to three explorers who opened the East to the West: Marco Polo, Pere Armand David and Mrs. Young.

“I met her through my brother, who was her physician in North Carolina,” Haaga said. “He’d mentioned that I was working on the panda exhibit. She said, ‘Oh, I know a little something about pandas.’ She was so humble and so matter of fact about these amazing things she had done.”

Mrs. Young was also a disc jockey in Taiwan and an employee at the Social Security Administration in San Francisco’s Chinatown from 1968 to 1977. She spoke a couple of dialects and helped people claim what was due them.

Until she was 90, she was able to drive and play golf.

Mrs. Young is survived by daughters King of Honolulu, Wan of Hercules and Jocelyn Fenton of Dallas, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Her husband, from whom she was divorced after more than three decades of marriage, died in 2000.

A memorial for Mrs. Young will be held in New York in September.


Posted on October 10, 2013 at 5:02 am

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