Ladies Opens in San Francisco
By Michael Curtis
Photo courtesy of Frank Jang
SAN FRANCISCO - Nostalgia for Shanghai’s glamour period of
the 1920’s to 1940’s flooded the main gallery of the Chinese
Culture Center the evening of Friday, January 30, 2004. With
the enticing stares of the painted ladies upon them, members
of the CCC and other invited guests to the reception for the
opening of Beautiful Ladies: Vintage Shanghai Deco Posters perused
the paintings that idealized the culture of China’s first modern
city of the twentieth century. Guests marveled at the artistry
and romanticism of what were once intended to be advertisements
and are now relics of modern Chinese history.
Acting curator Wylie Wong has fashioned a spectacular show
from the collections of Baoguzhai, Albert Cheng, Julia Chen,
Gregory Chew, Dr. June Chun, Patsey Lee Donegan, Russell K.
Leong, Sally Yu Leung, Dr. Mark Adams, Carol Potter Peckham,
James H. Soong, Phil Toy, Leland Wong, Vivian and Tony Zaloom,
and Tao Zeng. The images of beauty lining the gallery walls
tell the story of a desire for the high life, often a far-fetched
ideal for many local Chinese, during a time of social and political
tumult. The paintings are, therefore, not only gorgeous, but
also equally poignant.
To compliment the exhibition, the CCC will present two programs
in the coming months that will explore the various aspects of
life in Shanghaiduring the 1930's and 1940's. On May 8th, the
CCC will host "A Night in Old Shanghai," featuring
a screening of the modern classic film, Centre Stage, based
on the life and death of the era's most famous actress Ruan
Ling Yu. Following the film will be a reception featuring a
Remy Martin tasting and Shanghai cuisine. Then, on June 2nd,
the CCC is proud to present a joint reception/program with the
American Jewish Committee entitled "Jewish and Chinese
Bonds in Early Shanghai." Flying in from Shanghai to speak
at the event is one the world's leading scholars on the subject,
Professor Pan Guang, Dean of the Shanghai Center of Jewish Studies.
Beautiful Ladies ison display until June 5, 2004.