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The Reformer’s Brush:
Modernity and Traditional Media in China

February 27 - April 8, 2011

Introduction / Section 1 / Section 2 / Section 3 / Section 4 / Section 5 / Epilogue

Language, Literature, and the New Culture Movement


The writers and thinkers of the “New Culture Movement” sought to renew China by adapting the best of Chinese and international cultural traditions. They advocated for social egalitarianism, democratic values, gender equality, and the end of Confucian patriarchy. The New Culture Movement also gave rise to a new vernacular literature, written in modern Chinese as spoken by ordinary people. Such works explored the poetics of everyday speech and the artistic value of ordinary experience. Yet some of the innovation of the New Culture Movement derived not from the invention of new forms, but from the reassessment of China’s ancient classical heritage.

above left:
Wu Changshuo, seal style calligraphy

below, left to right:
Tai Jingnong, clerical hand calligraphy
Luo Zhenyu, couplet (behind bookcase)
Wu Changshuo, "Bok choy"
Wu Changshuo, Calligraphy (stone drum characters)
Wu Changshuo, "Peaches