Modernism in Late-Mao China Architecture for Foreign Affairs in Beijing, Guangzhou and Overseas, 1969–1976
This book investigates the architectural history of China in the Mao era (1949–1976), focusing on the rise of modernism in the last seven years of the Cultural Revolution from 1969 to 1976. It highlights the new architecture of this period, exemplified by three clusters of buildings for foreign affairs, namely buildings for foreign diplomacy in Beijing, buildings for foreign trade in Guangzhou and China’s foreign aid projects overseas.
The emergence of new architecture in the early 1970s is closely associated with China’s political and diplomatic shift of the time, from a radical emphasis on ideological struggle to a dynamic balance between leftist ideology and pragmatic concerns. In this context, China’s relations with the West quickly improved, culminating with American president Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1972. The increasing foreign affairs brought new opportunities to Chinese architects who referenced both Western modernism and Chinese architectural traditions to create a new version of Chinese modernism. The book brings dimensions of form, politics and knowledge to the analysis of architecture, to construct an understanding of architectural design as an aesthetic, political and intellectual practice.
Modernism in Late-Mao China will be an enriching and useful reference for students and scholars who are interested in the global architectural history of the twentieth century, especially Cold War modernism.
List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface (by Jianfei Zhu)
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Rethinking Modernism: Form, Knowledge and Politics
Chapter 3: Political Ideology and Architectural Discourse in Mao’s China
Chapter 4: Chinese Modernism in the 1950s and the 1960s
Chapter 5: Diplomatic Buildings in the 1970s Beijing
Chapter 6: Foreign Trade Buildings in the 1970s Guangzhou
Chapter 7: China’s Foreign Aid Architecture, 1964-1976
Chapter 8: Conclusion