Tradition and modernity in China

Document Type

Book Chapter


Cambria Press


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communication and Arts / Centre for Chinese Arts and Visual Culture




Crouch, C. L. (2010). Tradition and modernity in China. In Christopher Crouch (Eds.). Contemporary Chinese Visual Culture: Tradition, Modernity and Globalisation (pp.1-16). Location: Cambria Press. Available here


China has become linked increasingly to the world economy in the last decade and its visual culture has been transformed accordingly. Its mass media are awash with imagery equivalent to any other of the industrial world’s consumer markets; but whether advertising shampoo, refrigerators, or cars, the familiar tropes of global advertising in China sit amid the residue of a vast visual culture that goes back thousands of years. How does the newcomer to Chinese visual culture begin to make sense of the change in social and cultural circumstances that have created the contemporary Chinese world of images? What are the visual histories that are being transformed by the globalised cultural industries? And what are the Chinese art and design community’s opinions, observations, and analyses of the relationship between its art and design traditions and the universalising condition of globalisation? This book is a collection of essays by Chinese scholars, educationalists, and practitioners who are able to give the reader an initial glimpse into the range of debates and observations on the subject.