Paris Modern


Four advertisements from the early 20th century, Paris. Especially noticeable are the cartooned figures of military prowess, choices of maroon, grey, and off-white, array of carefully picked, carefully set fonts, and classical figures representing war and peace in the backdrop - visual codes that are foreign yet refreshing to the Chinese eye. A portrait of the city's morale and eco-political mental space in between the two world wars - the liminal space of peace, powered by intellectual, artistic engines of development and modernization. Snapped from the two-floored exhibition of Paris Modern: 1915-1945 (Power Station), an exhibit that invites viewers to compare modern Paris with 20th century Shanghai while reflecting on modernistic diversity, how "humanities and the arts" contribute "to a city's historical transformation."