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Description/The Commercial Press was founded in 1897 by Xia Ruifang and Bao Xia-n-en and its main business was the printing of newsletters and Christian brochures. After Zhang Yuan-ji and Wang Yun-wu joined, it gradually grew into a modernized publisher that exerted significant influence on the dissemination of knowledge in contemporary China. One day after Shanghai's "January 28 Incident" in 1932, the Commercial Press Building on Baoshan Road in Shanghai's Zhabei District was bombarded by Japanese troops. Not only was the building totally destroyed, the precious collection of ancient books and artifacts inside also vanished in the inferno. The entire city was under vigilance after the Incident. Chen Cheng-po remained in Shanghai and documented the war rampage with his paintbrush, completing two works themed on the Commercial Press Building after the Incident. This one tackles the post-destruction sight next to the building: all that remain are fallen walls and electric poles with not a hint of the street's past glory. The style is a continuation of Chen's calligraphy-inspired brushwork of his Shanghai period, except with more aggressive movement. The plain sky in the upper right would have lightened the imposingness created by the spatial layout and palette, if not for the roofs, trees and wires piercing into the skyline and exacerbating the bleakness of war rampage.
ruin， electric pole， war， Shanghai， commercial press， January 28 Incident， modern architecture
Related Collections/No related collections.
- Chuanying Yen, The Complete Collection of Taiwanese Art 1: Chen Cheng-Po (Taipei City: Artist Publishing, 1992), 235.
- Yuchun Lin, Oil‧Passion‧Chen Cheng-Po (Taipei City: Lion Art Publishing, 1998), 82-83.
- Jiaju Li, The Commercial Press and the Dissemination of Knowledge and Culture in the Contemporary Era (Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2007), 24-48.
- Suchu Li, Something that Reflects the Era—A Study of Paintings by Chen Cheng-Po ( Taipei City: Art & Collection Group Publishing, 2012), 211-212.
War Rampage (Beside the Commercial Press Building) 1933
Materials & Techniques：Oil on canvas
Location:The Commercial Press (now at No. 584, Baoshan Rd., Shanghai Zhabei Dist., Shanghai City, China)