Edward Denison, Guangyu Ren

Ultra-Modernism

Architecture and Modernity in Manchuria

Hong Kong University Press (Mar 28, 2017)
9789888390502
152 pages | 229 x 152 mm | English

Subjects

  • Architecture / History / General
  • History / Asia / China

Plot

The first half of the twentieth century was fraught with global tensions and political machinations. However, for all the destruction in that period, these geopolitical conditions in Manchuria cultivated an extraordinary variety of architecture and urban planning, which has completely escaped international attention until now. With over forty carefully chosen images, Ultra-Modernism: Architecture and Modernity in Manchuria is the first book in English that illustrates Manchuria's encounter with modernity through its built environment. Edward Denison and Guangyu Ren take readers through Russia's early territorial claims, Japan's construction of the South Manchuria Railway (SMR), and the establishment of Manchukuo in 1932. The book examines in detail the creation of modern cities along the SMR and focuses on three of the most important urban centers in Manchuria: the Russian-dominated city of Harbin, the port of Dalian, and the new capital of Manchukuo, Hsinking (Changchun). Like so much of the world outside 'the West' during the twentieth century, Manchuria's encounter with modernity is merely a faint whisper drowned out by the deafening master narrative of Western-centric modernism. This book attempts to redress an imbalance in the modern history of China by studying the impact of Japan on architecture and planning beyond the depredations of the Sino-Japanese War.