Academic Trends
Ma Min: Expositions and the Changes of Material Culture in Modern China: A Study Focusing on the Nanyang Exposition and the West Lake Exposition

From the perspective of material cultural history, this research focuses on the Nanyang Exposition in 1910 and the West Lake Exposition in 1929 to examine the changes of material culture reflected in Chinese modern expositions and their broad social impacts. This article investigates the following aspects: first, the spatial layout of expositions and the rise of new modern urban public space; second, the collection, categorization, and display of Chinese modern commodities shown in the expositions. This article argues that Chinese modern expositions linked the material existence of commodities to their functions, so as to facilitate the transformation of “things”from material entities to social/cultural ones, and also facilitate the overall transformation of the Chinese modern knowledge system.

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