Art Deco & Shanghai
Welcome to Shanghai Art Deco, a celebration of our city’s signature style and the home of the 2015 World Congress on Art Deco.
Shanghai Art Deco was born of the city’s first golden age, in the 1920s & 1930s (we’re living in the second one), when the cosmopolitan citizens of Asia’s most international city took this new western style and made it their own. Even in the aftermath of raging development, Shanghai remains lush with Art Deco buildings. How many? No one’s ever counted every single one, that’s how many – but according to Tongji University professor Xu Yihong there are 136 major buildings.
Yet while Shanghai’s Art Deco architecture gets the most attention — because that’s what remains – Art Deco once permeated interior design, graphic design, fashion, furniture, hairstyles, cutlery, films, photography … everything.
Shanghai Art Deco was both a reaction against the ornate Qing style that came before it, as well as a celebration of modernity: it was the age of airplanes, cruise ships and cars. (Shanghai, after all, was Asia’s most modern city.) Shanghai’s version of Art Deco often came with a uniquely Shanghai accent, seamlessly incorporating Chinese materials and designs into a style that has become known as “Shanghai Deco”.