The Spread of the Bauhaus in China

Unknown photographer, Photo of a Chinese woman
with tubular steel chair, ca. 1930s–40s.
China Design Museum of CAA, Hangzhou.

As early as the end of the 19th century up to the beginning of the 20th century, which is to say before the founding of the Bauhaus and after China’s forced opening through war to the outside world, China had already been witness to various experiments in modernization. Such experiments contributed to the laying down of a foundational mindset necessary for the acceptance of the Bauhaus in China’s traditional culture.

China’s first contact with the Bauhaus —
Before the founding of the People’s Republic of China (1949)

The history of the Chinese acceptance of Bauhaus design precepts can be divided into an official and a folk way. Following the Westernization Movement at the end of the nineteenth century, the Chinese government established the Jiangnan Manufacturing Bureau, the first national industrial institution in China, and began to introduce education in engineering design. However, other courses offerings, such as design, art and crafts, were still considered as supplementary coursework, not as educational content of any significance. During this time, the Tushanwan Orphanage, established in 1864, actually served as the earliest trial site for an internationalized art and craft education in modern China.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Cai Yuanpei’s concept had influenced the elite and the mass. Generally considered the father of twentieth century Chinese modern education, Cai Yuanpei (1868–1940) studied abroad in Leipzig and between 1907–1911 resided as a visiting scholar in Germany. There he was deeply affected by the ideas taught at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin1. During his tenure in Germany Yuanpei translated Friedrich Paulsen’s A System of Ethics and wrote the book The history of ethics in China. Upon his return, Yuanpei was appointed to be the head of the Education Ministry of the Chinese Republic, carrying out an experiment in “saving the nation through aesthetic education.” Professor Hang Jian once evaluated Cai Yuanpei’s contributions as follows:

“Cai Yuanpei’s concept of ‘aesthetic education’ is in fact today’s ‘design’ – made possible through the establishment of ‘materialism’ and ‘spiritual sensitivity’ since ‘beautiful objects’ are like the spring, wind and rain able to influence and vitalize their viewers in a silent but powerful way. This kind of education was especially important for Chinese people, who did not prescribe to any one religious preference.”2

Cai Yuanpei once cited the ideas of William Morris to expound on the relationship between art and society, as he believed that Morris’ call for eliminating the distinction between ‘art’ and ‘craft,’ and for the ‘artification’ of labor, came closer to the state at which art and society should be, a belief echoed by the leader of the Chinese reformist faction, Liang Qichao, who proclaimed in a speech at Peking University in 1922: “I believe that only through promoting aesthetic education can people begin to broaden their horizons, and free themselves from the constraints of their surroundings.”3 Thus it is evident that by the beginning of the twentieth century, Chinese intellectuals had already realized the possibility of propelling social reform through aesthetic education, in a manner not dissimilar to the ideas about art then in circulation within Germany.

It was through this experiment of “saving the nation with aesthetic education” that art and design education really began in China. Under Cai Yuanpei’s outspoken advocacy and support, China’s two earliest national art colleges – the National School of Fine Arts of Beiping (now the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing) and the Hangzhou National College of Art (now the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou) – were founded. The purpose of such schools was “firstly, to promote aesthetic education within the educational realm; secondly, to provide teachers for middle and primary schools; thirdly, to improve the quality of manufactured products.” The National Hangzhou School of Art, formerly the National Academy of Art, was established under the direction of Yuanpei in 1928, who was still serving as Minister of Education at the time. The school, located in Luoyuan, Hangzhou, is the predecessor to the present-day China Academy of Art, and in its earliest phase included departments in pattern design, traditional Chinese painting, Western painting and sculpture. The department of pattern design was an early attempt at teaching design in China. By the period of the Republic of China (established in 1912), modern design education in China had already long been introduced at the National School of Fine Arts.

During the Bauhaus’ initial years, Chinese cultural elites studying in Europe played a key role in the spread of Bauhaus ideas in China. Looking back at those teachers at the National Hangzhou School of Art possessing an international background, most of them only had an elementary understanding of the Bauhaus. They did not conduct any systematic research on the Bauhaus, nor did they engage in any substantial interaction with the Bauhaus school or discuss Bauhaus amongst themselves. When they implemented their understanding of western modernist design into indigenous education in China, it was mainly through the teaching of pattern design that ideas related to Bauhaus precepts were disseminated. Chen Zhifo, who studied at the Pattern & Craft Department of the Tokyo Art School in 1918, learned about the Bauhaus through Japanese students who had studied there. After returning to China in 1923, Zhifo served as director of the National Hangzhou School of Art (now the China Academy of Art) as well as head of the Pattern Design Department, where he applied modern design concepts to his teachings. In the 1930s, instructors within the Pattern Design Department of the National Hangzhou School of Art also included several teachers who had previously studied in Europe, such as Pang Xunqin, Lei Kuiyuan, Liu Jipiao, Wang Ziyun. Several foreign designers also came as guest instructors of art and design, such as Professor M. Dowracheff and Professor Shelovsky (both of Russian origin); as well as Japanese professors like Saito Kazo and Narita Torajiro. All of the aforementioned teachers brought Western ideas about modern design and occidental teaching methods to China. For instance, Saito Kazo, who during the 1929 academic year taught at the Pattern Design Department of the National Hangzhou School of Art was a pioneer in spreading Western modern design concepts within China. Kazo had previously studied at the pattern design department of the Tokyo University of the Arts as well attending the Royal School of Art in Berlin between late 1912 and early 1914, when the school was affiliated with the Unterrichtsanstalt des Kunstgewerbe-Museums.4 There he studied art history and compositional aesthetics under the art historian and decorative artist Professor Max Kutschmann (1871-1943).5 In 1923 the Japanese government sponsored Saito Kazo to return to Europe and conduct a systematic examination of how design education was being taught in Germany. During his visit, Kazo investigated twenty-two art schools in Germany, including Das Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar, while also visiting Bauhaus teachers Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee.

Aside from the professors noted above, architects associated with the Bauhaus, such as Richard Paulick, Rudolf Paulick, Walter Gropius, received design commissions from China from the 1920s up until the 1940s. Of the three, Richard Paulick was the architect associated with the Bauhaus school who came most frequently to China to work on projects. In 1933, Paulick received threats from the Nazi government on account of his social democratic political alignment, and fled to China where he sought political asylum. In Shanghai, he established his own interior design company “Modern Homes,” as well as founding the firm Paulick & Paulick, Architects and Civil Engineers. In 1943, he accepted a teaching appointment within the department of architectural engineering of St. John’s University Shanghai (now Tongji University), where he taught urban planning and interior design, and in 1945 joined the ranks of the newly established Shanghai Urban Planning Committee, becoming a committee member as well as a core member of the planning and design sub-committee. Before his return to Germany, Paulick engaged in interior design projects for many prominent families such as Sun Ke and Yao Youde, designed railway stations in Nanjing, Wuxi, Hangzhou, and Zhenjiang, completed urban planning projects such as the general city plan of Jiawang and designed the campuses for both the Jiangnan University in Wuxi City and Yingshi University in Ningbo City.6

Huang Zuoshen (Henry Huang) and Luo Weidong were the Chinese celebrities most closely associated with Bauhaus. Huang Zuoshen graduated from the School of the Architectural Association in London, and from there continued to the United States in 1939 with Walter Gropius to study at the Department of Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design. In 1942, he returned to St. John’s University to establish a department of architecture there, incorporating the ideas and values propagated by the Bauhaus. Contemporary architects and/or designers, both Chinese and non-Chinese, including Richard Paulick, were invited to teach in the new department. Zuoshen incorporated the Bauhaus’ foundational coursework (Vorkus) into his department curriculum, which also included design basics, modern art history and theory, as well as architectural drawing. Zuoshen was also influenced by Bauhaus theatre: he worked on the stage design for the play Robot, directed by his brother Huang Zuolin, which today would be considered avant-garde on account of its abstract treatment of form and space. However, he died at an early age following criticisms and attacks during the Cultural Revolution. Thereafter his influence was limited to the architectural sphere. The “Wenyuan Building” at Tongji University was designed by Zuoshen’s colleague Huang Yulin in 1953, and was considered by many Chinese to possess attributes similar to the Dessau Bauhaus school buildings designed by Gropius, in terms of the architectural techniques used in the design.

Wenyuan Building at Tongji University, designed by Huang Yulin, designed and built in 1953. China Design Museum at CAA, Hangzhou.

In addition, Luo Weidong, a student at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, then headed by the Bauhaus school’s third director, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, also taught at Tongji University from 1953 to 1957, in the period preceding his move to Taiwan.

At the time of Bauhaus’ founding in 1919, many Chinese pioneers in art and design went abroad to study. Their understanding of and contact with Bauhaus were closely related to China’s national goals in this period. Both Bauhaus and the Chinese art world were impacted by war and the circulation of communist ideologies, and each nation were confronted by radical changes in the social role of artists, and art education reformists. Over the following decades, the knowledge which the Chinese pioneers absorbed from the Bauhaus was gradually integrated into Chinese culture.

Guangyu Zhang is a commercial designer who introduced the Bauhaus very early and combined its modernist idea into Chinese art. Zhang’s book Modern Craft and Art (近代工艺美术) from 1932 was the first theory publication on design in China to systematically introduce Western modern design precepts. Zhang’s original intention was to contribute to China’s revival through this introduction: within its pages one can find a photo of Walter Gropius’s Bauhaus building in Dessau as well as other modern German buildings.

Although the spread of Bauhaus concepts in China was limited to the elite, one might term the proliferation of functional Bauhaus-inspired building in the 1930s to 1940s ‘Anonymous Modern.’ The Bauhaus had spread without its name. In developed cities of 1930s China such as Shanghai, Bauhaus influences could also be found in the designs of products and fashion. Examples include the steel tube chair and cantilever chair developed by Marcel Breuer and Mart Stam, which were sold in Shanghai department stores (such as the Sincere Department Store), and can even be found in photographs and hand-drawn advertisements from the period. Even in the film New Women, released in 1934, the house of the protagonist’s father is decorated with a conspicuous amount of chrome-plated tubular steel furniture, a means of demonstrating her father’s contemporary, avant-garde disposition. However, whenever those tubular chairs appeared in the product booklets of local furniture companies, there was no mention of the name Bauhaus in the booklets.

The Application and Misunderstanding of Bauhaus Ideas in China after 1949

The process of misunderstanding and acceptance of western modern design concepts in the Chinese mainland after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 has deep ideological roots. Clues to this process can be seen in the application and interpretation of the Bauhaus in Chinese public institutions and periodicals.

Pang Xunqin and Zheng Ke are two key figures in the history of Chinese design education. It is likely they both visited the Bauhaus school in Dessau during their time studying in France.7 In the debate regarding art’s independence from or integration with technological developments, William Morris had previously advocated for the separation of the arts and crafts from mass production and industrial technology, while the Bauhaus argued for the combination of art with technology. Zheng Ke chose the Bauhaus’ side in this debate, declaring that Chinese arts and craft should be combined with modern science and technologies.8 “Buildings in countries such as Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands were greatly influenced by the Bauhaus,” Xunqin wrote in his autobiography My Way.“ In the field of architecture, Bauhaus supported ‘cosmopolitanism’ and advocated for the use of modernized technologies, discarding the notion of separating fine art from applied art. To be honest, I would love to have the opportunity to see those theories and how they are applied in practice.” In 1929 he was invited to watch the performance of the modern dance artist Mary Wigman (1886-1973) in Berlin. On the advice of an architect friend, he also visited several modernist residential buildings in Berlin, and appreciated the works of modern artists such as Paul Klee and other Bauhaus teachers while visiting the National Gallery.

In 1946, when discussing the possibility of establishing a school of arts and crafts in China with Tao Xingzhi, Xunqin proposed that the buildings, interiors and environments of the school should be designed by the teachers and students themselves. The proposed school would offer elective coursework, such as painting, pattern design, sculpture, as well as courses on the theory of literature and art, but the main education program concerned manufacture and production. The first stage of education would consist of a “grade 1” and a “grade 2,” during which the students mainly studied architecture, furniture, dyeing and weaving, commercial art and other foundational courses. During this phase, students should learn to construct prototype of their designs. The second stage would consist of a “grade 3” and a “grade 4,” during which students would be assigned to the research studios of the various disciplines included in the school’s curriculum: ceramics, industrial modelling, interior decoration, dyeing and weaving, commercial art, history of arts and crafts, and so on. These research studios would also serve as ‘experimental factories’ for developing and testing new products, and would be capable of undertaking production in small quantities. Additionally, the school would set up a showroom of finished products, as well as a trial marketing department to introduce and sell products designed by teachers and students. Manufacture-ready products would be sent to factories for mass production.”9 What Xunqin himself called the “utopian” blueprint of modern design schools was, in fact, a plan renovated on the basis of the Bauhaus pedagogy, adapted to contemporary Chinese conditions. This plan was approved and supported by the famous educator, Tao Xingzhi. Having received the support of Premier Zhou Enlai, a decade after first conceiving this Bauhaus-inspired pedagogic program, Xunqin, Lei Kuiyuan and other teachers from the National Hangzhou School of Art arrived in Beijing to establish the first school of design in China, the Central Academy of Arts and Design. The Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and the National Hangzhou School of Art both dispatched teachers to the new school, to help make its production-based pedagogic vision a going concern.

Whereas most countries under socialist regimes were not supportive of the Bauhaus, the People’s Republic of China was in many ways in the same situation as Germany after World War I. The new China was burdened with countless responsibilities, including the arduous task of reconstruction in a situation of severe shortages of industrial materials. Considering the pressing need to revive the Chinese nation and the livelihoods of Chinese citizens, the government chose to accept some Bauhaus design methodologies, while dismissing the elements of internationalism, freedom and democracy which had been at the core of the Bauhaus’ foundation in 1919. In 1954 Premier Zhou Enlai organized four arts and crafts exhibitions, dispatching them to various socialist countries, so that promoting Chinese design innovation could be coincide with investigating the state of art education and research in the Eastern bloc. Pang Xunqin went to the Soviet Union, Yuan Mai was sent to Bulgaria, Lei Kuiyuan was sent to the Czech Republic and Hungary, Deng Bai went to the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) — all four individuals being then teachers within the pattern design department in National Hangzhou School of Art. China’s modern design ideas in this period derived mainly from these countries. For instance, the 718 Joint Factory of Radio Electronic Components Plants constructed in Beijing in 1954 made use of East German architecture and production technologies. The architectural director had traveled to East Germany to conduct investigations and negotiations on several occasions, and after finally winning the support of East Germany’s Vice Premier Alfred Oelßner, German designers and engineers were dispatched to Beijing to design and aid in constructing a high-quality Bauhaus-style factory for the Joint Factory. The building’s exterior was strikingly similar to the architecture of the Bauhaus-Archiv’s museum building in Berlin, whose building was first conceived in the 1960s by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius.

Two contradictory comments concerning the Bauhaus by the prominent Chinese Architect Liang Sicheng10 made respectively in 1945 and 1954, indicate the transformed political situation after the People’s Republic of China’s founding. In 1945, Sicheng spoke of modern design concepts in a letter to Professor Mei Yiqi, the director of the Tsinghua University, writing:

“Regarding academic curricula, I think the teaching methods used in most of our local universities [which were École des Beaux-Arts teaching methods, also employed in Britain and the United States for many years] are much too obsolete. They put too much emphasis on the different schools and form, and they are impractical. We should base our future curricula on the Bauhaus methodology, created by the German professor Walter Gropius, which lays emphasis on practicality, uses construction sites as practice arenas, pays equal attention to both design and its implementation, and trains talented individuals equipped with both creative and practical skills. Following the Nazi dictatorship in Germany, Professor Gropius fled to the United States, and started teaching at the Harvard University. The curriculum of the Harvard School of Architecture, after being modified according to Professor Gropius’ Bauhaus methodologies, is the most advanced architectural education available in the United States, and is certainly good enough to serve as our reference.”11

An entirely different assessment of the Bauhaus was published in the article “Problems of New Architecture in Hungary” (penned by Hungarian politician Jozsef Revai), subsequently translated by Sicheng (with co-translator Lin Huiyin) and published in the Architectural Journal, Issue 2, a periodical founded by Sicheng in June of 1954. The article criticized “new architecture,” taking aim at Le Corbusier and Bauhaus in particular, deeming that Bauhaus’ idea of “serving the people” and its emphasis on functionality merely disguised versions of formalism. It is worth noting that Sicheng and Huiyin, then professors at the Tsinghua University’s Department of Architecture, wrote with a slight tone of contempt in their footnotes: “Bauhaus: a school of architecture established in Germany in the 1920s founded by Walter Gropius, it is a fusion of the so-called ‘functionalism’ with cubist art, and its style is grim and tasteless; Le Corbusier: a French architect, he states that ‘A house is a machine for living in’ and his favorite trick is to erect houses in air using thin pillars.“ It is worth noting that Sicheng had been persecuted early in 1952 during the rectification movement, and in 1955 was accused of and criticized for representing the “purely aesthetic and revivalist architectural preferences of the bourgeoisie.” During the Cultural Revolution (1966.5-1977.10), almost no articles or books about the Bauhaus were published in mainland China.

Pattern of a sofa or curtain by Pang Xunqin, 1941, paper, 38 cm x 29 cm, China Design Museum at CAA, Hangzhou.

Revival of Bauhaus ideas in China after 1978
The Inaugural Year of the Reform and Opening up of the People’s Republic

After the end of the Cultural Revolution, a wave of ideological emancipation swept over mainland China, and numerous cultural magazines started or resumed publication—Architectural Journal being one such example, having ceased publication in 1966 before resuming in 1973. Similar to the fate of Architectural Journal, magazines such as Art and ZHUANGSHI (Decoration) stopped publishing in the 1960s before resuming publication between the late 1970s and early 1980s. After resuming publication, the aforementioned magazines each published articles introducing Bauhaus and Western modern design in their first several issues, thereby launching a broad discussion about the Bauhaus’ legacy. For example, the magazine World Art, which began publishing in 1979, in its second issue ran Shao Dazhen’s “Introduction of Western Modern Art Schools (Continued),”in which the artists Paul Klee and Kandinsky were introduced, before using an art historical perspective to present the Bauhaus as a tendency within modernist abstraction. In his introduction, Dazhen did not omit the issue of class struggle, writing: “The creed of Bauhaus belonged to that of the petty bourgeoisie liberals, who objected to the financial elite’s monopoly on art and also to the creation of art for monetary gain; they dreamed of creating a world where artists could work freely and independently, within the capitalist system. After this illusion perished, they adopted an idealist viewpoint, believing that artists should pursue everything they needed in their own independent, liberal world in the capitalist system.” Despite criticizing the Bauhaus’ ideological foundation, Dazhen nevertheless expressed approval of its ideas regarding arts education: “Bauhaus saw the importance of the arts and crafts, and in their teaching of art strived towards attaining ‘a new unity of art and technology.’ They try to form a total art with architecture, painting and sculpture…”

Other authors used an objective tone and a variety of perspectives to discuss the history and influence of Bauhaus. For instance, in the second issue of the philosophical journal Journal of Dialectics of Nature (which resumed publication in 1979), Wu Huanjia expounded on the architecture of the Dessau Bauhaus school in his article “History of Neoteric & Modern Architecture in Foreign Countries.” He commended emphasis in the“new architecture” on functionality as the starting point for design, and its aspiration to ensure that all three elements of a building—function, architectural forms and material structure—work in concert with each other. The journal ZHUANGSHI similarly published articles mentioning Bauhaus, such as “The Artist and Designer Zheng Ke” and “A Primary Exploration of the Aesthetics of Industrial Art,” both of which appeared in their first issue after resuming publication in 1980. They also ran a brief introduction specifically on the Bauhaus, praising it as the “cradle of modern design.” The journal Art (Issue 08, 1981) was the first to publish a systematic introduction of Bauhaus and modern design education in its article, “Research about Art Education Problems: Bauhaus” by Chai Changpei. The article explained Bauhaus’ educational values and structures, affirming Bauhaus’ extensive contribution in the development of modern design education, and also including a translated manifesto and sample syllabus from the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar in 1922.

Apart from magazine articles, several monographs on the Bauhaus as well as compiled translations of historical texts were published in mainland China during this period, including: Johannes Ittens’s The Art of Color, published by the People’s Fine Arts Publishing House in 1978; Walter Gropius’s The New Architecture and The Bauhaus, published by the China Architecture & Building Press in 1979; Tom Wolfe’s From Bauhaus to Our House, published in 1984; Wassily Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art, published by China Social Sciences Press in 1987; and Gillian Naylor’s The Bauhaus, published in 1988. The breadth of publications devoted to the Bauhaus opened up the heretofore superficial understanding of the movement that had existed in China, leading to an in-depth, detailed and concrete reconsideration of the Bauhaus that surpassed the understanding that had existed in China earlier in the twentieth century. As Pang Xunqin once stated, “With regards to Bauhaus, we should understand and research Bauhaus, but at the same time keep in mind that it belongs to an era that has long passed.”12 This was the first time that comprehensive research on Bauhaus was really being carried out in China, gradually attaining a level of critique that lead to a more thorough-going absorption of Bauhaus ideas. During this period, there were also pioneering researchers in Taiwan and Hong Kong, such as Yan Shuilong, Chen Qikuan, Zheng Ke, and Henry Steiner, who explored how the “Bauhaus way” was localized in different contexts; their research went on to influence art and design on the Chinese mainland.

In addition to the discussion occurring in publications, lectures and exhibitions revolving around the theme of Bauhaus were also organized in this period. For example, the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts invited Wang Wuxie and other Hong Kong-based artists to give lectures at the academy in 1979. The lectures explained the development of design theory, how the Japanese adapted Bauhaus principles to create their own “color composition,” “plane composition,” and “three-dimensional composition” concepts, later known simply as the “three compositions.” The information disseminated through these lectures (delivered and translated by Wang Shouzhi, Yin Dingbang and others), resulted in Bauhaus’ design ideas becoming known throughout the Chinese mainland as the “three compositions,” and this conceptualization was then integrated within the foundation programs of most fine art academies in China. In 1989, the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts held a “German Bauhaus Touring Exhibition.” However, due to certain financial limitations, the exhibition included only pictures with text, with no objects or documents from Bauhaus collections on display. In 2010, Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts & Design collaborated with Shantou University’s Cheung Kong School of Art & Design to organize a series of events entitled “Commemorating the 90th Anniversary of Bauhaus’ Foundation and Research on the Development of Chinese Modern Art and Design.” The program included an exhibition of texts and documents recounting Bauhaus’ history, and also published Professor Hang Jian’s The Path of Bauhaus: Its History, Heritage, and Implications for the World and China. The exhibition was the first of its nature to systematically arrange and present the state of Bauhaus’ development in the fields of art, craft, architecture and design in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan as well.

With the implementation of the reform and opening up of mainland China, the country became a player in the global commodity economy, with its consumer culture and cultural industries acting as the new channels for the Bauhaus’ domestic dissemination, thus paving the way for the evolution of the Bauhaus legend into a commodity symbol. Bauhaus was at times even misunderstood by both the media and public as a brand, a style, a fad, or even the name of a person. Like many other cultural legacies, Bauhaus became a consumable myth. In order to rectify this issue, cultural institutions should take on the responsibility of emphasizing the humanity and creativity of the Bauhaus spirit, with the hope of lighting a new way for contemporary Chinese society.


Gao Bei, Research about “Tushanwan Orphanage’s Fine Arts Workshop”, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing 2009.

Zhang Daoyi (ed.): “A History of Chaumet”, in: The Collected Works of Chen Zhifo, Selected Works of Zhang Daoyi, Southeast University Press, Nanjing 2009.

Hang Jian, Jin Daiqiang & Hu Enwei: The Path of Bauhaus: Its History, Heritage, and Implications for the World and China, Shandong Fine Arts Publishing House, September 2014.

Hang Jian: “Thoughts and Ideas behind the Design of ‘China Academy of Art’s Journey’,” in: New Fine Arts, No. 11, 2016.

Zheng Juxin: “Saito Kazo’s Recount of Teaching at the National Hangzhou School of Art”, in: New Fine Arts, November 2016.

Eduard Kögel: Zwel Poelzigschüler in der Emigration: Rudolf Hamburger und Richard Paulick zwischen Shanghai und Ost-Berlin (1930-1955), PhD Thesis, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, 2007, (6/5/2018).

Huang Miaozi: “The Art Professor Zheng Ke”, in: ZHUANGSHI, No. 1, 1980.

Wang Shouzhi: “Bauhaus in China”, in: Jin Daiqiang and Xu Jiang: Legacy and Transformation – A Reflection on Design Education in China, Shandong Fine Arts Publishing House Shandong 2014, pp. 108–113.

Shi Xi: Fashion Design Circles at Sea Which Were Contemporary with Wan Laiming, Chinese Book Company, Beijing 2013.

Pang Xunqin: “Discussion on Arts and Crafts and Its Education”, in: ZHUANGSHI, No. 1, 1980.

Pang Xunqin: This Is How I Got Here. SDX Joint Publishing Company, Beijing 2005.

Cai Yuanpei: “A Speech at the Reception of the Chinese Students Association and Academic Seminar in Edinburgh”, in: The Complete Works of Cai Yuanpei, Vol. 4, Zhejiang Education Publishing House, Hangzhou 1997.

Zhou Zhiyu: “How Do We Know Bauhaus Today”, in: Art Observation, No. 5, 2012.

  • 1 Cai Yuanpei: “A Speech at the Reception of the Chinese Students Association and Academic Seminar in Edinburgh”, in: Complete Works of Cai Yuanpei, Vol. 4, Zhejiang Education Publishing House, Hangzhou 1997, p. 339.
  • 2 Hang Jian: “Thoughts and Ideas behind the Design of ‘China Academy of Art’s Journey’”, in: New Fine Arts, No. 11, 2016, pp.11–15.
  • 3 Shanghai: The Republic of China's Daily, August 14, 1922.
  • 4 Shibayama Yoshitaka:”Saito Keizou, 装飾美術・ 生活工芸の草分け”, (6/5/2018).
  • 5 With the goal of improving public taste in craftwork and product design, the museum then established “Die zugehörige Unterrichtsanstalt des Kunstgewerbemuseums Berlin”, predecessor to the present Berlin University of the Arts.
  • 6 Eduard Kögel: Zwei Poelzigschüler in der Emigration: Rudolf Hamburger und Richard Paulick zwischen Shanghai und Ost-Berlin (1930-1955), Doctoral dissertation, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Weimar 2007, p. 174–179, (6/5/2018).
  • 7 in: Wang Shouzhi, No. 109, 2014.
  • 8 Huang Miaozi: “The Art Professor Zheng Ke”, in: ZHUANGSHI, No. 1, 1980.
  • 9 Pang Xunqin, 2005
  • 10 Liang Sicheng is a famous Chinese architect and educator of architecture. In April 1924, he took part in welcoming the Indian poet, Tagore, when he visited China to participate in teaching events, and there Liang was able to meet Hu Shi, Xu Zhimo, Chen Xiying, Zhang Xinhai, Ding Xilin, etc. From June 1924 to 1927, he obtained his bachelor's degree and master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Then from 1927 to 1928, he studied at Harvard University’s graduate school, where his tutor was L. Warner. From 1946 to 1947, he was appointed professor of Yale University, worked as a design consultant and architect for the United Nations headquarters, and had his Doctor of Literature granted by Princeton University.
  • 11 Hang Jian, Jin Daiqiang & Hu Enwei: The Path of Bauhaus: Its History, Heritage, and Implications for the World and China, Shandong Fine Arts Publishing House, Version 1, September 2014, p. 144.
  • 12 Pang Xunqin: “Discussion about Arts and Crafts, and the Education of Arts and Crafts”, in: ZHUANGSHI, No. 1, 1980, pp. 6–7.
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The history of the Stalinist critique of the Bauhaus and Hannes Meyer has two chapters. The first chapter spans the time from 1929 to the Architects’ Congress in the Soviet Union in 1937; the second consists in the condemnation of the Bauhaus in the GDR that took place on the trip by East German architects to Moscow in spring of 1950. This text tells the story of the first chapter. → more

The “School in the Woods” as a Socio-pedagogical Ideal — Functional Analyses and Photographs by Peterhans

The building theory classes at the Bauhaus focused on imparting a functional understanding of architecture. Building had become a science. As a result, the ADGB Trade Union School was designed logically from the inside out. Walter Peterhans’ photographs of the school images illustrate both the architect’s intentions for the building and the environmental studies conducted by Bauhaus students. → more

The Moscow Bauhaus exhibition catalogue (1931)

When Hannes Meyer had emigrated to the Soviet Union in 1930, one of the first things he did was organizing an exhibition about "his" Bauhaus. As early as in February 1931 Meyer had the exhibition “Bauhaus Dessau. Period of Hannes Meyer’s directorship. 1928-1930” already ready to receive the Moscow public. It was shown at the renown State Museum of New Western Art. This is the first English translation of the exhibition catalogue. → more

●Artistic Work
To Philipp Tolziner

For the exhibition bauhaus imaginista: Moving Away. The Internationalist Architect at Garage Contemporary Museum of Art, the contemporary artist Alice Creischer has been invited to respond to the personal archive of Bauhaus architect Philipp Tolziner. She produced reading of material relating to the architect’s socialist backgrounds and his work in the Soviet Union.  → more

Richard Paulick and the Remaking of a Greater Shanghai 1933–1949

The article focusses on Richard Paulick’s sixteen-year exile in Shanghai. It is an examination of the interaction between a Bauhaus socialist and a Far East port city in its rush to modernize at the midpoint of the twentieth century. → more

The “Hungarian Bauhaus” — Sándor Bortnyik’s Bauhaus-inspired Budapest School Műhely 1928–1938

One of the many Hungarians associated with the Bauhaus, painter and graphic designer Sándor Bortnyik (1893-1976) opened his art and design school, Műhely, in Budapest in 1928 to bring the Bauhaus’s sprit and some of its teaching methods into Hungary. Even if Bortnyik’s school did not have the scope of the Bauhaus, it was an efficient experiment in an independent form of institutionalized education in the field of modern graphic design and typography. → more

Modern Vernacular — Walter Gropius and Chinese Architecture

This essay explores the connection between Walter Gropius and I. M. Pei, as well as the influence of the one on the other. After completing his studies, I. M. Pei worked with Gropius on plans for a university in Shanghai, which he subsequently realized in Taiwan, than in association with Chang Chao-Kang and Chen Chi-Kuan. → more

Architects' Congress

The passenger ship Patris II transported the participants of the 4th International Congresses of Modern Architecture (CIAM) from Marseilles to Athens and back. Bauhaus teacher Moholy-Nagy, travelling as a “friend of the new building movement” produced this half-hour soundless film as a travel journal. → more

Jawaja Project — A Case study

The NID was involved in a joint venture with the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in the adoption for development of a group of villages in Rajasthan. Could local self-reliance emerge from a process of mutual learning between communities and other groups of people? The film shows how leather work and weaving emerged as the opportunity and basis for sustained group effort. → more

Bauhausmoderne und chinesische Tradition — Franz Ehrlichs Entwurf für ein Haus des Handels in Peking (1954–1956)

In den frühen 1950er-Jahren bestanden gute diplomatische, politische und ökonomische Beziehungen zwischen der Volksrepublik China und der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik. Beide, sich als sozialistisch verstehende Staaten, waren 1949 gegründet worden. In diesem Aufsatz geht es um die besondere Beziehung zur chinesischen Architektur, Kunst und Gestaltung, die Franz Ehrlich entwickelte. → more

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