The Easel

China’s 8 Brokens

Bapo painting became popular with China’s emerging middle class in the nineteenth century. With its hyper-realistic style – radically different from traditional Chinese painting – and coded allusions, it was more witty than scholarly. Bapo also provided a platform for coded dissent at the presence of Western occupying forces. Forgotten after 1949 it is now being rediscovered by curators and collectors.