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China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-06 08:30
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Pocket-size joy

Xiaorenshu, also called lianhuanhua, a kind of pocket-size comic book, became an independent art form in metropolitan Shanghai in the early 20th century. The hand-drawn picture stories were popular among people of varying ages and social strata, for they were easy to carry and accessible to both children and people who could not read. Its convenience as a part of popular culture also won the support of Lu Xun, the great writer and social critic who encouraged young artists to make xiaorenshu to address social concerns and people's livelihoods, and educate people. Mini Books, Big World, an exhibition at Nanjing Museum, Jiangsu province, through March 20, shows a selection of such books from the collection of the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. The earliest works include one by Li Yishi, made between 1927 and 1929 and was inspired by Chang Hen Ge (Everlasting Regret), a narrative poem by Tang Dynasty (618-907) poet Bai Juyi. It also shows Sanmao, the most beloved cartoon series by Zhang Leping, which centers on the adventures of an orphaned boy named Sanmao. The genre went on to develop throughout the 1980s, when dramatic social changes were reflected in the books.

9 am-5 pm, closed on Mondays. 321 Zhongshan East Road, Xuanwu district, Nanjing, Jiangsu province.025-8480-7923.

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