Enclave to Urbanity

Canton, Foreigners, and Architecture from the Late Eighteenth to the Early Twentieth Centuries


Johnathan Andrew Farris

ISBN : 978-988-8208-87-6


July 2016

280 pages, 6″ x 9″, 29 color and 67 b&w illus.

  • HK$410.00

Cross-cultural relations are spatial relations. Enclave to Urbanity is the first book in English that examines how the architecture and the urban landscape of Guangzhou framed the relations between the Western mercantile and missionary communities and the city’s predominantly Chinese population. The book takes readers through three phases: the Thirteen Factories era from the eighteenth century to the 1850s; the Shamian enclave up to the early twentieth century; and the adoption of Western building techniques throughout the city as its architecture modernized in the early Republic. The discussion of architecture goes beyond stylistic trends to embrace the history of shared and disputed spaces, using a broadly chronological approach that combines social history with architectural and spatial analysis. With nearly a hundred carefully chosen images, this book illustrates how the foreign architectural footprints of the past form the modern Guangzhou.

Johnathan Andrew Farris received his BA from Yale University, his MA from the University of Virginia, and his PhD from Cornell University. Originally from Lexington, Kentucky, he currently teaches art and architectural history in Hong Kong.

Enclave to Urbanity is a study of one of China’s most important cities at the most exciting time in its history. This carefully researched work not only offers an in-depth look at Canton (Guangzhou), it narrates history through anecdotes and personalities associated with the city. The superior illustrations combined with the excellent choice of quotes will be appreciated by audiences who are familiar with the city as well as those who have never been there.” —Nancy S. Steinhardt, Professor of East Asian Art and Curator of Chinese Art, University of Pennsylvania

“Cross-cultural exchanges draw a lot of attention across various disciplines today. Painting a fascinating picture of the multiple ways in which Western traders and their families transformed Guangzhou/Canton together with local Chinese people from the late eighteenth to the twentieth century, Farris provides a finely illustrated, close reading of life and building in a global context.” —Carola Hein, Professor and Head of History of Architecture and Urban Planning, Delft University of Technology