MADAME MAO'S DOWRY
Madame Mao's Dowry
207 Fumin Lu
+(86) 21 54033551
wechat ID: MadameMaos
Welcome to my blog
So we figured that the quickest and most direct way of introducing our new stock to you is by blogging. So here we are.
Please leave comments if you have more information to add, opinions on what we are doing or just want to get in touch.
By madamemao, Jan 28 2019 04:00AM
My last post for now on records in early 1980's China is about 1930's Shanghai .... Zhou Xuan is probably China's most famous songstress. She rose from very humble beginnings to stardom as a young teenager in the nascent film industry of Shanghai. Her voice is essentially the soundtrack for that period in Shanghai and, as the Hong Kong community of Shanghainese swelled, it became the soundtrack of nostalgia for our city. Recognised by Wong Kar-wai in his movie In the Mood for Love, her voice signified all of the glitz and wonder of modern Shanghai in the Republican period. This disc, published with a cover that reflects one of her most famous songs, The Four Seasons, contains songs from Street Angel, Malu Tianshi, the 1937 film that launched her career. The songs were written by 'leftist' composer Tian Han and the film itself had a strong message about the exploitative social conditions in the city and a call to revolution. All of this neatly contained in a cover with a rather classical graphic design of flowers of the four seasons (meihua, zhu, juhua, and lanhua) arranged in a geometric style for the 1980's.
By madamemao, Jan 26 2019 04:00AM
The Ningbo Record Factory, whose record covers featured in the last post, was founded in 1978 (to some historians this date, rather than 1976, marks the end of the Cultural Revolution as it was the year the Gang of Four was tried and convicted) and had one of the only four German Newman recording machines in China at that time. Chengdu Record Factory, together with of course Shanghai and Beijing, made up the other three lucky sites. These examples of covers from Chengdu show not only the range of music they made (the first and last image has electronic music by a foreign band identified as "Wude Liqi") but also the creativity in design of record covers. The discs themselves, often brightly coloured, are those floppy plastic kind that still play, provided you have a record player!
By madamemao, Jan 24 2019 03:54AM
You can find impressive examples of design in China throughout the Mao Period and beyond, in all areas of production. One of many neglected areas is ... record covers. Much simpler maybe than their overseas counterparts, and never unique to a single disc, they still display sophisticated graphic style. Those from the aptly-named Little Four Dragon Record Factories, Beijing, Shanghai, Ningbo and Chengdu, especially. It is the covers from Ningbo and Chengdu that, in my experience, reveal the most expressive designs, containing music from Yue opera to Mao songs and music from foreign countries such as France, Spain, Japan and Romania. They are a sign of their times and the spirit of openness those times contained.
By madamemao, Jan 22 2019 03:00AM
Talking about notepaper, it seems to be a bit of a preoccupation of ours these days. We have had fountain pens and inks in store for some time. We carry Shanghai brands (with the exception of Beijing's Jing Xing new-old-stock which we have to carry because of its fame during the Mao Period), especially new-old-stock from the 1970's, '80's and '90's and, as aresult we are regularly asked for writing paper. So we have made a range of writing paper sets built around the theme of the plants of Shanghai. All of those plants that help us define Shanghai as a city: the plane trees of the Former French Concession, the osmanthus (Gui) that scents the air, the bamboo that rustles everywhere. Paper comes from plants so it seemed the obvious choice. As does the use of fountain pen friendly paper that's fine quality and made in China. Hopefully, you won't find the result equally obvious.
By madamemao, Jan 20 2019 04:35PM
We have the envelopes from the 1980s/1990's but you need something compatible to put inside them, right? The slogans printed on the envelopes, Learn from Lei Feng, his selfless dedication and his good example drove us on to produce some notepaper ourselves to upcycle those envelopes into contemporary use. The spirit of Lei Feng will live on forever, as the fourth envelope slogan says and the trend towards slowing down our lives in diverse ways made notepaper a viable product. So we adjusted the image, printed it on fountain-friendly, made-in-china quality paper and there we have it. Thanks Lei Feng (pity it's not actually Lei Feng Day because then it would be even better!)