China

Historic photos of China by Jack Birns (1947-1949)

Historic photos of China by Jack Birns (1947-1949)

Shipping out to China in December 1947 with three ten-year-old German cameras and a plum assignment from Life magazine, Jack Birns was fulfilling a boyhood dream. The reality was something else: refugees and prostitutes, soldiers and beggars, street executions and urban protests photographed in difficult and often dangerous circumstances amidst the poverty, corruption, and chaos of an expanding civil war.…
Vintage: Boats of Old China (Junks) in the 1900s

Vintage: Boats of Old China (Junks) in the 1900s

A junk is an ancient Chinese sailing ship design that is still in use today. Junks were efficient and sturdy ships that sailed long distances as early as the 2nd century AD, although whether this is indeed a date by which the hull form which we know as the junk’s had found its final form is extremely dubious. Most scholars…
Vintage: Historic photos of China by Jack Birns (1947-1949)

Vintage: Historic photos of China by Jack Birns (1947-1949)

Shipping out to China in December 1947 with three ten-year-old German cameras and a plum assignment from Life magazine, Jack Birns was fulfilling a boyhood dream. The reality was something else: refugees and prostitutes, soldiers and beggars, street executions and urban protests photographed in difficult and often dangerous circumstances amidst the poverty, corruption, and chaos of an expanding civil war.…
Vintage: 1930s Shanghai by Louis-Philippe Messelier

Vintage: 1930s Shanghai by Louis-Philippe Messelier

At 18-year-old, Louis-Philippe Messelier (1901-1986) left his hometown in France to go to China and engaged in the business of wool during the 1930s. Based in the French concession of Shanghai, he juggled his business career with taking photographs as a journalist for the French Journal of Shanghai. Louis-Philippe Messelier was everywhere: down the streets to see the ritual processions,…
Vintage: B&W photos of Life in China (1965)

Vintage: B&W photos of Life in China (1965)

This collection of photographs were taken during Mark Gayn’s trip to China in 1965, and include images of factories, farms, protests, and political happenings. Mark Gayn was a Canadian journalist born near the Manchurian-Mongolian border on April 21, 1909. Over the 5 decade span of his career, he contributed articles to such publications as the Toronto Daily Star, the New…
Biography: Landscape photographer Wang Wusheng

Biography: Landscape photographer Wang Wusheng

Wang Wusheng was born in 1945 in the city of Wuhu in China’s Anhui Province and was graduated from Anhui University’s School of Physics. Currently he works as a photographic artist based in Shanghai and Tokyo. His photographs are represented in numerous public and private collections, including those of the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection in Berlin and the Kunsthistorisches Museum…
Manchuria / Northeast Asia in 1930s

Manchuria / Northeast Asia in 1930s

Manchuria is a modern name given to a large geographic region in Northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is now usually referred to as Northeast China.
Vintage: historic photos of Peking, China (1920s)

Vintage: historic photos of Peking, China (1920s)

An older English spelling, Peking, is the Postal Map Romanization of the same two characters as they are pronounced in Chinese dialects spoken in the southern port towns first visited by European traders and missionaries. Those dialects preserve the Middle Chinese pronunciation of 京 as kjaeng, prior to a phonetic shift in the northern dialects to the modern pronunciation.
Historic photos of China from 1889-1891

Historic photos of China from 1889-1891

In the 19th century, the great Chinese Diaspora began. Losses due to emigration were added to by conflicts and catastrophes such as the Northern Chinese Famine of 1876–79, in which between 9 and 13 million people died. In 1898, the Guangxu Emperor drafted a reform plan to establish a modern constitutional monarchy, but these plans were thwarted by the Empress…
Shanghai postcards from 1930s

Shanghai postcards from 1930s

For centuries a major administrative, shipping, and trading town, Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to European recognition of its favorable port location and economic potential. The city was one of five opened to foreign trade following the British victory over China in the First Opium War while the subsequent 1842 Treaty of Nanking and 1844 Treaty…
Biography: City Life photographer Fan Ho

Biography: City Life photographer Fan Ho

Ho Fan (born October 8, 1937) is a Chinese Photographer, Film director and Actor. He has won over 280 awards from international exhibitions and competitions worldwide since 1956 for his photography. Fan Ho was born in Shanghai in 1937, but immigrated with his family to Hong Kong at an early age. Ho began photographing at a very young age with…