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, the acrobats and the snake charmers; at the races with the local aristocracy; inside film studios; on the top of roof taking aerial views; in the countryside admiring the beauty of antic remains or fishermen’s cottages. He captured everything in a sincere and singular manner. Far from falling into the easy ‘exotic’ pitfalls, Louis-Philippe Messelier distinguished himself by the dynamism of his angles of view, his atypical subjects, and his mastering of contrasts. This rare collection is composed of nearly 250 photographs extracted from original stereoscopic glass plates, which depict the rapid changes occurring in Modern China.

Snake charmer, Shanghai, 1929

Snake charmer, Shanghai, 1929

Japanese ladies in Shanghai's harbor, 1930

Japanese ladies in Shanghai’s harbor, 1930

Shanghai, the Bund, 1929

Shanghai, the Bund, 1929

Crowd and boats on the bund, Shanghai, 1929

Crowd and boats on the bund, Shanghai, 1929

Crowd and boats on the bund, Shanghai, 1929

Crowd and boats on the bund, Shanghai, 1929

Young Acrobats N°1 French concession, Shanghai, 1930

Young Acrobats N°1 French concession, Shanghai, 1930

Street Theater, 1928, Shanghai

Street Theater, 1928, Shanghai

Religious dignitary, Shanghai, circa 1930

Religious dignitary, Shanghai, circa 1930

Chinese peasants in front of their house, 1923

Chinese peasants in front of their house, 1923

Fuzhou street, French concession, Shanghai, circa 1930

Fuzhou street, French concession, Shanghai, circa 1930

At the Racecourse

At the Racecourse

Old man eating noodles in his shop, bird in a cage, Shanghai, 1923

Old man eating noodles in his shop, bird in a cage, Shanghai, 1923

Junks on the Huang-Pu river, Shanghai, 1930

Junks on the Huang-Pu river, Shanghai, 1930

Playong Mahjong

Playong Mahjong

Japanese itinerant Kumosu monk, Shanghai, circa 1932

Japanese itinerant Kumosu monk, Shanghai, circa 1932


Comments

comments