This book is the first extensive survey of early Chinese photographers in any language. It is profusely illustrated with more than 400 photographs, many of which are published here for the first time, including a fine selection of Foochow landscapes from the studios of Lai Fong, China’s leading photographer during this period, and Tung Hing.
Early chapters introduce the historical milieu from which the earliest Chinese photographers emerged and illuminate the beginnings of photography in China and contemporary Chinese reactions to its introduction. Early Chinese commercial photography – both portrait and landscape – are also discussed with reference to similar genres in a more international context. Individual chapters are devoted to Chinese photographers in Peking, Hong Kong, Canton, Shanghai, Foochow, Amoy, Hankow, Tientsin and other ports, Macau and Formosa. These are followed by a series of appendices: writings on photography in China by John Thomson and Isaac Taylor Headland and an invaluable guide to the identification of photographs from the Afong Studio. It concludes with an extensive bibliography, general and regional chronologies, and a biographical index. Combining existing knowledge of the subject with a mass of new research material, this major work also introduces and identifies the work of a number of previously forgotten or overlooked Chinese masters. It includes the work of: Chow Kwa (Su Sanxin), Hing Qua John & Co., Jiu San & E Fong, Kai Sack, Kung Tai, Lai Chong, Lai Fong, Liang Shitai (See Tay), Luo Yuanyou, Man Foc, Pow Kee, Pun Lun, Sang Cheong, Tung Hing, Wo Cheong, Ye Chung and many others.
This book completes a three-volume series on the photographic history of China until the late 19th century and will prompt a re-evaluation and heightened appreciation of these early Chinese photographers.
To be published by Bernard Quaritch Ltd., London, May 2013
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