Monthly Archives: July 2012

Chinese bells for the Olympics

This photograph, with its somewhat clumsy composition, was snapped inside an unidentified temple.  It is really more about the two splendid, wooden idols of unidentified gods, than about the bell.  These impressive and expressive statues were very colourfully painted, something … Continue reading

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The Hangchow Bore

The Qiantang River and Hangchow (Hangzhou) Bay have long attracted visitors to witness the roaring tidal bore – the largest in the world.  This swirling wall of water travels at up to 40 kilometers per hour (25 miles an hour) … Continue reading

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A photographer’s view

The great photographer Diane Arbus once observed that ‘a photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.’  NA07-107 is the very picture of such secretive photography, if only because it is such … Continue reading

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Listen again

‘Old Photographs Fever: The search for China’s pictured past’, which explores our project through interviews with the team, with some of our contributors, and with some of those who make use of the project, was broadcast earlier today on BBC … Continue reading

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Favourites: Robert Hart’s band

This is a personal favourite of mine, although there is plenty of competition. I love Warren Swire’s photograph of the old ‘Bridge of Ten Thousand Ages’ (万寿桥) in Fuzhou, his wonderful picture of the Bund and shipping at Jiujiang, and … Continue reading

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Taikoo ships and buildings

For readers interested in the photographs of shipping that can be found in the collections, notably those of G. Warren Swire, or the architectural history of the treaty ports, there are two new sites to investigate. John Swire & Sons … Continue reading

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Studio portrait of a Chinese woman

This striking photograph (JC-s037), with strong diagonals in the style of Alexander Rodchenko, may well be the work of an unidentified Chinese studio photographer working in the racy, cosmopolitan Shanghai of the 1930s. The precise combination printing and the masterly … Continue reading

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N is for Ningbo

The team has recently been corresponding with an informal group in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo, who are researching the architectural heritage of this former treaty port. Opened under the first of the Sino-British treaties (Nanjing, 1842), Ningbo was … Continue reading

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