This is an online event. You will receive a Zoom link upon registration. Register to attend via this link.
This workshop will examine two photographically illustrated books on China: John Thomson’s Illustrations of China and Its People (1873-74), and Lang Jingshan’s (or Long Chin-san) catalogue, Exhibition of Pictorial Photography (1939). Though both books are apart in time and purpose, they are similar in using photography and text to depict China as a culture and concept at different geopolitical moments. Thomson’s book appears at a moment shortly after the Opium Wars and colonisation of Hong Kong, and seeks to examine a newly visible China through its people, culture, sights, and institutions. Over sixty years later, Lang Jingshan’s catalogue depicts China during the Sino-Japanese conflict to an international audience, and uses the subjects of Chinese landscape, women, and culture to frame an aestheticised vision of the nation-state. By comparing the two books, we will consider how each conceptualizes China: in narrative and sequencing, persistent motifs and symbols, and
through visual systems and strategies.
This workshop is preceded by Roberta Wue’s lecture, PHOTOGRAPHIC CHINOISERIE: JOHN THOMSON AND THE CHINESE EXPORT IMAGE which will be held online on 14 April. Please follow this link to register to attend.