Notable: ”Photography and China” by Claire Roberts

In Article, Black and White Photography on February 18, 2013 at 4:19 pm

‘Princess Su in Robes of State’ (early 1900s)

‘Princess Su in Robes of State’ (early 1900s) Courtesy MFA Boston

For those of us that make the photography fairs part of our travels, it has to be noted that China based galleries and photographers are making themselves known.

Claire Roberts has a new book that documents this rising tide of imagery …

Roberts’ span is the whole history of photography following its arrival in China soon after its declared invention in 1839. Such early photography of China is hardly a clichéd field. Odd pieces appear from time to time in salesrooms, and a few European pioneers (John Thomson, Felice Beato) are well known. But the real history is not yet familiar. As European founders of photographic establishments moved away, their businesses were often taken over by Chinese owners and curious blends of style and presentation began to appear. Portraits, for example, had to show no shadow to succeed in China, since shadow was not a part of the human face and therefore should not appear.

For more of this review: Financial Times

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