HK in Transition

HONG KONG IN TRANSITION (1995-2020)
An open access photographic archive for anyone interested in Hong Kong and its history
https://arthistory.hku.hk/HKinTransition/

Welcome to the Hong Kong in Transition website, a resource for formal or informal study of Hong Kong’s history during the period leading up to decolonization and during the early part of its existence as a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. This is a not-for-profit and free to access website which presents an archive of photographs of Hong Kong taken between 1 January 1995 and 1 January 2020. Photos may be in either black and white or colour, and all have been taken by the same photographer, David Clarke. Continue reading

Trans Asia Photography–cfp

Greetings,

Trans Asia Photography invites submissions for a general issue, Volume 13, no. 2 (Fall 2023). The journal examines all aspects of photographic history, theory, and practice by centering images in or of Asia, conceived as a territory, network, and cultural imaginary. It welcomes:

  • articles (5,000–7,000 words) that broaden understanding of Asian photography in transnational contexts
  • shorter pieces (1,000–2,000 words) in formats that include interviews, curatorial or visual essays, and portfolios

Deadline for research articles and shorter pieces: October 31, 2022.

Trans Asia Photography is an international, refereed, open-access journal based at the University of Toronto and published by Duke University Press. It provides a venue for interdisciplinary exploration of photography and Asia.

Guidance for authors on submissions can be found at: transasiaphotography.org/submit

For more information, contact the editors: transasiaphotography@gmail.com
The TAP Editorial Team
Deepali Dewan, Royal Ontario Museum & University of Toronto
Yi Gu. University of Toronto
Thy Phu, University of Toronto
transasiaphotography.org

Trans Asia Photography 12.1

TAP 12.1

We are thrilled to announce the release of the Spring 2022 issue ofTrans Asia Photography. Our first issue with Duke University Press, this issue explores the meanings of the third key word in the journal’s title: “Photography.”

Table of Contents

“Photography”: An Introduction, by Deepali Dewan

Articles

Photographing the Invisible: Immortal Spirit Photography and China’s En(light)enment, by Menglan Chen

Daubing Titipu: Transnational Material Contexts of 19th-Century Hand-Coloured Photography in Japan, by Rahul Sharma

The Feedback and Noise of Komatsu Hiroko’s Photographic Materialities, by Franz Prichard

Portfolio

Toward Understanding the Photogenic New Citizen: Performance in Vernacular Photography from the Early Turkish Republic, 1920s-1940s, by Özge Baykan Calafato Continue reading

TAP relaunch event

Please join us on Thursday, May 26th as we celebrate Trans Asia Photography (TAP) and its contributions to the field of Asian photography.
TAP Relaunch & Celebration | May 26, 2022 | 10-11:30am EDT | Online Event

Join leading experts, curators, and photographers in the virtual relaunch of Trans Asia Photography, the world’s first and only open access journal devoted to research on Asian photography. Established more than a decade ago, the journal has moved its base to Toronto and relaunches this year with a new publisher, Duke UP, and new editors, Thy Phu, Deepali Dewan, and Yi Gu. This event previews the upcoming themed issue on “Photography,” examining the third title keyword, and explores what is at stake in thinking “Asia” and “Photography” together.

This relaunch also features board members, Rahaab Allana, Nadine Attewell, Geoffrey Batchen, Sabeena Gadihoke, Tao Leigh Goffe, Kajri Jain, Will Kwan, Tong Lam, Christopher Pinney, Atsuko Sakaki, Stephen Sheehi, Laura Wexler, and Wu Hung.

CLICK HERE 
to register for this free event. We hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

Thy Phu, Deepali Dewan, and Yi Gu
transasiaphotography.org

Photography and Taiwan symposium

Photography and Taiwan: History and Practice
A Symposium
April 7 – 9, 2022 (Arizona)
April 8 – 10, 2022 (Taipei)

The Scottish photographer John Thomson (1837-1921) traveled to Taiwan, taking pictures of the aboriginal people on the island in 1871. He included the photographs of Taiwan and its people in his 1898 book Through China: with a Camera. Thomson’s short stay in Taiwan was facilitated by European imperial advance to China as he had established his own studio in Hong Kong two years before the trip. It is also notable that his book was published three years after the island’s colonization by Japan. From 1895 to 1945, Japanese colonialism structured photographic practices and culture in Taiwan. Visualization of the indigenous people was a part of ethnographic and anthropological studies during the colonial period, while the Han Chinese opened studios in urban centers and went to Japan to learn the technology. The cold war hegemony played a crucial role in the postcolonial Taiwanese society, impacting photographic practices in various ways. Continue reading

Trans Asia Photography (Fall 2021)

We are thrilled to announce that the Fall 2021 issue of Trans Asia Photography is now available online at transasiaphotography.org. 

NOW AVAILABLE: “Asia,” VOL. 11, NO. 2 (FALL 2021)

“Asia”: An Introduction by Yi Gu

Two Leaves and a Bud: Tea and The Body Through a Colonial Lens by Leila Anne Harris

Disobedient Photobook: Photobooks and the Protest Image in Contemporary Hong Kong by Wing Ki Lee

Photojournalism and Social Movement as “Theatre”: A Critical Reading of “The Sunflower Movement” Photographs by Li-Hsin Kuo, translated by Zinan Jiang

Why Trans People Stand: The Performance of Postcoloniality and Power in Portraiture by Jun Zubillaga-Pow

The Making of Henri Cartier-Bresson: China 1948-1949, 1958, by Ying-lung Su, translated by Jinsheng Zhao

Cartier-Bresson is Here by Yongquan Jin, translated by Jinsheng Zhao

Kaneko Ryūichi and the History of Japanese Photography by Yoshiaki Kai Continue reading

Shanghai Century: Shanghai Spirit

Source: The Guardian (11/1/21)
Shanghai Century: Shanghai Spirit – in pictures
By

Young people in a park in Shanghai, 1981. Photograph: 陆杰/Lu Jie

A new exhibition captures the changing face of Shanghai through the past two centuries and the development of the past 30 years, from street photography to fashion shoots, from the intimacy of the lilongs to the grandeur of public facades. The exhibition is presented by Porsche in collaboration with the Shanghai Centre of Photography: Shanghai Century: Shanghai Spirit is on display at Photofairs Shanghai from 3 November Continue reading

Miroir Project

Source: SupChina (10/22/21)
Miroir Project
Celebrating female photographers in China
By Neocha

From At Home with Family by photographer Liu Sidan, which took first prize at the inaugural Miroir Project photography competition.

This article was originally published on Neocha and is republished with permission.


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a feminist movement was underway in the Western world. Dubbed as “first-wave feminism,” this initial fight centered on suffrage and other political rights. Since then, society has made further strides towards gender equality, yet many issues remain. Throughout the fight, art and literature have served as indispensable tools in amplifying the voice of women. Take, for example, British author Virginia Woolf’s essay, A Room of One’s Room, which spoke out against social injustices that female writers have long faced.

Inspired by Woolf, Miroir Project is a platform with similar aspirations of empowering female creativity, though instead of female authors, their focus is on female photographers. The team behind the project believes that photography is a particularly fitting medium for the expression of feminity and that their platform offers a way for like-minded women photographers to meet, share ideas, and explore matters of identity together. These beliefs are the main impetus behind the project.

Lao Yan, the nickname of one of Miroir Project’s cofounders, says, “As I got older, I realized the importance of facilitating a space where like-minded individuals can meet others like them. Finding common ground with someone is like looking into a mirror, and if you look closely enough, you can gain a clearer picture of who you yourself are.” Continue reading

Wayfaring: Photography in 1970s-80s Taiwan

Journeys of self and society at the end of martial law
Australian Centre on China in the World, ANU
Curated by Dr Shuxia Chen and Dr Olivier Krischer

As Taiwanese society was coming to terms with a new political reality in the 1970s and 1980s, many artists and intellectuals addressed issues of locality, history and cultural identity. Despite the pressure on civil society, Taiwan’s visual culture flourished, with photography playing a key role as a visual medium that intersected many creative practices and platforms. Pioneering photographers produced groundbreaking works across these decades, from experimental art to photojournalism and much in between.

The exhibition adopts the concept of ‘wayfaring’ from the phrase ‘找路’, used by the seminal figure Chang Chao-Tang 張照堂 to discuss his work in these decades. Here, the term lyrically evokes both the actual journeys that artists undertook, searching for the real-life experiences and sentiments of their subjects, as well as their personal, introspective searches for a way forward, a new path, through creative experimentation with the photographic medium.

Drawn from the collection of the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, with some additional works loaned directly from the artists, this broad selection of photographs reflects the diversity and shifting experiences of Taiwanese society and culture at this pivotal time. Wayfaring features 35 still images by 12 artists, including Chang Chao-Tang 張照堂, Chien Yun-Ping 簡永彬, Chuang Ling 莊靈, Ho Ching-Tai 何經泰, Hou Tsung-Hui 侯聰慧, Hsieh Chun-Te 謝春德, Hsieh San-Tai 謝三泰, Juan I-Jong 阮義忠, Kao Chung-Li 高重黎, Lien Hui-Ling 連慧玲, Wang Hsin 王信, Yeh Ching-Fang 葉清芳.

Exhibition info:
http://ciw.anu.edu.au/…/wayfaring-photography-1970s-80s… Continue reading

Yang Xiao photographs

Source: NeoCha (7/6/21)
A Shot in the Dark
Contributor:  David Yen
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li

Beneath an intricate entanglement of metal, the lone figure at the bottom of the frame stands meekly in its shadows, barely visible against the looming structure. Further above, stars streak across the night sky, and on the distant horizon, the sun peeks through with the first rays of morning light.

In a separate image, a similarly silhouetted figure stands in front of an alien megalith. A bright, unseen light source radiates from beneath the sculpture. Overhead, the stars appear to be in motion, a stark contrast to the stillness of the field beneath. These aren’t scenes from an upcoming sci-fi blockbuster. They’re shots taken by Chinese photographer Yang Xiao, who depicts real-life locations in an otherworldly light. Continue reading

Trans Asia Photography–cfp

Hello everyone,

Trans Asia Photography invites submissions for a general issue, Volume 12, no. 2 (Fall 2022). The journal examines all aspects of photographic history, theory and practice by centering images in or of Asia, conceived as a territory, network, and cultural imaginary. The journal welcomes articles (5000-7000 words) that broadens understanding of Asian photography in transnational contexts. The journal also publishes shorter pieces (1000-2000 words) in formats that include interviews, curatorial or visual essays, and portfolios.

Trans Asia Photography is an international, refereed open-access journal based at the University of Toronto. It provides a venue for the interdisciplinary exploration of photography and Asia. Guidance for authors on submissions can be found here: https://transasiaphotography.org/submit

For more information, contact the editors: transasiaphotography@gmail.com

Deadline for research articles and shorter pieces: October 31, 2021.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Orpana
Editorial Assistant – Trans Asia Photography

Trans Asia Photography new website, new issue

New Website & New Issue

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the new Trans Asia Photography website (formerly the Trans Asia Photography Review) and the release of the Spring 2021 issue under the co-editorship of Deepali Dewan, Yi Gu, and Thy Phu.

TAP Special Issue Trailer (Eunha Koo, 2021)

NOW AVAILABLE: “TRANS,” VOL.11, NO.1 (SPRING 2021)

“Trans”: An Introduction
Thy Phu

Transpacific Rizalistas: Portrait Photography and the Filipino Becoming-Subject
Adrian de Leon

Transnational Family Photographs and Adoptions from Asia
Lili Johnson

Field Notes, Fluidities, and Fictional Archives: Transmedial  Photography and Singapore’s Altered Coastlines
Joanne Leow, ila, Juria Toramae, and Robert Zhao Renhui

Photographic Rehearsal: A Still-Unfolding Narrative
Charan Singh

Photography at the 2020 Dhaka Art Summit: A Review
Akshaya Tanka Continue reading

How Beijing faced the outbreak

To view the slideshow of photos, click the title link below.–Kirk

Source: China File (2/4/21)
Running on Empty: How Beijing Faced the Outbreak
By Summer Sun, photographed by Dong Lin
Dong Lin photographed this project with support from the Abigail Cohen Fellowship in Documentary Photography. The fellowship is a joint initiative of Asia Society’s ChinaFile and Magnum Foundation.

A People’s Armed Police officer stands guard outside the entrance to the Forbidden City, in Tiananmen Square, January 24, 2020.

A People’s Armed Police officer stands guard outside the entrance to the Forbidden City, in Tiananmen Square, January 24, 2020.

Afew days before the Lunar New Year last year, I called my mother for some urgent advice. Since I live in Europe and was not traveling home for the celebration, I decided to host a dinner party at my apartment. My invitation list soon grew out of hand, ending up with 15 guests. There were vegetarians, vegans, and non-pork eaters, a difficult endeavor for any Chinese chef, let alone a novice. My mother helped me decide on some easy-to-make and filling recipes. Before hanging up, we briefly discussed the mysterious, pneumonia-like disease sickening people in central China, far away from where my parents live. Around that time, Zhong Nanshan, a prominent Chinese pulmonologist well-respected for his work during the SARS outbreak in 2003, publicly confirmed that the virus that would come to be known as COVID-19 spread from human to human. Still, given how little information the government had yielded on the extent of transmission, the outbreak remained obscure, if alarming. “Are you guys wearing masks?” I asked my mother. “I’ve started to, but your dad hasn’t. We still have some masks that he bought on Taobao years ago,” she said. “Who knows if they’re still good—you know your dad always buys whatever’s the cheapest.” Continue reading

Remembering and Forgetting the Traumatic Past

My essay, “Remembering and Forgetting the Traumatic Past,” which reviews Lingchei Letty Chen’s The Great Leap Backward: Forgetting and Representing the Mao Years and Margaret Hillenbrand’s Negative Exposures: Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China, has been published by the MCLC Resource Center. The review appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/kdenton2/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, our literary studies book review editor, for his editorial interventions.

Kirk Denton, editor

Remembering and Forgetting the Traumatic Past:
A Review Essay

The Great Leap Backward: Forgetting and Representing the Mao Years, by Lingchei Letty Chen
Negative Exposures: Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China, by Margaret Hillenbrand


Reviewed by Kirk A. Denton
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright January, 2021)


Margaret Hillenbrand, Negative Exposures: Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020. 292 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4780-0800-2 (paper); ISBN: 978-1-4780-0619-0 (cloth)

Lingchei Letty Chen, The Great Leap Backward: Forgetting and Representing the Mao Years Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2020. 304pp. ISBN 9781604979923 (cloth)

In The Fat Years (盛世), a novel by Koonchung Chan 陳冠中, a character named He Dongsheng tries to explain to his captors—it’s too complex to explain here—why the Chinese people have forgotten an entire month: “What I want to tell you is that, definitely, the Central Propaganda organs did do their work, but they were only pushing along a boat that was already on the move. If the Chinese people had not already wanted to forget, we could not have forced them to do so. The Chinese people voluntarily gave themselves a large dose of amnesia medicine.”[1]

Much has been made of efforts by the state in the People’s Republic of China (PRC)—famously referred to by Louisa Lim as the “People’s Republic of Amnesia”[2]—to repress memories that do not fit the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) politically-driven historical narrative, which emphasizes its central and singular role in driving the revolutionary past and modernizing the  present. It propagates this narrative through museums, party historiography, state-sponsored “main melody” films, textbooks, mainstream news media, etc. And it suppresses other forms of history that seek to recover memories of the Anti-Rightist Campaign, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, the 1989 Tiananmen protest movement, and the plight of migrant workers in more recent times. Continue reading

Photo Poetics review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announced publication of Jiangtao Gu’s review of Photo Poetics: Chinese Lyricism and Modern Media Culture, by Shengqing Wu. The review appears below and at its online home: https://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/jiangtao-gu/. My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, our literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk A. Denton, editor

Photo Poetics:
Chinese Lyricism and Modern Media Culture

By Shengqing Wu


Reviewed by Jiangtao Gu

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright January, 2021)


Shengqing Wu, Photo Poetics: Chinese Lyricism and Modern Media Culture New York: Columbia University Press, 2020. 384 pp. ISBN: 9780231192217 (paper); ISBN: 9780231192200 (cloth); ISBN: 9780231549714 (e-book)

Reading Shengqing Wu’s new book Photo Poetics: Chinese Lyricism and Modern Media Culture, is like looking into a kaleidoscope of texts and images drawn from the late Qing and early Republican periods. The reading experience can be disorientating at times, but ultimately pleasurable and enriching, especially considering our otherwise barren knowledge of photo practices in China during this period.

Distinct from dominant discourses on the topic, which often privilege photography’s relationship with progressive and revolutionary cultures, Wu’s book is uniquely focused on the Chinese literati tradition and its engagement with the then-nascent medium. Counter to many May Fourth intellectuals’ disparagement of the tradition’s obsolescence and decay, Wu insists that the literati practice of lyricism was by no means “an ossified or dead entity” (27). Front-loaded with this argument, the book then asks us to consider the literati’s absorption of photography as evidence of the tradition’s longevity and vitality despite rapidly changing technological and social conditions. Continue reading