Trans Asia Photography 13.2


We are thrilled to announce that the latest issue of Trans Asia Photography is now available online!

VOL.13, NO.2 (Fall 2023)

Yi Gu

Research Articles
Emilie Boone, “A Photo Album’s Redrawn Color Line: On Black Freedom in Japan, 1947–1949”

Lisa Trivedi, “(In)visible Subjects: Pranlal Patel’s Women at Work in Ahmedabad, India, 1937”

Shaowen Zhang, “Mending Memory by Hand and Brush: Socialist China’s Colored Photographs”

Jennifer Yang, “Haunted Images: Unsettling History and Traumatic Memory in Tintin Wulia’s Artmaking”

Dorothee Xiaolong Hou, “Framing China’s Uneven Urban Landscape: An Interview with Chen Ronghui”

Yi Gu, “Xianshi de tanqiu: Taiwan sheyingshi xinggoukao [Reclaiming Reality: On the Historical Formation of Taiwanese Photography]”

We hope that you enjoy the latest issue and invite you to share it with your networks.

Deepali Dewan, Yi Gu, and Thy Phu (co-editors)

Orphaned Images–cfp


We are pleased to share a new CFP for our May 2025 issue (15:1) of Trans Asia Photography.

Orphaned Images: Found or Inherited
Guest edited by Sabeena Gadihoke

This call focuses on the image whose origins are uncertain and history unknown. Photographs have usually been linked to the idea of the evidentiary. Even as the digital turn opens up possibilities of endless transmutation of the image, the photograph’ still retains its evidentiary status in official documents or in the everyday practice ofmaking memories.’ The idea of photographic evidence grounds the subject, whatever it may be, to a world that exists and can be known. But how do we understand the photograph that has floated away from its context and come unmoored from its history?  Or a photograph that carries traces of partial or incomplete histories or has tenuous links to original circumstances of production and circulation. How have `finders’, ‘discoverers’ or inheritors of such images, engaged with them?  How does the orphaned and found image tell its story?

The issue will explore the stories that have been mapped onto photographs of unknown provenance or ones for which only partial information is available thereby confronting the reader with challenges. It explores the possibilities that such an image can take its reader, precisely because it has been liberated from its own history, on an uncharted imagined journey. It is perhaps possible that an orphaned image, either found or inherited, has the potential to turn us into detectives, story-tellers, poets or visionaries. Continue reading

Trans Asia Photography 13.1

We are thrilled to announce that the Spring 2023 issue of Trans Asia Photography is now available online!

VOL.13, NO.1 (Spring 2023)

Thy Phu, “Images at War: An Introduction”

Research Articles
Michelle Chase, “Picturing Solidarity: Photography and Cuban Internationalism during the Vietnam War”
Vindhya Buthpitiya, “How to Capture Birds of Freedom: Picturing Tamil Women at War”
Santasil Mallik, “GI Photos of Calcutta: Toward a Vernacular Understanding of War”
Nadine Attewell, “Hong Kong in Transition: Photography and Liberation at the End of the Pacific War”

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, “Who Is Missing? Albums and Archives”
Sim Chi Yin, “Methods of Memory: Time Travels in the Archives”

Elena Tajima Creef, “Back to the Future: Time Traveling to 1942”

We hope that you enjoy the latest issue and invite you to share it with your networks.


Deepali Dewan
Royal Ontario Museum & University of Toronto
Yi Gu
University of Toronto
Thy Phu
University of Toronto

Trans Asia Photography 12.2

We are thrilled to announce that the Fall 2022 issue of Trans Asia Photography is now available online!

VOL.12, NO.2 (FALL 2022)

Introduction, by Thy Phu

Research Articles

Karen Strassler, “George Floyd in Papua: Image-Events and the Art of Resonance”
Shimrit Lee, “‘Then and Now’: The Making of a Visual Frontier”
Zoé E. Headley, “Three Histories, Seven Lives: Investigating the Archives of South Indian Photo Studios (Tamil Nadu, 1880-1980)”

Visual Essays

Tong Lam, “At the Borderland of History”
Deborah Nixon, “Invisible Journey”


Morris Lum and Brandon Leung, “Tong Yan Gaai: A North American Chinatown Vernacular”


Hye-ri Oh, “In Pursuit of a Synthesis of Documentary and Aesthetic Vision: Interview with Korean Photographer Joo Myung Duck”


Joanne So Jeong Chung, “Photography and Korea: History and Practice”

We hope that you enjoy the latest issue and invite you to share it with your networks.


Deepali Dewan, Royal Ontario Museum & University of Toronto
Yi Gu, University of Toronto
Thy Phu, University of Toronto

Trans Asia Photography–cfp

Trans Asia Photography, CALL FOR PAPERS for Vol. 14, No. 1 (Spring 2024)

Photobooks are both a public space and a personal space. In recent years, photobooks have emerged as one of the dominant formats for the presentation and circulation of the photographic image. Distinguished by prioritizing the photographic image as the central element, the photobook can range from a state or commercial venture to a self-published limited-edition project with a grassroots distribution network. The recent re-emergence of photobook production is a result of many factors including—access to advanced printing technology; a desire to keep control of the product and its distribution with the artist; a need for space to explore personal narratives, politically and culturally sensitive issues, expressions of dissent; and the new-found prestige of the photobook format.

This special issue of Trans Asia Photography encourages scholarly analysis of the photobook. It is meant to help move the field towards a critical examination of how the photobook works and its intersection with social, cultural, political, aesthetic, and photographic histories. This issue embraces an open-ended definition of the photobook to underscore the multiple transnational genealogies and varied contexts of photobook production and reception in different regions of Asia. If previous studies on the photobook have attempted to write an alternative history of photography, this special issue asks how a photo history would look when it is written through photobooks from Asia and its diaspora. Continue reading

Wayfaring: Photography in Taiwan during the Martial Law Era–cfp

We are looking for papers for an online panel:

Wayfaring: Photography in Taiwan during the Martial Law Era (1949-1987) for the 111th Annual Conference of CAA to be held February 15—18, 2023

Session Chairs:

Shuxia Chen, University of New South Wales <>
Olivier Krischer, University of New South Wales <>

Research on Taiwan’s long and complex photography history has been limited in Chinese and English to date, with much attention paid to the earliest examples of the medium in the 19th and early-20th century. This panel instead gathers new research on the history of photography across the Martial Law era (from 1949 to 1987) under the concept of ‘wayfaring’—a lyrical take on the what pioneering photographer Chang Chao-Tang described as the ‘path seeking’ (zhaolu) of photographers in the 1970s. This term evokes both the actual journeys photographers undertook across the Taiwanese landscape, searching for diverse everyday experiences, as well as their introspective search for a new path forward through creative experimentation. Photographers in Taiwan confronted complex and intersecting historical trajectories.

This panel welcomes research that attends to contending claims not only on local and cultural identity, but also gender, sexuality, indigeneity, and social class. It seeks to understand the relevance of photographic practices from Taiwan as parts of global developments in the medium, comparing and contrasting Taiwanese photographic experience to that of its peers worldwide.

Please send the following via email to session chairs by August 31, 2022.

  1. Presentation title and abstract (250 words maximum)
  2. A shortened CV (close to 2 pages) and a short bio (150 words maximum)

HK in Transition

An open access photographic archive for anyone interested in Hong Kong and its history

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


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:

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

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


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


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.

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


Thy Phu, Deepali Dewan, and Yi Gu

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 

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

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:…/wayfaring-photography-1970s-80s… Continue reading