Images of China and Westerners’ Imagined Geography
Aug 27, 2011 Saturday 19:00
1F, Associate Mission Building (Shanghai 169 Yuanmingyuan Road)
Social Topics Lecture Series:
Images of China in a Century and Westerners’ Imagined Geographies
Lecturer: Wang Xi (Photography Ph. D Candidate, University of Bolton, United Kingdom)
Ironically, Western media and foreign visitors were the speakers of China’s images in a century since late Qing Dynasty.
As early as Yuan Dynasty, Marco Polo had introduced the beautiful myth of China to the West. Between 17thcentury and the beginning of 19thcentury, the fantastic Chinese-styled architectures and portraitures appeared on woodcuts, sculptures and ceramics in Western society. By that time, the beautiful, wealthy, and a little mysterious China was yearning for them.
In the middle of 19thcentury, Imperialism’s shipboard artilleryopened up China of 5,000 years of feudalism. Along with the expansion of Victoria Empire, as the most significant foreign product, photography had been recording and disseminating the images of the end of monarchy and the beginning of a hundred years of revolution.
The visiting foreigners during this period included missionaries, the Customs staff, traders, as well as professional explorers, commercial photographers, and war photojournalists, etc. The images they produced have been scattered in Western antique markets, professional museums, and private collections. When we look back and lament the absence of our traditional culture, we may put together the circularity and imagined geographies of China produced by early visitors’ cultural understanding and limitation from the Westerners’ photographs.... Read More
Free admission, No need for reservation.