Brush & Shutter: Early Photography in China






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Edited By Jeffrey W. Cody and Frances Terpak.

Published by the Getty Research Institute, 2012.

Illustrated boards, Fine. Exhibition catalog. 

Photography was introduced to China in the 1840s through the West’s engagement in the Opium Wars and the subsequent reforms of Chinese statesmen. As a result, traditional modes of expression were dramatically transformed. Uncovered here is a captivating visual history of China during photography’s first century, from the late Qing period to Republican Shanghai and wartime Chongqing. Chinese export painters learned and adapted the medium of photography by grafting the new technology onto traditional artistic conventions—employing both brush and shutter. Ultimately, both Chinese and Western photographers were witnesses to and agents of dynamic cultural change.