Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Middle Kingdom: Photographs of Old China


From the glorious cities and fields of the USA, it's time now to travel to the other side of the globe, to a place and time when the present world power that is the People's Republic of China was just breaking out of its centuries old dynastic monarchy and laying the foundations of its present day republic. These old photographs of China are now testament to what once was the Middle Kingdom.


These incredible images come from Ralph Repo's Flickr account. The images themselves were found all over the Internet, but the uploader has meticulously collected and digitally restored them, and gathered them into one superb set showing the grandeur that was and is China.


The pictures come from different dates, a few as recently as 1946 and some as far back as the 1880s. Thus you get different snapshots of time, from the diminishing of the Qing Dynasty to the rise of Mao Zedong's republic. to They also come different places in the Kingdom of China and her neighbors, from Taiwan to Tibet to French Indochina to San Francisco's Chinatown.


The diversity in style can be attributed not only to the differences in time and place of the photographic subject, but also to the spirit and technique of the photographers responsible for these visual treasures. Among the photographers are some well-known photojournalists and portraitists including Hedda MorrisonSidney D. GambleArthur Rosthstein, Arnold Genthe, George Silk, William Henry Jackson, and Ernst Boerschmann.


The full set of these amazing old photos of China can be found over at Ralph Repo's Flickr account. There are 75 images of the Middle Kingdom that was, and each one is definitely worth your time. Some publications on the subject that you might be interested in: Hong Kong As It Was: Hedda Morrison's Photographs, 1946-47, Genthe's Photographs of San Francisco's Old Chinatown and Peking: A Social Survey (Global Oriental Classic Reprints).


23 comments:

R.gers said...

Man, the Chinese used to be incredibly badass. Too bad revolutions ate everything up, and we spat out 2 Chinas.

Fang said...

Wow, that bridge. How steep can they make it?

Ray Rousell said...

Excellent pics, love the last two pics, the three venerated men, I wonder who and what they were? And the bridge is just fantastic, not sure I'd like o walk up or down that!! What a fabulous design!

Pieter said...

Wow, beautiful pictures man.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

These are so amazing. I love those crazy looking warriors.

The Angry Lurker said...

Stunning snapshots of the past.....

R said...

Great pictures!

StigmataHandjob said...

That last picture is my new desktop background. They're amazing.

JDC said...

Cool look into the past.

Dale said...

These are so cool and I've never been to China but I've always wanted to visit. It's amazing they could digitally restore these and the ones with the water are really cool to look at, especially the bridge toward the end. Thanks for sharing

~Dale

Bart said...

pretty cool pics, pretty wild looking people

D4 said...

Wow these are stunning, to think of how old they really are is mind blowing.

Gryt said...

Wow, these are surreal. Its amazing we still have pictures of stuff like this

AguiLeons [2peeeps] said...

beautiful pictures where did you get this

T. Roger Thomas said...

I really like the city shots.

MRanthrope said...

those kids doing the human pyramid thing are my heroes!

Banacek said...

I hope some of China is still like this.

Kimi-Chan said...

Some of those pictures were just amazing! I can't believe how well they were able to restore them. Thanks for posting!

Rockinrule said...

Wow. This is fantastic. Have you seen those pictures of women with bound feet?

Interwebs Fails said...

Amazing! I saved them all.

Shutterbug said...

These photos might have been in National Geographic...

Adam said...

amazing, China is a beautiful place

Shockgrubz said...

I'm amazed that they collected so many. I'm going to check out his Flickr right now.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...