Monday, September 21, 2020

Excluded from Yunnan. Feels like Likiang 1949 ...

What with the pandemic and the looming conflict between the western powers and China, it feels like I won't be seeing Yunnan or Sichuan for a while. Hope it's not like Joseph Rock's situation in 1949 when he was forced to fly out of Lijiang - and leave China - at short notice forever because of the Communist takeover, and spent the rest of his life in the US, pining for the mountains of Yunnan ... OK I'm not THAT obsessed with the place, but it did make for a cheap and interesting place to visit with plenty of adventure and nice food ... and not too many other foreign tourists.

Watch this space.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Another photo from the lockdown archive ...

Chonggu Si (monastery), Yading. This is the new building, still being built at the time [2013] I took this photo with my Rolleiflex and medium format film ... a bit busier nowadays!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Random photos: Bingzhongluo street market

From almost a decade ago, taken with my beloved Leica Minilux - now gone to the cemera graveyard.

Monday, May 04, 2020

Lockdown dreaming

Stuck in the house, in this city in this country for an indefinite period I'm glad that at least I'm alive and healthy and perhaps one day I will get out again to visit places such as the Nujiang. Looking though my old photos made me realise there are so many that I haven't posted on this blog - such as this one of Laomudeng (老姆登) between Liuku and Fugong.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Xikang: the Vanishing Province - Chinese photographer Sun Mingjing's Remarkable Record of 1939 and 1944

Another great book discovery on my latest trip to Yunnan. Just done an excellent two week bike tour from Kunming to Hekou (Vietnam border). No Joseph Rock connection (although he did stay at the hill station of Dalat when passing through what was then Indo China on his way to a ship connection in Haiphong). But the trip did give me the opportunity to pop into Mandarin books in Kunming, where they have lots of great books on the region - unfortunately most of them I can't afford. But I couldn't resist this collection of photographs from the former province of Xikang ( the Tibetan bits of Sichuan). The photos are by Sun Mingjing (孙明经) and include some great images of places like Kangding and Ganze. I can't find much info about Sun online. The son of Nanjing Christian intellectuals, he was interested in photos and movies from the age of five. In 1939 after graduating in film studies from Jinling University, he travelled to Xikang and took many documentary style photos. He went on to become a pioneering socially aware documentary film maker and spent a year in the US. However after the Communist takeover he opted to stay in China rather than move to Taiwan. In the 1950s he was condemned as a rightist, never made any more films again and had many of his photos and films confiscated and destroyed by Mao Zedong's Red Guards. He died in obscurity in 1991. His photos of Xikang are wonderful.

Update: April 2020 ...
I wish I could post more of these wonderful photos