Sunday, March 22, 2009

Musings on Early China Photography III – Lai Fong


Many of the Chinese who worked as assistants to the early European and American photographers in China naturally learnt a lot and ultimately decided to set up shop as photographers themselves. Among them, the best known was probably Lai Fong.

I don’t know much (actually nothing really) about Lai Fong except that I think he had learnt from one of the early photographers – someone once told me its Felix Beato but it might have been either Milton Miller or John Thomson…or someone else. So any biographical details much appreciated.


Anyway, came across this advertisement for Lai Fong’s Shanghai studio the other day – it’s from the North-China Daily News in 1904. Seems he took portraits, painted portraits, did silk screening and sold his own photos too. We can assume it was a pretty solid business as he’s got a good address on Nanking Road. I wonder if the prices really were “moderate”?


Musings on Early China Photography I - Beijing to Get a John Thomson Exhibition

Musings on Early China Photography II - What Herbert Ponting Did Before the South Pole

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