John Thomson’s Foochow and the River Min

National Media Museum blog

Chinese New Year is approaching, which seems like a good excuse to share a beautiful album of photographs taken in China in 1870-71 by John Thomson (1837 – 1921), entitled Foochow and the River Min.

The Island Pagoda, c. 1871, John Thomson © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA The Island Pagoda, c. 1871, John Thomson © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Thomson was one of the first photographers to travel to the Far East, documenting its landscape, people and antiquities. He spent 5 years travelling extensively in China.

Coolies, c. 1871, John Thomson © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA Coolies, c. 1871, John Thomson © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Foochow and the River Min records the city of Fuzhou (Foochow) in Fujian province, South East China, and Thomson’s journey up the River Min by boat from Fuzhou to Nanping, a distance of about 160 miles.

Rocks in the Rapids, c. 1871, John Thomson © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA Rocks in the Rapids, c. 1871, John Thomson © National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Fujian…

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