John Thomson in China: The Intrepid Traveller and Survival of his Photographic Collection

Thomson Image

Date: Sunday, March 20, 2016

Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Location: University of Alberta Museums Galleries at Enterprise Square (10230 Jasper Ave)

Speaker: Betty Yao MBE, Exhibition Organiser

From 1868 to 1872 Scottish photographer John Thomson spent five years documenting the people and landscapes of China.

Photography was only invented three decades before.  Carrying heavy camera equipment, dangerous chemicals and a mobile dark room, Thomson travelled from Beijing and Tianjin to Fujian and Guangdong.  This unique archive of photographs is a valuable record of China during the late Qing dynasty.

Exhibition organiser Betty Yao will recount how, thanks to sheer chance and serendipity, that these images, almost thrown away, managed to survive 150 years and is now on a worldwide exhibition tour.  

About the Speaker:

Betty Yao is the Director of Credential International Arts Management, a consultancy providing project management expertise to organisations in the UK and China. Her latest project, the Wellcome Library exhibition China thought the Lens of John Thomson (1868-1872), has toured 16 cities in China, Europe and the US and has been seen by nearly 900,000 visitors.

Read more about the exhibition China through the Lens of John Thomson (1868-1872).