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[GUIDED TOUR 導賞] Bosshard in China: Documenting Social Change in the 1930s 博薩特在中國:記錄一九三零年代的社會變遷
posted by University Museum and Art Gallery for HKU and Public
Event Type: Exhibition
Event Nature: Culture and Arts

Event Details

“Bosshard in China: Documenting Social Change in the 1930s” Exhibition

The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will present “Bosshard in China: Documenting Social Change in the 1930s” from April 27 to August 5, 2018. “Bosshard in China” offers a comprehensive sweep of black and white photographs and documentary films produced by Swiss photo-journalist Walter Bosshard. Living and traveling extensively in China from 1933 to 1939, Bosshard was one of the earliest journalists to record this critical decade in Chinese and world history.

The exhibition is organised into thematic sections that give insight into the photographer’s mind as he traversed myriad landscapes and social conditions, from Beijing to Lake Qinghai in western China; from the bombing of Hankou to Mongolian shepherds on the steppe. Apart from filming daily life, Bosshard also photographed and interviewed key political figures, including Mao Zedong in Yan’an, Chiang Kai-shek and Soong Mei-ling, Madame Chiang Kai-shek.

Following earlier exhibitions at UMAG of Magnum photographers and their oeuvres in the West, Bosshard in China documents China’s landscape and its people during a time when China was undergoing significant sociopolitical upheaval. During this same era, photojournalism was developing into a serious mass medium of information, and Bosshard’s work in the 1930s was one of the primary means by which the Far East came to life across living rooms in Europe and America.

As Bosshard’s journeys through China are well documented, his imagery offers valuable contextual information. He provides views into a society—and now past—that benefits from the objective view of the camera lens. Bosshard’s work is of historical significance, as most Western photographers only went to China for individual assignments, but did not live there for extended periods. Many of the Chinese photographers were politically engaged or had been commissioned, which resulted in a more selective subject matter and consistent narrative.

Bosshard’s documentary photography and film are neither colonialist nor otherwise politically motivated. Though he lived alongside the Chinese people during the Japanese invasion, he did not take sides but rather let his images—both still and moving—capture the scenes unfolding around him. This phenomenon is remarkable, as traditional reports of political and military campaigns, and especially images of warfare, often aimed to communicate either nationalist or anti-nationalist sentiments. Bosshard documented urban centres and rural regions, peaceful everyday as well as wartime activities, and throughout all of these moments he strived to remain a neutral observer. His oeuvre presents a more holistic view of a country that was perceived internationally as highly important but altogether remained little known.


《博薩特在中國:記錄一九三零年代的社會變遷》展覽

香港大學(港大)美術博物館將於二零一八年四月二十七日至八月五日呈獻《博薩特在中國:記錄一九三零年代的社會變遷》展覽。展覽呈獻一系列由瑞士攝影記者瓦特爾‧博薩特所拍攝的黑白照片和紀錄片。在一九三三年至一九三九年間,博薩特旅居並走訪中國,成為最早記錄這於中國和世界歷史上屬關鍵十年的記者之一。

從北京到中國西部的青海湖、從遭受轟炸的漢口到草原上的蒙古牧民,博薩特穿越無數的山水風光、經歷各樣的社會狀況。故是次展覽分為不同的主題區域,以洞悉這位攝影師的思緒。除了拍攝日常生活外,他更採訪到舉足輕重的政治人物,包括身在延安的毛澤東、蔣介石和蔣介石夫人宋美齡。

作為本館於稍早前舉辦的馬格蘭攝影師、及其於西方拍攝的作品展的延續,本展覽記錄了在重大的政治和社會動盪下,中國的山水景色與人民。與此同時,新聞攝影亦發展成一個專業的大眾媒體。而博薩特於一九三零年代拍攝的作品,亦是令遠東活現於家家戶戶的歐洲與美國人眼前的主要方法之一。

由於博薩特在華旅程的記錄豐富,其影像作品遂提供了難能可貴的背景資料。他用客觀的鏡頭視角來透視一個──今已成為過去的社會。博薩特的作品是極具歷史意義的,因絕大多數的西方攝影師只為完成個別任務而訪華、未有長期留居中國;而許多中國攝影師則為從事政治活動或受到委託而進行拍攝,致使作品題材多是經過精心挑選、且保持一致的敘述。

博薩特的紀實攝影和紀錄片既非殖民主義,亦不含政治動機。在日軍侵華時,他雖與中國人民一同生活,卻沒有偏袒任何一方,而只是讓其靜態、同時又鼓舞人心的照片來捕捉周遭的景象。博薩特所作的是超凡卓越的,因為有關政治和戰役活動的傳統報導,尤其是戰爭的圖像,往往旨在宣揚愛國主義或反國家主義情緒。博薩特在記錄都市中心與鄉村地區、和平的日常生活並戰時活動等眾多時刻之中,他始終致力成為一位中立的觀察者,以較為全面的角度呈現一個受國際社會高度重視、卻仍然鮮為人知的國度。

Date/Time14/07/2018 15:30-15:50
Venue1/F T.T. Tsui Building, UMAG, HKU, 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam
LanguageEnglish

Registration Instruction

Registration is open from 24/04/2018 14:00(HKT) to 12/07/2018 18:00(HKT) on a first-come-first-served basis.

* Registration is now closed.

Contact Information

For further information, please visit:
http://www.umag.hku.hk/en/

Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact Chelsea Choi by email at cchelsea@hku.hk