罕见的19世纪中国早期照片

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Rare 19th-century images show China at the dawn of photography
罕见的19世纪中国早期照片

翻译编辑:清波门 /南外英语系群

Published 9th January 2019
Written byOscar Holland, CNN
2019年1月9日出版
CNN 奥斯卡·霍兰德 撰写

Before the arrival of photography, the Western imagination of China was based on paintings, written travelogues and dispatches from a seemingly far-off land.

From the 1850s, however, a band of pioneering Western photographers sought to capture the country's landscapes, cities and people, captivating audiences back home and sparking a homegrown photography movement in the process.

Among them were the Italian Felice Beato, who arrived in China in the 1850s to document Anglo-French exploits in the Second Opium War, and Scottish photographer John Thompson, whose journey up the Min River offered people in the West a rare look into the country's remote interior.

影出现之前,西方对中国的想象是建立在绘画、游记和从一个看似遥远的地方发回的报道的基础上的。

然而,从19世纪50年代开始,一群西方先锋摄影师开始捕捉这个国家的风景、城市和人物,吸引了国内的观众,并在此过程中引发了一场本土摄影运动。

其中包括意大利人费利斯·比阿托 (Felice Beato)。他于19世纪50年代来到中国,记录英法两国在第二次鸦片战争中的英勇事迹; 还有苏格兰摄影师约翰·汤普森(John Thompson),他在闽江上游的旅程,让西方国家的人们得以罕见地一睹中国偏远的内陆。

A rare book dealer by trade, Loewentheil has spent the last three decades acquiring the pictures from auctions and collectors, both in and outside China. They form what he claims to be the world's largest private collection of early Chinese photography. (And given the number of artworks and artifacts lost in the country's turbulent 20th century -- during Mao's Cultural Revolution, in particular -- the claim is entirely reasonable.)

Now, he has put 120 of the prints on display in Beijing for the first time. 

洛文希尔是一位以贸易为职业的珍本书商,在过去的三十年里,他一直从中国国内和国外的拍卖行和收藏家那里获得这些照片。这些照片构成了他声称的世界上最大的中国早期摄影私人收藏。(考虑到中国在动荡的20世纪丢失的艺术品和手工艺品的数量——尤其是在毛的文化大革命期间——这种说法是完全合理的。)

如今,他已将其中120幅作品首次在北京展出。

The exhibition's scope runs from the 1850s, the very genesis of paper photographs in China, until the 1880s. It features examples of the earliest forms of photography, such as albumen print, which uses egg whites to bind chemicals to paper, and the "wet plate" process, in which negatives were processed on glass plates in a portable dark room.

These technological developments heralded the birth of commercial photography in China, as they allowed images to be quickly replicated and spread for the very first time.

展览的范围从19世纪50年代开始,一直到19世纪80年代,中国纸质照片的起源。它以最早的摄影形式为特色,比如蛋白印刷(利用蛋清将化学物质与纸张结合)和“湿版”工艺(在一个可移动的暗室里,底片在玻璃板上进行处理)。

这些技术的发展预示着商业摄影在中国的诞生,因为它们使图像第一次得以快速复制和传播

"People wanted to bring back great images that they could sell in other places," said Loewentheil. "People who traveled there, everyone from diplomats and businessmen to missionaries, all wanted to bring home a record of this beautiful culture of China that was so unique.

"Some of them had a market back home, but immediately they found a Chinese love for photography and they developed a strong market inside the country. Chinese photographers (then) picked up on that, and served both markets."

洛文希尔说:“人们想要带回伟大的照片,他们可以在其他地方销售。”“到那里旅游的人,从外交官、商人到传教士,都想把有关独特的中国美丽文化的记录带回家。

“他们中的一些人在国内有市场,但他们很快就发现了中国人对摄影的热爱,并在国内发展起了一个强大的市场。中国摄影师(当时)注意到了这一点,并服务于这两个市场。”

Chinese pioneers

Despite the prominent role of foreigners in early Chinese photography, the exhibition -- and Loewentheil's collection at large -- also aims to honor the achievement of the country's own practitioners.

Some purchased cameras from departing Westerners looking to sell their cumbersome equipment, while others took advantage of Chinese innovation in the field, such as mathematician Zou Boqi, who used foreign-made products to design his own glass plate camera

中国摄影开拓者

尽管外国人在早期中国摄影中扮演着重要角色,但此次展览——以及洛文希尔的藏品——很大程度上也旨在表彰中国本土摄影工作者的成就。

一些人从那些希望出售笨重设备即将离开中国的西方人那里购买相机,而另一些人则利用了中国在这一领域的创新,比如数学家邹伯奇(音),他使用外国制造的产品来设计自己的玻璃板相机。

Having first arrived in port cities, photography spread throughout China in the latter half of the 19th century. This led to the creation of commercial studios specializing in portraits of individuals and families, with many of the pictures later hand-colored by trained painters.

Pioneering figures, like Lai Afong, produced portraits, landscapes and cityscapes that were, in Loewentheil's eyes, equal in quality to those of their Western contemporaries.

摄影最早出现在港口城市,在19世纪后半叶传遍了中国。这导致了商业工作室的创建,专门提供个人和家庭肖像拍摄,许多照片后来由训练有素的画家手工着色。

像赖阿风(音)这样的先锋人物,创作了肖像画、风景画和城市风景画,在罗文希尔看来,这些作品的质量与同时代的西方摄影师不相上下。

"There is an equality in Chinese photography, and of Chinese photographers, that is not sufficiently known in China," the collector said. "Some of the very earliest Chinese photographers were brilliant."

Instead of copying their foreign forebears, China's photographers were often inspired by their own artistic traditions. Portraits, for instance, were treated more like paintings in their composition and use of light, Loewentheil said. Sitters were often pictured facing the camera, straight on and wearing little or no expression, with early portraits appearing to "simulate painted Chinese ancestor portraits."

“中国摄影和中国摄影师之间存在着一种平等,这种平等在中国并不为人充分所知,”这位收藏家说。“一些最早期的中国摄影师非常出色。”

中国的摄影师不照搬外国前辈,而是常常受到自己艺术传统的启发。洛文希尔举例说,肖像画在构图和光线的运用上更像是绘画。坐在椅子上的人通常面对着镜头,笔直地坐着,几乎或甚至没有表情,早期的画像似乎是“模仿中国祖先的画像”。

Images of architecture, meanwhile, embraced the surrounding nature rather than focusing on the buildings in isolation, another divergence from the Western tradition.

"Very often, when we have an unidentified photographer, we have a pretty good idea of whether they're Chinese or Western," Loewentheil added.

与此同时,建筑的照片融入了周围的自然,而不是孤立地关注建筑,这是与西方传统的另一个分歧。

洛文希尔补充说:“很多时候,当我们有一个身份不明的摄影师时,我们很清楚他们是中国人还是西方人。”

Preservers of history

Beyond their artistic value, Loewentheil's images also appear to be of academic interest. His current exhibition is taking place at Beijing's Tsinghua University, one of China's leading colleges.

The arrival of foreign technology, including cameras, during the 19th century was just one of the radical changes that would bring the imperial era to an end (China became a republic in 1912 following a four-month revolution). As such, photos from the time capture a world that would quickly disappear from sight.

Take, for instance, the work of Englishman Thomas Child, an engineer who documented the intricacies of China's traditional architecture. His pictures of Beijing's Summer Palace, which was subsequently burned down by English and French invaders, offer an invaluable record of its lost architecture.

历史的保存者

除了他们的艺术价值,洛文希尔的影像似乎也有学术兴趣。他目前的展览正在中国顶尖学府之一的清华大学举行。

包括照相机在内的外国技术在19世纪的到来,只是终结帝国时代的重大变革之一(经过四个月的革命,中国于1912年成为共和国)。因此,当时的照片捕捉到了一个很快就会从视线中消失的世界。

以英国工程师托马斯•柴尔德(Thomas Child)的作品为例,他记录了中国传统建筑的错综复杂。他拍摄的北京颐和园后来被英国和法国侵略者焚毁,为我们提供了一份珍贵的失传了的建筑记录。

"Photography is the greatest preserver of history," Loewentheil said. "For many years, the written word was the way that history was transmitted. But the earliest photography preserves culture in China, and elsewhere, as it had been for many hundreds of years because it was simultaneous with the technological revolutions that were to change everything."

And while Loewentheil has made a business of collecting, he maintains that the images have been brought together for posterity's sake. He sees himself as the custodian of a historical archive -- one that should eventually return to its birthplace -- and he is currently digitizing the collection with a view to creating an online repository for historians and researchers.  

“摄影是历史最伟大的保护者,”洛文希尔说。多年来,文字是传播历史的方式。但最早的摄影保存了中国和其他地方的文化,就像几百年来一样,因为它与改变一切的技术革命同时发生。”

虽然洛文希尔以收藏为业,但他坚持认为这些照片是为了子孙后代而收集在一起的。他认为自己是一份历史档案的保管人——这份档案最终应该会回到它的诞生地——他目前正在将这些藏品数字化,希望为历史学家和研究人员创建一个在线存储库。

 We really want this to be an asset to the Chinese people, and we're open to academics or intellectuals who want to study (the photos)," he said.

"My hope is that the collection will end up in China. It's not for sale, but from a cultural, intellectually honest perspective: It's something that doesn't belong with me."

"Vision and Reflection: Photographs of China in the 19th Century from the Loewentheil Collection" is on at Tsinghua University Art Museum, Beijing, until Mar 31, 2019.

我们真的希望这是中国人民的一笔财富,我们对想研究(照片)的学者或知识分子持开放态度。”

“我希望这些藏品最终能在回到中国。它不是出售的,而是从一个文化的、理智地诚实的角度来讲:它不属于我。”

“视觉与反思:洛文希尔收藏的19世纪中国照片”将于2019年3月31日在北京清华大学美术馆展出。

1 / 16 -Stephan Loewentheil's exhaustive photo archive shines a new light on life in 19th-century China. Scroll through to see more images from his collection.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

1/16 -斯蒂芬·洛文希尔详尽的照片档案为19世纪的生活带来了新的曙光
滚动查看他专辑里更多的照片。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

2 / 16 -A number of the photos in Loewentheil's collection were taken by unidentified artists. The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

2/16 -洛文希尔收藏的许多照片是由身份不明的艺术家拍摄的。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

3 / 16 -The 15,000-strong photo collection features everyday Chinese tradespeople from the time, like this weaver.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

3/16 - 15000多张照片汇集了当时中国商人的日常生活,比如这位纺织工。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

4 / 16 -After foreigners introduced cameras to China, pioneering figures like Lai Afong produced portraits, landscapes and cityscapes that were, in Loewentheil's eyes, equal in quality to those being produced in the West.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

4/16—外国人把照相机引进中国之后,像赖阿风这样的先锋人物创作了肖像画、风景画和城市风景画,在罗文希尔看来,这些作品的质量与西方作品不相上下。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

5 / 16 -Like many of the early Western photographers, Thomas Child sold his photos to magazines and book publishers.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

5/16-像许多早期西方摄影师一样,托马斯·柴尔德把他的照片卖给了杂志和出版社。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

6 / 16 -Like in the West, Chinese public figures would often have their portraits taken at a photography studio. This image shows the influential politician and general Li Hongzhang.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

6/16-和西方一样,中国公众人物的肖像也常常在摄影棚里拍摄。这张照片显示了有影响力的政治家和将军李鸿章。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

7 / 16 -Photography spread throughout China in the latter half of the 19th century, leading to the creation of commercial studios specializing in portraits.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

7/16 -摄影在19世纪后半叶传遍中国,专门从事人像摄影的商业工作室的应运而生。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

8 / 16 -Studio portraits were often hand-painted by artists after being developed.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

8/16 -画室肖像往往在冲洗后由艺术家手绘。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

9 / 16 -The images in Loewentheil's collection often document the architecture of buildings since damaged or destroyed.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

9/16 - 洛文希尔专辑中的图像经常记录受损或毁坏后的建筑结构。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

10 / 16 -Scottish photographer John Thompson's view of downtown Hong Kong is virtually unrecognizable from today's mass of skyscrapers.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

10/16 -苏格兰摄影师约翰·汤普森拍摄的香港市中心景象,在今天的摩天大楼群中几乎是认不出来的。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

11 / 16 -A panoramic view of Beijing's city walls, almost all of which have since been destroyed.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

11/16 -北京城墙的全景,几乎所有的城墙都已被摧毁。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

13 / 16 -Thomas Child's pictures of Beijing's Summer Palace, which was subsequently burned down by Anglo-French forces, offer an invaluable record of its lost architecture.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

13/16 -托马斯·蔡尔德拍摄的北京颐和园后来被英法联军烧毁,这些照片为我们提供了一份珍贵的失传的建筑记录。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

14 / 16 -A street scene in Shanghai. Street photography proved especially challenging at the time, as the unavoidably long exposures often resulted in blurring.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

14/16上海的街景。街头摄影在当时被证明是特别具有挑战性的,因为不可避免的长时间曝光常常导致模糊。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

15 / 16 -Englishman Thomas Child was an engineer stationed in Beijing (then Peking) for almost two decades. He often documented the intricacies of China's traditional architecture, although he also turned his lens toward human subjects.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

15/16 -英国人托马斯·柴尔德是一名驻北京(当时的北平)将近二十年的工程师。他经常记录中国传统建筑的错综复杂,尽管他也把镜头转向了人的主题。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

16 / 16 -A studio shot by American photographer Milton Miller, who captured life in Hong Kong and Guangzhou (then Canton) in the early 1860s.The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

16 / 16—美国摄影师米尔顿·米勒的影棚拍摄照,他在19世纪60年代早期拍摄了香港和广州 (当时的广州) 的生活。《洛文希尔中国摄影作品集》

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