John Thomson: Photographs of 19th Century China
An exhibit in Beijing includes the photographs of 19th century China by Scottish photographer John Thomson. BBC has a slideshow of his work here. From his biography on the 10 Chancery Lane Gallery site:
John Thomson was born in Edinburgh in 1837. In 1862, he made his first journey to the Far East where he set up a photographic studio. However, he soon realised that there were far more interesting subjects for his art outside the studio and began to travel extensively throughout the local countryside, photographing people as they were, at work or at rest in their own environment. It is Thomson’s empathy that was to dominate his work until his death in 1921. Whether his subject was a beggar or a king, he attempted to capture the individual behind the veneer of social status, thus reflecting his own very deep social values and personal identity.
More of his work can be viewed here.