Sunday, July 13, 2008

Window

The blurb says: "From 1908 to 1932, Sidney Gamble (1890-1968) visited China four times, traveling throughout the country to collect data for social-economic surveys and to photograph urban and rural life, public events, architecture, religious statuary, and the countryside. A sociologist, renowned China scholar, and avid amateur photographer, Gamble used some of the pictures to illustrate his monographs."

Now you can access these images at the Duke University website here.It's a fascinating window opening onto part of China's past. And in China, as in much of the non-Western parts of the world, the past is not only not dead, or even past, but is a much a part of the future as the present. Even here in the U.S., in our attempted mastery of making our last fifteen minutes the only fifteen minutes of human history, the dead hand of the past still pulls at our pants leg now and then...Anyway, the photographs are at the same time immediate and antique, lovely, ugly, tender and tragic: everything that life is and was then as it is today. Worth a look.

3 comments:

walternatives said...

Worth a look, indeed. Thanks for this Sunday morning treat.

pluto said...

The house on the bridge is the most crazy-brilliant-stupid concept I've seen in a while. Wonder what it was like on the inside.

Dee said...

These are wonderful. Thanks for the link.