China 63: Hans (Johnny) Schneider

Billet de Marine Cabos (SOAS, associée CECMC), publié sur son site Photography of China. Il est consacré à des photographies du berlinois Hans Schneider, qui s’était rendu en Chine dans les années 60.

China 63

— Written by Hans (Johnny) Schneider

My interest in Photography goes back to my childhood in the Berlin of the 1930s when someone gave me an AGFA box camera using 6 x 9 cm black and white 120 film rolls. My weekly allowance was $0.25 Deutsche Mark so I had to badger for more money. With a primitive developer box, I could process my films without need for a darkroom and learned soon to develop and copy.

Fast forward and several generations of cameras later, my wife, Christina, and I arrived in Beijing in 1963 on a sunny but cold March morning after a long flight from Moscow through Siberia on Aeroflot. I carried a Rolleiflex for black and white and Christina a Contax for colour. While black and white film was easily available in Beijing, Kodakchrome was not.

As an invited ‘specialist’ I could import many things, Jardine, Matheson & Co in Hong Kong became my favourite suppliers. In the aftermath of the China-Soviet break after Krushev’s speech denouncing Stalin, we filled in when the 2-3000 Soviet ‘specialists’ left almost overnight. Located on the way to the Summer Palace and Beijing University, the Friendship Hotel (Youyi Binguan, still in existence today) was a large walled compound, with a main and several other buildings, tennis court, gym, swimming pool, shops, clinic, theatre, several restaurants and its own car pool. In the spring of 1963, it was then host to a motley crowd of writers, translators, journalists, radio announcers, etc. from some 30-40 countries, plus a few foreigners who remained in China after the II World War. My wife ended up teaching Spanish to the students at the Diplomatic College, I became the editor and translator of ‘China Illustrated’ and occasionally assisted Anna-Louise Strong ‘Letters from Beijing’ and Mme Soong Ching-ling (Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China) with ‘China Reconstructs’.

Lire la suite du billet sur Photography of China


Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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