French Journalist’s Rediscovered Photos of 1930s Shanghai Reveal Everyday Lives of the Past

Louis-Philippe Messelier's photographs of China in the 1930's capture the dynamism and vitality of a nation on the cusp of great growth. The French photographer's pieces are quickly gaining much deserved recognition after being featured on Photography of China, a media source that introduces a range of historical and contemporary photographers who focus on China. Through interesting use of angles, and a diverse choice of subject matter, Messelier's collection of photographs provide a vivid glimpse into China's past.

At 18, Messelier (1901-1986) left his home in France to become involved with the wool industry in China. He juggled this career with photojournalism, working with the French Journal of Shanghai, and as a result his images manage to capture a huge variety of faces and places around China. From aristocracy at the racecourse, to duck farmers in the fields, Messelier shoots with a characteristic sincerity and a keen eye for contrast.

This rediscovered collection of images provides a rare glimpse into the history of China, transporting viewers to the past.

Above: Opera Actor

Old man eating noodles in his shop, bird in a cage

Snake charmer

Japanese ladies in Shanghai harbour

Crowds and boats in the Shanghai harbour

Street theater

Religious dignitary 

Duck farmer in the outskirts of the city

Playong Mahjong

Summer palace rooftops

Warrior statues on the great way of spirits

Day at the races

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via [RocketNews24]

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