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
Japanese ladies in Shanghai harbour
Crowds and boats in the Shanghai harbour
Duck farmer in the outskirts of the city
Summer palace rooftops
Warrior statues on the great way of spirits
Day at the races