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October 2015
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Discover Formosa in 1871 through John Thomson’s photographs

Formose muzha © Wellcome Librar#1F1

John Thomson is the most famous photographer of 19th century China. After being the first to photograph the ruins of Angkor, he eventually settled in Hong Kong where he was able to make several trips to China and spent a month in southern Formosa (now Taiwan) in April 1871. This Exhibition explains how the route and the location behind each of his photos were made possible thanks to the know-how of a local scholar and pencil and reudoudous vendour named You Yung Fu. Through fifty negatives printed onto glass, we discover the differences between KaoHsing, now the third largest port in the world and megacity, and its former arid land of DàGòu. Approximately thirty wood engravings which appeared in Le Tour du Monde in 1875 accompany the photos that inspired them. B.D.

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