My dad forwarded me an email full of these gorgeous photos of old Chinese culture, taken between the late 1800s and early 1900s, and I fell in love. Some are romantic and some are kitschy, but all of them have oodles of character. Thanks to Google’s new image search function, I found out that they aren’t all taken by the same photographer, but were compiled and restored by the same person on flickr, ralphrepo. He’s done an amazing job of restoring them, and researching the history behind every photograph, so I strongly recommend that you brew a cup of tea, click through each image, and have a good pre-bedtime read :) These three are my favourites.
This one is so hilarious to me because it’s so kitschy and overly styled! Even the title sounds silly – Natives At Breakfast, Movable Chow Shop, Canton, China. Ralphrepo suggests that this, and the following two images were all taken in the same studio at the same time (note the floor tiles in every photograph), by the same American photographers who tried to capture a ‘real’ slice of Chinese culture.