Hammer and Sickle, Yeah!

Hammer and Sickle, Yeah!

A review of Seen in China 1956 by Tom Hutchins and

The Shops by Steve Braunias and Peter Black

Max Oettli for Landfall Review Online

August 1, 2017

Seen in China 1956 by Tom Hutchins, edited by John B. Turner (Turner Photo Books in collaboration with Photo Forum as PhotoForum #86, 2016), 124 pp., $25;

The Shops by Steve Braunias and Peter Black (Luncheon Sausage Press Books/Photo Forum, 2016), 62 pp., $40 (designated as PhotoForum #87, 2016)

What did I know about China in 1956? I was nine at the time, a smart-arsed Swiss-German kid, the runt in a family of four. We had a German Jugend book I’d devoured, as I devoured everything readable in our house, a kind of companion volume to Harrer’s Seven Years in Tibet I suppose, of a German’s experience of living in China for 30 years. The book was probably from a time when Germany was a somewhat tarnished currency (as was Harrer’s Tibet book, incidentally), but this did not stop me reading it avidly. There were countless millions of Chinese, apparently; they drank tea, did gruesome things to women’s feet and had rather fixed dietary habits and somewhat rudimentary plumbing, which gave them and their whole country a distinctive smell, to put it mildly. Their governance was based on a very hierarchic Confucian order and their punishment of criminals was gruesome.

Read the full review at Landfall Review Online

Purchase Seen in China 1956 from PhotoForum

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