Tom Hutchins – Seen In China 1956

Tom Hutchins – Seen In China 1956


Edited by John B. Turner. Published by Turner PhotoBooks, Auckland/Beijing in collaboration with PhotoForum Inc, Auckland, NZ, 2016.

Designated as PhotoForum #86

Chinese translation by Han Niu
English and Chinese text
ISSN 01110411
A5, 124 pages, 99 photographs, hardcover.

This bi-lingual book was produced to coincide with the debut exhibition of photographs made in China 60 years ago by the pioneering New Zealand photojournalist and photographic educator, Tom Hutchins (1921-2007), presented at the 2016 Pingyao International Photography Festival.

‘On the platform there are many people waiting to cross the other way, waiting for the train back to Hong Kong. . . No one seems to mind having their pictures taken, and the attractive girl who sends off my cable from a raised bureau in the middle of the platform blushes and smiles with charming embarrassment as I focus closely on her, and a few smiling people gather to watch. As she looks up tables and concentrates on getting a few words away to a strange place called New Zealand I keep my camera busy, and behind it I secretly celebrate this first success in doing what I had come to China for—photographing in my own way and on my own terms these people who number a quarter of mankind.’

The above quote is from Tom Hutchins, writing about entering Communist China on 9 May 1956, which was then closed to most of the world. It was the beginning of four months of non-stop activity for him.

View online exhibition of Tom Hutchins – Seen In China 1956

Interview with John B. Turner – 25 Remarkable Images Provide Rare Glimpse of 1956 China, by Matt Schiavenza Asia Society

See more Tom Hutchins’ China photographs on John Turner’s website


Peter Ireland for Eyecontact

Max Oettli for Landfall Online

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