Photo Albums

Last week I finally finished working on the scattered photographs and moved on to the much easier task of processing the photo albums. As I will be traveling to Hong Kong during the reading days, this is the last week I am working as a CCEPS fellow this semester. I will resume archiving when I return to Claremont in late August. 

The photo albums mostly contain old photos that Norman Yao took in British Hong Kong, some for the US Information Service and others of his own interest. Norman documented many local events such as Zhang Daqian’s (1899 – 1983) visit to an art exhibition, the catastrophic 1952 fire in Kowloon, and industrial exhibitions of native goods. A number of these photos were published in local newspapers as they showcase Hong Kong’s search for identity as a one of the last Asian colonies in the postwar era. 

There is also a particular discourse among Norman’s photo albums. The albums usually begin with a photo of Norman with his camera, and they proceed with a few auspicious photos, usually eagles or Chinese junks. Then Norman would include a few photos of his beloved wife, Anne Yao, before the actually contents begin. 

Have a good weekend! 



Chinese sailor on a British ship, c. 1954


Anne Yao in Hong Kong, c. 1953