About this artwork

Hankow (presently written Hankou) is one of three towns included in modern day Wuhan, where the Han and Yangtze rivers merge, approximately 628 km (425 miles) west of Shanghai. The photographer seems to be taking pleasure in the shapes and pattern made by the people and the upturned parasol, rather than in a story unfolded by the image. The asymmetry of the composition and the clear reflection of the figures in the water are a reference to the Chinese philosophical view of the balance in nature and art.

Pow Kee

Pow Kee

The Chinese photographer, Pow Kee, was active in the 1880s. He was a very versatile artist able to work for a European and Chinese audience. He was familiar with the European way of seeing, while at the same time he was totally fluent in the traditional Chinese style of depicting men and nature with great economy and much poetic feeling.