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Since 2015, urbanist and hobby photographer Jakob Becker has been exploring the historical and social development of China. Jakob’s great-grandfather, Dr. Horst Köntopp, brought back an extensive collection of color photographs from his trip which took him to China as a doctor in 1961. Tracing the historical development of the country, Jakob analyzed and digitized the historical images from a time when photography in China was still almost exclusively in black and white. 60 years later, he himself traveled to many of the exact locations where the historical photos were taken in order to capture the same motifs again from identical points of view.
The beautifully designed triligual (Chinese-English-German) photo book “China 1961 – 2021 ⦁ Traces of Change” (27 x 27 cm), contains photographs taken in China from two times far apart: It showcases 285 historical color photographs from 1961 of the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Foshan, and Conghua – including portraits, landscapes, street scenes and places of work – alongside the same images taken 60 years later by Köntopp’s great-grandson Jakob Becker.