Very often, we own items of incredibly high value but as we are busy with our daily hustle and bustle and spend little time with the things we have, we do not realize their importance. If we take a closer look or if we are lucky enough to get into a situation that encourages us to research a little deeper on the things we call our own, treasures can be discovered we had never imagined before.
This happened to Jakob Becker when he went to his grandmother’s home to chat about family stories, watch old photographs and stumbling upon a collection of colored slides from China in 1961, taken by Becker’s great-grandfather Dr. Horst Köntopp, that aroused his interest from a photographic and historic point of view. Becker knew of this collection before, but it only started to arouse his interested after having been to China for the first time himself in 2015. Being surprised by the quantity and the overall good condition of the slides, Becker decided to digitize the photos, identify the shooting locations and even visit the same locations in China and take a photo again nearly 60 years later from the same point of view – a task Becker worked on during the coming six years. While researching deeper on that project, Becker realized that colored photographs from China of that time are extremely rare, as colored photography was a technology not available in China in the early 60s and only very few foreign people were given the chance visit China while being able to bring high-quality camera equipment including colored films. Thus, the slides Köntopp took in China are possibly the largest sizable collection of colored photographs from China in 1961 known to date.
This beautifully designed photo book showcases almost 300 coloured images of China in 1961, taken by the German doctor Horst Köntopp, alongside the same images taken 60 years later by his great-grandson Jakob Moritz Becker.
The historical photos were taken in the cities of Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Conghua and Foshan, showing a wide variety of street scenes, building ensembles and portraits, thus allowing the reader to travel back to a China that has changed significantly during the recent decades.
376 pages | hard cover | 27 x 27 cm | trilingual (Chinese, English, German)