Fu Bingchang (1895-1965), also known as Foo Ping-sheung, was born in Guangdong. Since his childhood he was encouraged to artistic creation for his mother were a known local painter. Once grown up, he went to Hong Kong in order to study engineering and ultimately became an important diplomat later in his career. After graduation, his interest turned to photography and he founded with friends the short-lived Jinshi society specialized in scenic photography. Interestingly Fu used his peculiar talent to capture landscapes in order to create a large body of portraits notably depicting beautiful women often situated in sceneries, who amaze us by their beauty, the tenderness of their gaze, the delicacy of their pose. These young and beautiful women bring to mind Chen Jiagang’s beautiful ladies wearing also qipao (Chinese term meaning the long dress very popular in the 1930s) and standing in either natural or industrial sceneries. But while Chen implies melancholy and anxiety facing the contemporary world, Fu seems to convey the pureness as well as the essence of the modern women of the new China at that time. It should be noted that Fu’s photographs represent one of the rare preserved images of China taken by a Chinese in the 1930-40s.
View more of Fu Bingchang’s work here with more information at Historical Photographs of China.
Photography Friday is a regular feature from Shanghaiist in association with Photography of China, Marine Cabos’s fantastic trilingual blog about photography and photographers in China.