Meng Zhaorui 孟昭瑞 (1930-2014) was a famous photographer of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) during the Great Helmsman’s leadership in communist China.
Born in Tangshan City (Hebei province), Meng first joined the revolutionary army in the 1940s and eventually became a photographer, researcher and senior reporter. Meng recorded pivotal historical events and political figures throughout his career, including China’s first detonation of a nuclear bomb at the Lop Nur test site in Xinjiang in 1964, marking China’s rise to the nuclear stage and as a world power. Meng frequently – yet not exclusively – used colour film (Afga), such as the photographs below which were taken mostly in Tiananmen in 1966.
Learn more about Meng Zhaorui’s fascinating life here (link in Chinese).
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.