Stéphane François Marie Passet (1875-1941) was an amateur photographer and appointed operator on behalf of the Archives de la Planète (Archives of the Planet). This archival project began thanks to the wealthy French-based banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn (1860-1940), who became interested in Chinese cultural heritage after his part-business, part-pleasure trip to China between November 1908 and May 1909.
After his return to Paris, Kahn decided to launch the worldwide project Les Archives de la Planète. This three-decade long project distinguished itself from any other initiated at that time thanks to the compilation of a visual inventory of the world that it produced, utilizing ground-breaking types of media from that time, namely autochrome and film. With the utopian aim to “fix once and for all the aspects, the practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearing is just a question of time,” Kahn hired a dozen operators to help him visualize the world, including Passet.
These images introduce chiefly Taishan, one of the best-known mountains in China. Located in Shandong province to the north of Tai’an city, Taishan is conceived as the Eastern Marchmount of the Five Sacred Peaks (wuyue, 五嶽).
For more information on this project, click here.
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.