China: Through the Lens of John Thomson is a historic photographic exhibition consisting of 150 images taken in China between 1868 and 1872. The exhibition includes a wide variety of images, themes and locations in China from Beijing to Fujian and Guangdong, portraying landscapes, people, architecture and street scenes. This is the first exhibition devoted to the Scottish photographer's Chinese images.
The couple sit close together, but the husband looks away. In traditional China, it was improper for a couple to face one another.
The Manchu bride was dressed gorgeously for her wedding, but she looked dull with a melancholy expression in her eyes.
Thomson's photographs on China captured people from all social strata - from wealthy businessmen to street peddlers, from imperial court officials to underground antique dealers, from heavy laborers to religious monks.
What marked Thomson's work out was his desire to present a faithful account of China and its people. He wanted to show his audience the human aspects of life in China through his extensive record of everyday street scenes, images that were rarely captured by other photographers of the time.
In another picture, Thomson captured the sorry inmates of a hospital where orphaned girls were offered for free to supposedly respectable families.