Asia: Through the Lens of John Thomson
Legendary Scottish photographer and travel writer John Thomson (1837-1921) set off for Singapore in 1862 and in the next 10 years, he undertook several major journeys photographing regions of Siam (Thailand), Cambodia and China. Photographs taken on these journeys form one of the most extensive records of any region taken in the 19th century. The range, depth and aesthetic quality of John Thomson’s photographic vision mark him out as one of the most important travel photographers.
2021 commemorates the centenary of Thomson’s death. There is an exhibition of his China photographs at Heriot Watt University, his alma mater and Historic Environment Scotland has honoured him by erecting a plaque at his childhood home in Old Town Edinburgh.
Exhibition curator Betty Yao MBE will discuss Thomson’s life, career, legacy and the enduring appeal of his photographs in this digital age.