Hsu Chung-mao

Historical photo collector

Hsu Chung-mao has been a journalist for 20 years. He has been at the frontline in covering the Iraq-Palestine conflict, the US’ bombing of Libya, and the civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua. He is currently the head of Nueva Vision Co, Ltd (新世语文化有限公司), and his published works are branded under the Hsu Chung Mao Studio (徐宗懋图文馆) in Taiwan and Qin Feng Studio (秦风老照片馆) in mainland China. In recent years, he has been collecting images of recent world history, to encourage civic education and cultural exploration, and to promote old photos as important first-hand material into recent history.

In 1904, The Judge magazine ran this cartoon titled The New Square-Deal Deck, with Theodore Roosevelt saying, "Come, now, gentlemen; it is time to throw aside that worn-out deck and try one which will give both of you a square deal." The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was repeatedly extended, sparking anger from the Chinese government and overseas Chinese. In the picture, a Chinese and Uncle Sam take turns to play their political cards, neither side willing to give in.

[Photo story] China-US relations in the late 19th century: Is history repeating itself?

Were China-US relations always as they are now? Or was there something that changed the situation? Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao presents powerful images from US magazines in the late 19th century, which depict sinophobia in US society and difficulties in China-US relations more than a century ago. Are these images proof that history repeats itself?
The plague outbreak in late 1910 spread with the use of railways. There were many cases and deaths in northeast China, and the Qing dynasty government pumped in plenty of medical resources. In this photo, medical staff gather in front of an inn. At the time, there were many confirmed and suspected cases, and there was a serious lack of medical spaces, leading to the use of inns as medical facilities.

[Photo story] The Manchurian plague outbreak and the Malayan doctor Wu Lien-teh

The current coronavirus outbreak is not the first epidemic in China. Photo collector and Taiwanese writer Hsu Chung-mao, looks at a plague outbreak in Manchuria over a century ago and the role played by a Malaya-born doctor and Nobel Prize nominee.
Fairgoers blowing bubbles at the Confucius Temple lantern display. The floating bubbles lend an air of fantasy to the scene.

[Chinese New Year Special] A bygone era: Chinese New Year celebrations during the time of the Republic of China

The Chinese calendar, based on observations of sun and moon, was chiefly used to mark agrarian time. With the dawn of the Republic of China in 1912, official calendars were reset to the Gregorian system. No matter that the start of the year was now 1 January, people’s lives were still much tied to the land. They welcomed the Spring Festival and Chinese New Year with relish, celebrating their well-earned rest from toil. Photo collector Hsu Chung-mao shares his precious images of celebrations in Beijing and Nanjing from a bygone era.
This Christmas tree in the home of early US immigrant Seid Back in the 1890s is full of decorative lights, with lots of presents below. But the children are not dressed as Santa Claus, or the three wise men visiting baby Jesus in the manger as written in the Bible, which are Western observances. Instead, we see the children quaintly dressed in Chinese-style Han clothing, reminiscent of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai in the classic Chinese story of The Butterfly Lovers.

Early Chinese immigrants: Embracing the American way of life

America has long been known as the land of opportunity for people from all over the world, not least China. As 2019 draws to a close, photo historian Hsu Chung-mao retells the stories of the first wave of Chinese immigrants to America in the 19th century, capturing how they quickly embraced the American way of life, some even accepting Christianity and celebrating Christmas.
Sun Yat-sen is widely regarded as the foremost revolutionary of his time.

Sun Yat-sen and the Xinhai Revolution: A pictorial journey

Between October and December 1911, fierce fighting broke out between the revolutionaries and the Qing troops. And by early 1912, China's 2,000 years of imperial rule was history. The Xinhai Revolution led by Sun Yat-sen had successfully united the Chinese people against the imperial system, and built the first Republic in Asia, changing the fate of China and East Asia. Hsu Chung-mao takes us on a visual journey through that period of chaos and upheaval.
A boatman on the pier.

1949: A time for change - A pictorial journey with Hsu Chung-mao

In the first of an ongoing series of photo essays on China, we turn back the clock to look at how turbulence shook Nanjing and Shanghai during the Chinese Civil War, and how the two cities came to symbolise the resilience of the Chinese people.