Walter Bosshard - Race for China

Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing (China) 28 Nov 2019 - 03 May 2020

+++++ LATEST NEWS: 78,000 exhibition visitors in Beijing from the start of the exhibition on 28 November 2019 until the end of 2019! +++++

Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing (China) 28 November 2019 - 03 May 2020
previously: Fotostiftung Schweiz in Winterthur 22 September 2018 - 10 February 2019

The Swiss Walter Bosshard can be called one of the pioneers of modern photojournalism. Around 1930, when newly designed illustrated magazines were enjoying unprecedented success, he was at the forefront of the field. His illustrated reports reached an audience of millions and made him an internationally sought-after reporter. From 1931 Bosshard concentrated on China, settling in Beijing in 1933. He sensed that the Middle Kingdom was about to undergo far-reaching upheavals. He followed the devastating war against Japan and the power struggle between nationalists and communists in his photographs and writings. But he also devoted himself to everyday life and life in the streets. In 1938 he was the first European to reach the loess caves of Yan'an, where Mao and the Red Army were gathering their forces. With this reportage Bosshard won the race of the media - among others in front of Robert Capa, who was his friend and rival at that time. The exhibition of the Fotostiftung Schweiz shows new, unknown pictures by Walter Bosshard and confronts them with reportages by Robert Capa that were simultaneously produced in China.

In collaboration with the Archive for Contemporary History ETH Zurich, ullstein bild collection Berlin and the International Center of Photography New York.

(Text: Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur)

We are delighted to accompany this exhibition and to be able to enrich it with key exhibits from the ullstein bild collection. Walter Bosshard (1892-1975) worked for several years and on various trips as a special correspondent for the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung of the Ullstein publishing house. Bosshard ended this extremely successful collaboration in 1938 under pressure from the changed political conditions in Germany and after the Ullstein publishing house was renamed "Deutscher Verlag" in 1937. On July 12, 1935, in a lecture in the casino hall of the Ullstein House, he reported: "In the last ten years I have travelled and got to know China from the unexplored areas of the Kunlun and the deserts of Central Asia to the crowded port cities on the Yangtze, from the Manchurian forests to the bamboo groves of the south. I have met the most important statesmen and generals. I met the masses of the hard-working, old and yet eternally young people and shared their meals with the most ordinary pen. I made jokes with bandits and I count priests and living Buddhas among my friends. Every time after I left China and looked at this empire from the outside, I realized that there is an energy in this people that will one day be dangerous for us in old Europe.“

On the occasion of this exhibition, which will first be shown in Winterthur/Switzerland and then in Beijing/China, many of the Bosshard photographs from the ullstein bild collection have been digitized for the first time. All 32 exhibits as well as some impressions from the two exhibitions can be found in our gallery.

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Dr. Katrin
Senior Manager Asset & Exhibition
+49 30 2591 73164