Synopses & Reviews
This volume explores the early history of the photographic studio and portrait in China and Japan. The institution of the photographic studio has received relatively little attention in the history of photography; contributors here investigate various manifestations of the studio as a place, and as a space that was cultural, economic, and creative. Its authors also look closely at the studio portrait not as images alone, but also as collaborative ventures between studio operators and sitters, opportunities to invent new roles, images that merged the new medium with "traditional" visual practices, as well as the portrait s part in devising modern, gendered, nationalistic, and public identities for its subjects. As the first collection of its kind, Portraiture and Early Studio Photography in China and Japan analyzes the photographic likeness its producers, subjects, viewers, and pictorial forms and argues for the historical significance of the photographic studio as a specific and new space central to the formation of new identities and communities. Photography s identity as a transnational technology is thus explored through the local uses, adaptations, and assimilations of the imported medium, presenting modern images of their subjects in specific Japanese and Chinese contexts.