The City of Flowers
Dezső Bozóky’s Canton Photographs
Diary entries by Dezső Bozóky; translated by Steve Kane
June 2020
104 pages
9" x 9", 35 hand-colored images
HK$150 (Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, and Taiwan only)
US$21 (Other Countries)
Paperback 978-988-74707-0-0

As a naval officer with the Austro-Hungarian Navy, Dezső Bozóky first departed Hong Kong for Canton in 1908, before travelling to Fujian, Shanghai and Beijing, where he documented the countryside and numerous cities along China’s coast. The City of Flowers brings together Bozóky’s diary excerpts and photographs from his travels through Canton and Guangdong province. All of the images presented here were digitised from Bozóky’s hand-coloured glass slides which are held in the permanent collection of the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Asiatic Arts in Budapest.

Witness to the end of China’s Imperial Era, Bozóky recorded his impressions from regions that were undergoing phenomenal socio-economic change. His interest in nature and architecture and, above all, the Qing dynasty street scenes and people he met along the way, continue to transmit the excitement and wonder of this early European traveler in a country and culture far from his own.

Poised to learn more about Asia and to experience China first-hand, Hungarian naval doctor Dezső Bozóky (1871–1957) travelled to the East during the first decade of the twentieth century, recorded his journey in a hitherto unpublished diary and photographed and self-developed hundreds of images that today present rare visual resources of the former colonial city and its busy and world-famous Victoria Harbour. An officer with the Austro-Hungarian Navy, Bozóky left Hong Kong for Canton (1908–1909) before travelling to Fujian province, Shanghai and Beijing, documenting the countryside and cities, along with their inhabitants. The photographer’s interest in nature and architecture and, above all, the Qing dynasty street scenes and people who he met, continue to transmit the excitement and wonder of this early European traveler in a country and culture so far from his own. Steve Kane is a translator and localization expert working in Budapest, Hungary.

 
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