These are not my images. They are examples of Professor Emeritus Don Gibbs’ photographic images taken in China in the 1970’s. Visit DonGibbsChinaPhotos.com to see more.
Silk embroidery is created by first drawing the design outline. Silk production dates from over 3000 years BCE and is just one of many Chinese contributions to world civilization. Readers of The Genius of China by George Temple will be astonished by what they find there.
An impromptu street gathering and a hot sale blocking the street in Qujing was not a problem in 1987. Ten years later it would be different as China began importing and producing automobiles at such a rate that streets became clogged with traffic.
Each doorway in this Beijing alley represents a family home consisting of a single room. In the background is an example of the first generation housing built by the PRC. All this would become rubble after the 1990’s when Beijing went skyward. The wife of the famous writer Lu Ling lived here while he was in prison for association with independent writers.
These ubiquitous bookstalls did not sell books. They loaned them for a small fee. They specialized in unrestricted content: such as gory spectacles and far out lurid contents. Their books were printed on cheap paper, wildly illustrated and had very little text. One had to read them on-site with the minder carefully watching.
Bookstalls like this loaned books to read on-site for just a few pennies. They specialized in violence and sex with crude illustrations and very little text. One might find all ages reading avidly.
Bookstalls could always be found on downtown streets. Near a university campus, one can find used textbooks at a good price. Elsewhere, new and the latest editions could be had including pirated versions.
For a few cents per hour, picture books can be borrowed but read on-site only under watchful eyes of the proprietor. Similar to our comic books in style, the contents were of violence and sex.