Event Detail


A Photographer in Old Beijing: Treasures from a Lost Shoe Box

Patrick Dransfield
Monday, 3 Jul 2023
7.30 pm to 8.30 pm
The Executive Centre - Level 35, Two Pacific Place
Complimentary free-flow Drinks from 6:45 pm; Talk at 7:30 pm

“We are all the luckier for seeing these pictures through the deeply empathetic lens that Patrick Dransfield brought to Beijing in 1986.”   
Prof Rana Mitter, OBE, University of Oxford

‘He captures a country on the brink of social change and a landscape near eclipsed from history’
 The Financial Times

In the summer of 1986, Patrick Dransfield was residing with a Chinese professor and his wife in north Beijing.  He’d acquired a second-hand twin periscope Seagull camera and proceeded to record the street scenes he encountered on his long cycle rides between Peking University and the Newsweek office in west Beijing. 

The over 100 rolls of negatives, comprising 800+ photographs, languished in a shoe box in his family home until 2020.  This ‘trove of lost photographs’, featured in the Financial Times ‘HTSI’ magazine in October 2022, setting off world-wide interest.

In the talk, Patrick traces his observations as a young but enthusiastic photographer, and offers a fascinating portrait of a way of life that has since immeasurably changed.  He also shares his thoughts on art history and photography in the context of these unique images of a China in transition.

Patrick Dransfield is a photographer, author, public speaker and historian.  He hails from the United Kingdom and read English and History of Art at the University of Leeds.  He also holds a Masters in Chinese History from University of London’s School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), inspired by the diaries of his father, who was a young Officer in the Royal Navy visiting Hong Kong 1945-6. 

Patrick is the author of audio book “Duel of the Sorcerers” and "Track of Time: Moments of Transition", a book based on the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club Exhibition of his ‘Old Beijing’ photographs.  After nearly three decades in Hong Kong, Patrick now resides in Abu Dhabi.

Members of the RGS, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$200 for RGS Members and HK$250 for guests and others, including complimentary free-flow drinks. 


The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to
The Executive Centre as the Venue Sponsor of this talk.

The opinions expressed in this talk are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of the Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong.

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