Zhuang Xueben

Visual anthropology at the borders of Western China.

In the early 30s of the previous century, photographer Zhuang Xueben (1909-1984) left his hometown of Shanghai by horse, and a flock of llamas carrying his photography equipment, to the not yet mapped borders of West China. He travelled in appalling conditions, in order to capture the ethnic minorities living there on camera. He wrote travel notes and research papers about his ten years of travelling to yet unknown places to the outside world. These photos and written materials have become a valuable source for anthropologists to the ethnic groups in China.