The Chinese photo studio Sze Yuen Ming & Co was known in Chinese as the Yao Hua studio (Shangyang Yaohua zhaoxiang 上洋耀華照相). This studio based in Shanghai and active between 1892 and the 1920s was directed by Shi Dezhi 施德之 (1861-1935). Sze’s production ranged from portraits (notably popular hand-tinted photographs of courtesans) and news pictures, to topographical scenes that suited the tastes of both Chinese and Western communities.
Sze’s landscape photographs received official recognition at the Parisian Exposition Universelle in 1900 with the jury awarding the studio an honorable grant. It became then the only studio in the late Qing dynasty period to be awarded an international prize.
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