Image of the Week

Every week, on Monday, we feature a new image on the header of the China Channel, behind our logo. Below is a list of all of our past Images of the Week, from most recent.


Week forty-three – 7.16.18 – Hoop Dreams

School students play basketball in Nanjing (Lauren Teixeira)

Week forty-two – 7.9.18 – Marco Polo Bridge Incident Memorial

Memorial at the south wall of the Wanping Castle in Beijing to the Marco Polo Bridge skirmish of July 7 1937, that escalated into all-out war between China and Japan (photo: Vmenkov)

Week forty-one – 7.2.18 – From Below

A view from the ground-up of the Shanghai tower (Daniel Rickleman)

Week forty– 6.25.18 – Peking Observatory

Detail from “A Celestial Globe,” as photographed by John Thomson c. 1874

Week thirty-nine  6/18/18 – Rooftop kung fu

A student of traditional Shaolin style kung fu, on a Beijing rooftop (photo by Christopher Cherry)

Week thirty-eight 6/11/18 – Beining Park

Japanese occupation-era postcard of Beining Park, Tianjin

Week thirty-seven – 5/35/18 – Visiting the Goddess

Pigeons roost on the Goddess of Democracy statue in San Francisco’s Chinatown, commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing, on the morning of July 4, 1989. Photo by Nikita

Week thirty-six 5/28/18 – Laundry Day

Clothes hang out to dry outside a Shanghai apartment building. Photo by Pedro Szekeley

Week thirty-five 5/21/18 – Three Men Laugh at Tiger Brook

A 12th century Song dynasty painting illustrating the proverb ‘Three Men [Huiyuan, Tao Yuanming and Lu Xiujing] Laugh at Tiger Brook,’ illustrating the complementary nature of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism

Week thirty-four 5/14/18 – Yu Garden

In the shade of Yu Garden, Old Town, Shanghai. Photo by Jakub Hałun

Week thirty-three 5/7/18 – Haoshang Bridge

Connecting the Leshan Giant Buddha with the mainland, despite its ancient appearance, the Haoshang Bridge was actually built in the 1990s. Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

Week thirty-two – 4/30/18 – A train named Grasshopper

Sergeant A. Tinkham and Captain H.R. Stockley, of the Royal Engineers No 4. Company of the Bengal Sappers and Miners, pose along with two unnamed Chinese men in front of their improvised locomotive pieced together following the Boxer Uprising in Beijing of 1899-1901

Week thirty-one 4/23/18 – Hong Kong, 1955

Hong Kong, the harbour and Kowloon, viewed from the Peak near the tramway terminus. Photo by Martin Funnell

Week thirty – 4/16/18 – Beijing Stock Exchange

Opened in 1918, the Old Beijing Stock Exchange (中原证券交易所) was the first securities exchange operated and owned by the Chinese (before then, they were all run by foreign merchants). The exchange operated for several decades before trading stopped in the 1940s. It reopened briefly after the Communist Party took over in 1949, and then closed for good soon after. Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen

Week twenty-nine 4/9/18 – Guan Yu

‘Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles,’ a mural of Han dynasty general Guan Yu – later immortalized in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms – displayed in the Summer Palace, Beijing.

Week twenty-eight 4/2/18 –  Imperial Plowing Ceremony

Still celebrated in Japan and across SE Asia, the Imperial Plowing Ceremony was held in the third lunar month of the year. In this 18th century print, based on the writings of French horticulturalist, missionary, bureaucrat, and one-armed spice smuggler Pierre Poivre, we see the Qianlong Emperor laying down the first furrows of the season

Week twenty-seven  3/26/18 –  Buddha and Heavenly Kings

No Buddhist temple would be complete without a Hall of the Four Great Heavenly Kings, or  Si Da Tian Wang, typically located at the entrance of the main shrine. Pictured here in a photograph taken in the early 20th century by Harold Peck, Siddhartha Gautama sits in Chinese dress, flanked by two of his celestial entourage

Week twenty-six 3/19/18 –  Fall of Kaifang

This month marks the 685th anniversary of the fall of the Jin dynasty Jurchen capital of Kaifang to Mongol invaders in 1233, under the leadership of Ögedei Khaan, third son of  Chinggis Khaan (pictured here on the 1000 tugrik note). After the founding the Yuan dynasty by Ögedei’s nephew, Kublai Khaan, Ögedei was given the posthumous title of taizong, or ‘second emperor’   

Week twenty-five  3/12/18 –  Arbor Day

Founded in 1915 by Lin Dao-yang, a graduate of Yale’s College of Agriculture and Forestry, Arbor Day was originally celebrated in the Republic on China as a part of Qingming Festival. After the death of Sun Yat-sen on March 12, 1925, it was moved to the current date, where it continues to be observed on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Photo by Ethan Lee

Week twenty-four  3/5/18 –  Lei Feng

Five decades ago, a humble PLA soldier tragically felled (quite literally in this case) in the line of duty became the posterboy of the Socialist Education Movement. While the movement has largely been forgotten, the legend of Lei Feng lives on

Week twenty-three  2/26/18 –  Paeonia suffruticosa

Once the national flower, in Chinese literature and art the peony is thought to symbolize love and affection. Photo by Jesse  

Week twenty-two 2/19/18 – An Lushan Rebellion

In this painting, one of three reputed Song copies of the Tang original, Emperor Ming-huang is depicted fleeing to the Kingdom of Shu to escape the armies of usurper An Lushan, a pivotal moment in the eventual collapse of the Tang dynasty

Week twenty-one 2/12/18 – Year of the Dog

To celebrate annus canis, we’ve dug up a guide to Manchurian mutts that dates back to the Qing dynasty. Tradition holds that people born in the Year of Dog are loyal to their friends, tough on their enemies, and wary around strangers.    

Week twenty 2/5/18 – Verbiest’s Map of the World

Arriving in Macau in 1659 as one of 37 Jesuit missionaries sent to the Far East that year, Ferdinand Verbiest helped introduce the principles of European astronomy, cartography, and mathematics to the Qing court

Week nineteen 1/29/18 – Reed Flute Cave

A 180 million year old limestone cave in Guilin gets a technicolor makeover. Photo by Dennis Jarvis

Week eighteen 1/22/18 – Quanzhen school

After meeting a pair of immortals in a tavern in the summer of 1159 AD, Wang Chongyang (born 905 years ago this week) founded the ‘Quanzhen,’ or ‘all true’ school of Taoism to overthrow the reigning Jurchen Jin dynasty and restore the Song. As depicted in this mural, after three years living in a grave and four in a hut, Wang would be joined by seven disciples (top, from left to right): Qiu Chuji, Sun Bu’er, Ma Yu, Tan Chuduan, (bottom) Hao Datong, Wang Chuyi, and Liu Chuxuan    

Week seventeen 1/15/18 – Huangpu River

Panorama taken by G. Warren Swire from the deck of a China Navigation Company steamship c. 1906

Week sixteen 1/8/18 – Lama Temple

While the official name translates into English as ‘The Palace of Harmonious Harmony’ (a dubious title, given its origins) this temple (home to an enormous 26 meter tall Buddha, carved from a single piece of sandalwood) is famous for having been saved from destruction during the Cultural Revolution by Zhou Enlai, born 120 years ago today. Photo by Charlie Fong

Week fifteen– 1/1/18 – Taiping Rebellion

Today marks the 204th birthday of Hong Xiuquan, leader of a popular revolt against the Qing Empire, “Heavenly King,” and self-proclaimed younger brother of Jesus Christ. In this print, sent by Qing officers to the Forbidden City in Peking, the recapture of the cities of Yangzhou and Zhenjiang is celebrated — fake news according to The London Illustrated News, who set the record straight January 7, 1854

Week fourteen – 12/25/17 –  Christmas in Hong Kong

A Christmas tree decked out in festive fashion in Hong Kong’s Charter Garden. Photo taken on December 12, 2011 by Ding Yuin Shan

Week thirteen – 12/18/17 –  Harbin Ice Sculptures

Held annually in Harbin, far north China, since 1985, thanks to low winter temperatures and a ready supply of ice from the Songhua River, the Harbin International Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival has become the largest event of it’s kind in the world. Photo by Tracy Hunter

Week twelve – 12/11/17 –  Landscape Master

Often described as the last master of the Northern Song, Chinese landscape artist Guo Xi (郭熙, 1020-1090) is famous not only for the paintings he has left behind, but also his essay, ‘The Lofty Message of Forest and Streams,’ recorded by his son, on his technique

Week eleven – 12/04/17 –  Cultural Revolution

Launched by Mao Zedong with the ‘May 16 Notification’ of 1966, by June the Cultural Revolution had been transformed into a nationwide movement of mass student rallies. Two years later, in December 1968, would lead to the “Up to the Mountains, Down to Countryside” movement which would send millions of urban youth to labor for over a decade in the countryside. Photo by Joan Campderrós-i-Canas

Week ten – 11/27/17 – Pandas and Vader

Originally the site of a textile factory, over the last two decades 50 Moganshan Road (aka M50) has been transformed into a hub for Shanghai’s burgeoning contemporary art scene. Photo of the graffiti wall (featuring Darth Vader alongside Po, the Kung Fu Panda) by Kenneth Lu

Week nine – 11/20/17 – The Shaw Brothers

Founded in 1925 as the Shanghai-based Tianyi Film Studio by Runje, Runde, and Runme Shaw, it was the youngest Shaw brother, Run Run 邵逸夫, born 110 years ago this week, who led the studio into the lucrative South East Asian market, introducing campy Chinese ‘kung fu’ to the world

Week eight – 11/13/17 – Empress Dowager Cixi

In a painting by Hubert Vos, completed in the Imperial Palace in Beijing in June, 1905. Cixi’s death on November 15, 1908, just one day after her nephew, the Guangxu Emperor, would leave the throne to Puyi, a two-year old child

Week seven – 11/06/17 – Battle of Shanghai

National Revolutionary Army soldiers run down the streets of Zhabei, Shanghai, in 1937, marking the beginning of WWII in China. The three-month long siege by the Imperial Japanese Army, ending in the eventual retreat of NRA 80 years ago this week, would prove devastating not only for Chinese industry in the city, but also for the German-trained officer corps of Chiang Kai-shek

Week six – 10/30/17 – Mixed Martial Arts

Zhang Lipeng carries his best friend, Ning Guangyou, as part of his training regime for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in Chengdu. Photo by Christopher Cherry

Week five – 10/23/17 – The Soong Sisters

Daughters of the Shanghai printing mogul Charlie Soong, the Soong sisters became famous for marrying into even greater wealth and power: the eldest, Soong Ai-ling married H. H. Kung, finance minister of the Republic; Soong Ching-ling, the middle sister, married Sun Yat-sen, father of the Republic; and the youngest, Soong Mei-ling, who passed away 14 years ago this week, married Chiang Kai-shek. In the photograph, taken around 1940, Ai-ling, Mei-ling and Ching-ling (in black) visit Nationalist women soldiers

Week four – 10/16/17 – Wu Zetian’s Buddha

The Longmen (“Dragon Gate”) Grottoes represent the pinnacle of Buddhist iconography in China, with some 100,000 statues of the Buddha spread out over 2000 caves. This Vairocana Buddha was carved in 672 AD, during the de facto reign of Empress Wu Zetian. On this day in 690 AD, Empress Wu would become the first (and last) woman to officially ascend the throne, crowning herself Sacred and Divine Empress Regnant of the Zhou dynasty. A devout Buddhist, Empress Wu is said to have directed the 17 meter-tall Vairocana Buddha to be carved in her own likeness. Photo by Gisling

Week three – 10/9/17 – Wuchang uprising

An episode in the revolutionary war in China, 1911: the battle at Hankow” by T. Miyano (Japan, 1920s), from the collection of the Wellcome Library, London. This Tuesday, October 10, is the 106th anniversary of the Wuchang uprising that brought down the Qing dynasty

Week two – 10/2/17 – Galaxy Soho

A view of the Galaxy Soho building in Beijing, designed by Zaha Hadid and opened in 2012, from a hutong alleyway, photographed by Jens Schott Knudsen for the Anthill

Week one – 9/25/17 – Lu Xun

A 1974 woodblock print by Li Yitai (李以泰) of the Republican-era writer and activist Lu Xun, born in Shaoxing, Zhejiang, on September 25, 1881. 136 years later, we launched the China Channel on Lu Xun’s birthday