China in Those Days: A Postcard from the Middle Kingdom
An evening presentation by Thomas Brandt, collector and author
More than a century before the arrival of the Internet and at a time when the use of telephones was limited to the privileged few, each and every postcard was worth a thousand words. Postcards revolutionized the world's communication, the first widely circulated from of pictorial documentation. When photography was an expensive novelty, these snapshots of faraway countries were rare, if not unattainable.
An avid collector of old postcards, Thomas Brandt has probably the largest of its kind on China and Chinese overseas, amassing 9,000 images, the earliest produced in 1895. Some have been published in his book 'China In Those Days'. Through his postcard collection, Brandt will speak on early Chinese life spanning the late 1890s into the first decades of the 20th century, an era when it was a privilege to send and receive postcards from an exotic country. Not only are they important memorabilia, these vintage postcards preserve China's social history. Many of the images of people, architecture and landscapes were not recorded anywhere else but on postcards. These snapshots are not to be found in museums or national archives.
Brandt is General Manager of the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kuala Lumpur. He has published four books, including 'China In Those Days'. A limited number of copies will be on sale after the presentation.