The Door Opened: 1980s China


Evening Presentation with ADRIAN BRADSHAW, Author and Photographer


Registration & Drinks Reception 6:30pm
Presentation 7:00pm
Close 8:00pm

The Door Opened: 1980s China is a powerful record of the golden era of reform, when China and the rest of the world were united in their enthusiasm for better things to come. A youthful population was seizing the possibilities of personal development and experimentation. Into this febrile environment came British photojournalist Adrian Bradshaw who had travelled from London by plane, ship and train in 1984 for a course at the Beijing Languages Institute. From the first day he knew he was photographing the history of a society on the move. In his new book, he turns to his more personal images - most previously unpublished – sharing what he witnessed in the 1980s with humour and empathy. This was the time China began to visibly embrace the possibilities of reform and opening up: from the first fashion shows to the visits of Muhammad Ali and Bernardo Bertolucci; the transition from muddy rural free markets to private businesses and factories. Mr Bradshaw will share with us his personal experience of a crucial period in the story of China’s rise.


Adrian Bradshaw is a distinguished and widely published British photographer with clients ranging from Life magazine to Der Spiegel, Coca-Cola to Apple Computer. At the time these photographs were taken his motives were simply to inform an international audience about the changing society he lived in. Now they are resonating within China where few have a visual record of how life was before economic lift-off and globalisation. Staying for three decades in China, longer than any other foreign photojournalist, Bradshaw’s work offers the perspective of an independent witness living the experience. Now based in Oxford he is mining an archive of almost two million images to produce a series of books and exhibitions in collaboration with a leading UK book designer, Professor Phil Cleaver.

Event Details

Fri 06 Sep 2019
6:30 - 8 p.m.

Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty

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Asia Society Members $150; Non-members $250; Free for Students.
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