Wu Yinxian 1900-

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Born September 28, 1900, in Su Yang, Jiangsu, China; married Wang Zifei, 1940; children: Wu Zuging (daughter). Education: Attended Fine Arts School, Shanghai, China, 1920-22.


Home—Al. Xuang Wai Street, Beijing, People's Republic of China.


Photographer and cinematographer. Middle School, Su Yang, China, fine arts teacher, 1923-30; Red Lantern Studio, Shanghai, China, photographer, 1935-38; Dian Tong and Ming Xing Film Corporations, Shanghai, photographer, 1935-38; The Film Studio, Chang Chun, China, director, 1949-54; China Film College, Beijing, China, deputy director, 1955-66; Film Bureau, Ministry of Culture, Beijing, adviser, 1974-81. Cinematographer for documentary and feature-length films, including Children of Troubled Times, 1935; Street Angel, 1937; Song of the Red Flag, 1960; The Diary of Yan'an, 1961; Rickshaw Boy, 1982; and Days at Jinchaji, 1988. Exhibitions: Solo exhibits include Beijing Museum, 1961, 1985. Group exhibits include Beijing Museum; Hong Kong Exhibition Centre; Intertrade Building, Singapore, China; and International Center of Photography, New York, NY. Military service: Eighth Route Army, Yan'an, China, 1938-46, film team leader under Chou Enlai.


China Photographers' Association (vice president, beginning 1964), China Cinematographers' Society (president, beginning 1985), China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, China Veteran Photographers' Society (honorary president, 1985—).


Best Film Award, Chinese Ministry of Culture, 1965; Humanity Photo Award nominee, 1998.


Techniques of Expression in Photography, two volumes, [Beijing, China], 1963–65.

Portrait Photography, [Beijing, China], 1982.

Composition for Photography, [Beijing, China], 1984.

Wu Yinxian's Photo Album (two volumes), [Beijing, China], 1983–85.

Scenery Photography, [Beijing, China], 1985.

Light Selection for Photography, [Beijing, China], 1986.


Photographer, cinematographer, and filmmaker Wu Yinxian commented in Contemporary Photographers: "I produce my works of art according to socialist principles; they are intended to serve the people and socialist construction." One of China's leading photographers during that country's Cultural Revolution of the mid-twentieth century, Wu's work remained unknown by many in the West due to the political and cultural barriers erected under Chinese leader Mao Tse-Tung's government. Innovative in his approach to his craft, Wu also commented: "I think we should not copy foreign photography, but should learn from it to develop a national style. Nor should we imitate Chinese painting, but should work within the specific characteristics of photography itself."



Contemporary Photographers, 3rd edition St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.


Chinese Photography, September, 2000.


Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival '97 Web site,http://www.city.yamagata.yamagata.jp/ (February 24, 2004), "Anti-Japan War of China."*