Photo Exhibition "the Snows of Others" Mission to the land of the Three Rivers (1933-1952)

28 Settembre 2010

Photo Exhibition - the Snows of Others 

Mission to the land of the Three Rivers (1933-1952)

Organized by the Consulate General of Italy in Guangzhou and the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, this fascinating exhibition showcases photos taken in Yunnan Provinces from the 30s to 50s by the missionaries from the canons of the Great St. Bernard in Switzerland who were sent to Yunnan province.



In 1035, St. Bernard of Menthon built a hospice on the Mont Joux, the most ancient pass through the Alps. The hospice was run by a congregation of canons, with the aim of assisting mountain travellers and providing shelter.

In the 16th century the hospice, together with the pass, were named Great St. Bernard. The hospice’s fame was also due to the dogs used in mountain rescues, named after this patron saint of mountaineers and climbers.

Between 1933 and 1952, the canons of the Great St. Bernard sent four missions to Yunnan province. The area extends from north to south, confined between the natural barriers of the Yangtze river, the Salween river and the Mekong river, from Yanjing (known in Tibetan as Yerkalo) to Weixi. The views offered by the three rivers, separated by mountains reaching heights of more than 4,500 meters, are breathtaking and unique.

During the mission’s twenty years the canons took over the French Catholic fathers’ mission stations. They built a shelter, began the construction of a hospice on the peak of Latsa and opened many schools, in particular Hualuoba school. Most notably, the canons were able to enter an almost impenetrable universe of diverse ethnicities, religions, customs and traditions.

This exhibition is the result of an extensive research financed by CASCC (Center for Advanced Studies on Contemporary China). At the Canons of the Great St. Bernard’s archives in Martigny, ample materials with extraordinary documentative and anthropological value were unearthed. The photos and videos presented here serve as the mirror for the fascinating yet unexplored histories of those individuals that lived during that era.


Duration: 28th Sep 2010 to 20th Oct 2010

Opening ceremony: 28th Sep 2010, 3:30pm, please submit your reply coupon to before Sep 22nd    

Venue: Hall No. 5, 6, the University City Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts

Address: No. 168 Waihuan West Road, University City, Panyu District, Guangzhou (accessible by Bus No. 35, 86, 565, 310, Metro Line 4)

Tel: 020-3936 2149


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