China’s treaty port era extended from the 1840s to 1943, during which time foreigners had a significant presence. This book contains more than 700 photographs of many buildings from this period, most of them commissioned by foreign interests. Many argue that they should never have been built, let alone still be standing. But this book is not concerned with the rights and wrongs of how these buildings came to be. It simply celebrates their existence. A significant number are innately beautiful and all of them embody a history that has clear and present links to our own time and thus remain relevant. This book was driven by the author’s interest in the history of China’s treaty port era, in which several generations of his family played a part. It is a tribute to the buildings that remain as a reminder of the past, and a guide to where to find them.
“Grand Western-style buildings scattered across China, a legacy of the 1840-1943 treaty ports, are the subject of Nicholas Kitto’s new book” – South China Morning Post
“You’d think after more than 50 trips to Mainland China that Nick might have seen all there was to see, but you’d be wrong. “Goodness me, I doubt anyone can truthfully say they’ve seen everything; certainly I cannot. I’ve lived in Hong Kong since 1983 and have barely scratched the surface on old buildings to see even here. And I have much more still to explore across Mainland China too. Even in the larger cities such as Tianjin, Qingdao, Hankou and Guangzhou, which in each case I have visited at least five times, I still have lengthy ‘to do’ lists. Perhaps I may have covered the essentials, but the great beauty of the past is that there is always so much more to unearth.” – Asian Travels with Simon Ostheimer
“Nicholas Kitto describes the project which culminated in the recent publication of his book Trading Places” – Visualising China
“We start with a conversation about Nick’s background and what led him to be in Hong Kong, via a few other countries. Nick also shares how he got into photography. What is a treaty port and where did the initial interest in the ports come from? Nick then goes into wonderful detail about his new book.” – listen to a two-part interview on Martin Bailey’s podcast
“I am delighted to offer Nicholas Kitto a little publicity on the publication of his book, Trading Places.“ – Industrial History of Hong Kong
“Trading Places: 12 Years and 2,784,010 Steps Later!” – in this online lecture given to the Royal Asiatic Society, Nicholas Kitto talks about his experiences which culminated in the book.