Yang-May Ooi, acclaimed writer/ performer of Bound Feet Blues,  has joined the the John Thomson Exhibition team multi-media blogger.

Yang-May Ooi (L) with co-curator of the John Thomson Exhibition Betty Yao (R)

Yang-May Ooi (L) with co-curator of the John Thomson Exhibition Betty Yao (R)

Multi-media author Yang-May Ooi joins the John Thomson Exhibition Team

I’m delighted to be part of Betty Yao’s team for  the new john Thomson Exhibition in London. My role is to share the story of the legendary travel photographer John Thomson in a range of media across social media – from simple blog posts like this one to photos, interviews, and videos as well as  live streaming. I’m thrilled to join the project as it gives me a chance to be involved with the mesmerising photos of Old China and Siam taken by this legendary photographer.

Please do take a look at the John Thomson Exhibition multi-media blog to follow these stories.


John Thomson in the context of my personal family history

In my first personal blogpost about the exhibition on the Exhibition Blog, I write about how my personal family history intersects with the epic storytelling in Thomson’s photography:

“At the time Thomson took his photos of China, my great-great-grandfather’s village there was destroyed by marauding bandits.

My great-great-grandfather was a child at the time and family lore has it that he was taken up by the bandits to join their gang. Later, as a young man, my great-great-grandfather escaped the bandit gang and China, leaving by boat for Malaya (now Malaysia) as an indentured labourer.



Come to the John Thomson Exhibition

Exhibition: China and Siam – Through the Lens of John Thomson

Venue: Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG, near Russell Square

Dates: 13 April to 23 June 2018


Find out more at www.johnthomsonexhibition.org


John Thomson Exhibition flyer



Photos by John Thomson, courtesy of Wellcome Library, London

(via Epic Storytelling in John Thomson’s Photographs | Through the Lens of John Thomson)



Author: Yang-May Ooi

Yang-May Ooi is a writer & podcaster. Her creative work includes The Flame Tree and Mindgame (novels), Bound Feet Blues (theatre & family memoir), The Anxiety Advantage and Creative Conversations (podcasts). ¦ www.TigerSpirit.co.uk

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