Mao Zedong photographer Hou Bo passes away at 93

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/28 18:43:39

Photographer Hou Bo dead at 93

Hou Bo (left) and her husband Xu Xiaobing Photo: IC

Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai at the First National People's Congress by Hou Bo Photo: IC


Hou Bo, one of the most famous Chinese photographers, passed away on Sunday at the age of 93. She became known as "the Red Wall photographer" for her numerous photos of chairman Mao Zedong (1893-1976).

Taking more than 400 photos of Mao, Hou holds the record for the highest number of photographs of the chairman. 

Some of her more well-known photos include The Founding of the PRC (1949), Mao Zedong Swimming across the Yangtze (1955), Chairman Mao at Work in an Airplane (1959), and Mao Zedong with Students from Latin America (1959), which was awarded first prize in China's 1959 National Photography Exhibition.

Born in Xia county in North China's Shanxi Province, she was named "Yan Qianjin" by her grandfather. After joining the Communist Party during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1931-45) at the age of 14, she went to Yan'an in Shaanxi Province to study. During her seven years there, she changed her name to "Hou Bo" and married photographer Xu Xiaobing, who introduced her to the art form.

After the war, she worked in the film industry as a photographer in Northeast China. After 1949, she began working as a photographer at important events at Zhongnanhai in Beijing, the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China, including the Third Plenary Session of the 7th CPC Central Committee.

When asked about her favorite photo, Hou insisted that it was The Founding of the PRC "Long live chairman Mao and long live the Chinese Communist Party! This was a historic moment. I was really excited when I took this photo."

In this photo shot on November 1, 1949, chairman Mao is shown standing on the Tian'anmen Gate Tower in front of many loudspeakers announcing the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Newspaper headline: Photographer Hou Bo dead at 93


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