Lai Fong, also known by his trade name Afong, was the leading nineteenth-century Chinese photographer. Lai Fong may have been active as early as 1859, and by the 1870s he was a leading figure in the field. A gifted businessman as well as a skilled photographer, he established studios in several Chinese cities. He also hired and trained prominent international photographers such as Emil Rusfeldt and D.K. Griffith who went on to open their own studios in China. Lai Fong’s talent and reputation secured him photographic sessions with the most notable visitors to China. His studio photographed distinguished men and women as well as ordinary citizens and workers of nineteenth-century China. The artist and his studio also took striking photographs of landmarks, city views, and landscapes. Lai Fong’s son ran a business with the same name in Shanghai until the mid 1940s.
Lai Fong and Afong Studio