On 29 September, Consul General Ma Qiang attended the first Edinburgh Exhibition of “China through the Lens of John Thomson”, which marked the 200th anniversary of the founding of Heriot-Watt University in Scotland.
Consul General Ma gave his congratulations and spoke highly of the achievements made by Heriot-Watt University. He said, Thomson’s photography of China, an example of the fruitful China-Scotland people-to-people exchanges, has brought alive the people and culture of China of 150 years ago. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, China has undergone fundamental changes since then. He hopes that more Scottish friends, the young generation in particular, will be inspired by John Thomson and make new contributions to the mutual understanding and friendship of the two peoples.
Consul General Ma applauded the progress the University has made in cooperation with China. He said the Consulate General will always support bilateral educational and cultural exchanges and cooperation.
Prof. Richard Williams, Principal of Heriot-Watt University, Betty Yao, exhibition Curator, and Alexander Hamilton, Chair of the Scottish Society for the History of Photography also expressed their appreciation of the lasting legacy of John Thomson in their speeches.
John Thomson (1837-1921), Scottish photographer and Heriot-Watt alumnus, travelled in Asia in 1860s and was among the earliest photographers to document the people and landscape of China.