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2004 Kunming Exhibit2005 Beijing Exhibit2005 Pingyao Exhibit
I began this website in 1997 and at that time, I wanted to put up a page about my father, Paul R. Burch and his collection of  historic photos of Kunming taken during the last days of World War II. Back then I wrote: "Now, some 50 years later, it is my dream to journey to China in the near future and retrace his steps. Armed with his maps and notebooks I would like to reproduce his photographs from the same viewpoints."
It took nine years to realize that dream, but it finally came true in 2004 through a remarkable series of events. While browsing the internet in 2001, Mr. Ge Shu Ya (a war historian in Kunming) discovered my web page and wrote an email to me. Over the next three years there were exchanges of several emails and discussions of hosting an exhibition of the photographs in Kunming one day.
In the early summer of 2004, Mr. Shu Ya wrote an email and informed me that there were also some color Kodachrome slides taken by Dr. Clinton C. Millett, a surgeon in the US Army stationed in Kunming during the war. Under the auspices of Mr. Jin Fei Bao, who is an avid adventurer and owns a travel agency in Kunming, 130 of Dr. Millett’s photographs were displayed at the Yunnan Provincial Museum in May of 2004.
On Mr. Shu Ya’s advice, I contacted Gregg Millett (Clinton Millett’s son) and discovered he lives in Albany, New York – only 4 hours from Montreal, where I live. In July we met up in Montreal and compared notes about our fathers and their experiences in China. Thus the stage was set for a second exhibition – this time, including the photographs of Paul Burch. I had about 85 of the best slides professionally scanned and the digital files were then sent to China where technicians painstakingly restored the images to their full luster. The exhibition was planned for November, 2004.
I left for China at the beginning of November, visiting Beijing first and then arriving in Kunming on November 9. Prior to the opening, Mr. Jin Fei Bao arranged tours for me to many of the places featured in Paul’s photographs and I was able to take some of these same scenes with my cameras – nearly 60 years later.
The 68 photos shown below were part of the exhibitions that would take place in China in 2004 and 2005. Click on any thumbnail for an enlarged view. These are scans from the original Kodachrome slides and have been faithfully reproduced withiut any digital manipulation other than to clean up some dust and scratches.
After you have had a chance to view some of these photos, visit the links at the top of this page for reports of the three exhibitions of Paul Burch's photographs that were held in China during 2004 and 2005.
Click Here for a Biography of Paul R. Burch and his FamilyClick Here for "Then and Now"