How many of you have read books on Sarawak and enjoyed some nice photos?
I have a photographic memory of a different kind. If I see an exceptional photo, I can remember it and most probably can also remember who had taken it if the credit has been given. thus since my primary school I remember the name Hedda Morrison and naturally I remember her exceptional photos of Sarawak.
There were also not many photos floating around in the 1960's about Sarawak! I was thus bitten by the shutter bug since then. Her photography has inspired me all these years.
Hedda Morrison was born in 1908, in Stuttgard, on Dec 13. She was a graduate of the State Institute for Photography in Munich. In order to leave German politics behind she chose to work in Peiping (later Bejing) in 1933. " She soon took many photographs of the old city and its people, temples and markets,mostlyusing a Rolleiflex, medium-fornat camera.
IN 1940, she met Alastair Morrison, son of the famous George Ernest Morrison, the influential London Timews correspondent in Peking. They were married in 1946 in China and left for Hong Kong.
However fate took her and Alastair to Sarawak. Alastair Morrison was recruited and assigned as District Officer, a big position in those days. They stayed in Sarawak for over 20 years. She took the opportunity to travel with Alastair on official journeys into the ulu. She herself also made many personal photographic tours, visiting farming settlements of the Chinese with whom she was very close (e.g. Sarikei and Lawas)
She wrote two very significant books on Sarawak, SARAWAK (1957) and LIFE IN A LONGHOUSE(1962). In 1967, she and Alastair moved to Australia and settled in Canberra.
Hedda died in Canberra in 2003, age 82.
Note : Exhibitions of her works have been mounted by the Australian National University, Canberra, the Canberra Photographic Society, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, and the National Library of Australia. Many of her images are archived in the Harvard-Yenching Library, Harvard University and at Cornell University, NY. There is a large collection of her German, Asian and Australian work in the Powerhouse Museum.
- Edward Stokes, Hedda Morrison's Hong Kong: Photographs & Impressions 1946-47 - (Hong Kong University Press, 2005).
- George N. Kates, The Years That Were Fat: Peking, 1933-1940 - (Oxford in Asia Paperbacks, 1989).
- Hedda Morrison, Travels of a Photographer in China, 1933-1946 - (Oxford University Press USA, 1987).
- Hedda Morrison, A Photographer in Old Peking - (Oxford University Press USA, 1986).
- Alastair Morrison, Fair Land Sarawak: Some Recollections of an Expatriate Official - (Cornell University Southeast Asia Program Publications, 1993).
- "Hedda Morrison: photographic collection", Powerhouse Museum. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- Hedda Morrison's images of Hong Kong
- Hedda Morrison Photographs of China, 1933-1946 (Harvard digital archive)
- Hedda Morrison photographic collections, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney