【5/26/2021】CAPA-NoVA Distinguished Chinese American Project

(Introducer: Xinyi Ma)

黄宗霑 (James Wong Howe)(1899-1976) is one of the world’s greatest ever cinematographers. He worked on over 120 films between 1922 and 1974, directed two features, and won two Oscars. As well as making films, he worked on documentaries, TV, and commercials.

But Wong Howe wasn’t a likely figure, pitted for greatness from birth. A first-generation Chinese American, Wong Howe fought prejudice all his life. James Wong Howe was born Wong Tung Jim in Guangzhou, China. Howe’s father brought his young family to the US – what he described as the “mountain of gold” when Howe was 5 years old. As a child, Howe was bullied by his classmates, and used to take sweets from his father’s shop to give to the other children and try to make them like him. He was learning how to hold his own in a world that was not built for him, that tried to hold him down at every opportunity – and learnt to persevere and prosper. This was a lesson that he would carry throughout the rest of his career. At 17, James Wong Howe got into the film industry from the bottom. He was employed at the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation as a cleaner, but it was from here that he would forge connections with some of the greatest movie makers of his generation. From sweeping up film ends in the camera room, he eventually became an assistant cameraman – the first step in a career that would last for more than 50 years.

相关阅读:  胡正明(Chenming Hu)


It was Wong Howe’s creative – and sometimes unusual – thinking that made him famous.

“The poet of the camera”, “an artist in film”, “a painter with light”: these are some of the names given to James Wong Howe.


More information about him:








【Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us! 】

By Xinyi Ma

Certified Hypnotherapist

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