Black and white photograph showing cultivated rice fields in springtime viewed from a high vantage point. A large tree stands in the foreground and more trees can be seen in the middle ground, with a few small farm buildings dotted among them.
This photograph was taken from a hillock at the Black Dragon Pool ('Hei longtan') giving a striking view of the flat arable plains below. The Black Dragon Pool is in the Western Hills of Peking beyond the old Summer Palace ('Yuan Ming Yuan') and the Jade Fountain ('Yuquanshan'). The Temple of the Black Dragon's spirit ('Hei long tan shenmiao') lies close by. The hillock is famous for its large pool of clear water and the temple to the Dragon King which was first built in 1486 during the Chenghua reign of the Ming Dynasty. It is where a number of the Qing emperors prayed for rain.
This is one of a large number of photographs documenting sites on the outskirts of Peking that were taken by Hedda Morrison (1908-1991) during her years of residence in Peking (Beijing), China 1933-1946.
Exhibited in 'An Asian experience: 1933-67', organised by the Asian Studies Association of Australia, Fisher Library Foyer, University of Sydney, 12-30 May 1986. Reproduced in Hedda Morrison, 'A photographer in Old Peking', Hong Kong, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 232, with the caption: 'The pattern on fields in spring can be seen from the hillock of the Black Dragon Pool'.
Gift of Mr Alastair Morrison, 1992