China Hamilton, February 1946 to December 2018
China Hamilton was born Nicholas Zeger Driver in Norbury, London and was an established artist and one of the leading fine art erotic photographic printers of the twentieth century.
His work often examined the darker side of female sexuality alongside his more traditional erotic pictures. Sadomasochistic subjects inspire much of China’s later work, which has made this aspect of his work controversial; though its reflection upon the power and private expression of women has brought a new sensitivity and respect to the subject. His unique and distinctive style of image has often been the inspiration for the work of other photographers.
China strove to produce photographs that were each unique pieces of creative work. In this quest, he mastered and improved upon many historic processes and has contributed to photographic science a number of new printing processes, including making photographic images upon hand-made watercolour paper and copper sheets.
China attended Croydon Technical School before spending four years at Croydon College of Art and Design where he specialised in life drawing under the renowned Fred Janes and studied fine art, graphic design and photography under Herman Hecht. He first started making his own sunlight prints and processing his own film at age eleven and at age thirteen started painting and drawing seriously. Paintings and drawings of wild landscapes and the female nude have always run alongside his photographic work.
He was a polymath, having a particular passion for precision engineering. He rebuilt and raced historic racing cars and motorcycles; was a boiler inspector for steam locomotives; and a Master Clocksmith; He loved Irish music and was an accomplished bones and bodhran player, cutting the first ever album of traditional bones playing (“Bare Bones”) and wrote the first tutor for the bodhran and the bones
He was a Buddhist, with qualifications in herbal medicine and was well known for his poems and erotic short stories, many of which have been published. Early in his career he and a partner established London’s first specialist macro-photography business of fine art antiques for dealers and the major London auction houses.China also published the journal, ‘The Black and White Art Photographer’ during the 1990s.
China’s work is in many private collections, including the collection of the Museum of Erotic Art, Miami. Over the past thirty years he has had several exhibitions of erotic art and photography and his paintings. His work has appeared in many book compilations and his photographs have been included in “The New Erotic Photography” (Taschen), featuring the work of 82 of the world’s most significant photographers of the erotic. He was selected as the senior Juror for the 2007 Erotic Signature Competition. China was also a founder member of the Association of Erotic Artists.
1996 – Erotic Photographer of the Year2017 – ‘Special Achievement Award’ by Jade magazine
Collections of Published Work
“A View From Behind” The Erotic Print Society, London, England (1997)
“Woman” St. Martin’s Press NY. USA (1999) & The Erotic Print Society, London (editions in France and Australia).
“BitterSweet Sex” The Erotic Print Society (2002)
“The Cabinet of Dark Things” The Erotic Print Society (2005)
“Intimate Obsessions ” Editions Reuss (2007)
“Velvet Nightmares” A Collection of Short Stories (April 2009) by The Erotic Print Society
“Erotic Domination” Editions Reuss (2017)
By Anita Hamilton