In 1944-45, Barney Rosset was an officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps Photographic Service, based in China. He had enlisted in the army in Chicago in 1942 at the age of twenty. The photographs in this show, taken by the then Lieut. Rosset, have never been publicly shown before.

Seeing Rosset's photographs, one senses the same tragedy of people at war, as when looking at today's images of the conflict in Afghanistan. There is a parallel, not to be overplayed, between the American efforts in China in WWII and those in Afghanistan today. In both cases our allies are far removed from us geographically and suffer from primitive facilities, making it necessary to aid them basically through air power and specially trained teams, rather than large numbers of our troops.

Rosset's outfit, the 164th Signal Photo Corp, was responsible for covering the photographic history of China, Burma, and India (known as the C.B.I.), and was headquartered in New Delhi, India. At best, personnel had to be spread very thinly over that vast area. Rosset, through luck and his own perseverance, ended up as the photo officer at an actual confrontation point between Chinese and Japanese units. Most of these photos were taken in the early summer of 1945 when the Japanese, under pressure from the US forces in the Pacific, had begun a begrudging and slow retreat.


Barney Rosset: China in Conflict

February 12 - March 23, 2002

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