About John Byron

John Byron is a sinologist and researcher who spends much of his professional and personal life exploring and writing about Chinese society, culture and politics, and the impact of the outside world on the Chinese experience.

The Books

John Byron is the author of Portrait of a Chinese Paradise, a study of Qing Dynasty erotic art and sexual customs.   He also co-authored The China Lovers, a detective story set in Beijing of the 1980s, and The Claws of the Dragon, a biography of Kang Sheng, Chairman Mao's key adviser on espionage, international politics, and domestic political intrigue. His most recent work, The China Dream, features the translation of a collection of 14 Chinese poems by Yan Zhen, a famous Chinese poet and painter.  

The Reviews & Essays

John Byron has written several commentaries for Inside Canberra, a weekly news service distributed to all members of the Australian Parliament. He has also written a number of book reviews and feature articles for the Washington Post and The Australian on modern Chinese literature and culture, the impact of the West on Chinese culture and Western assessments of China.

The Erotica

Byron's collection of erotica that was the basis of Portrait of a Chinese Paradise has expanded considerably since the state controls over art and cultural life have loosened up and Chinese have once again begun to reflect their sexual tastes in art and decorative bric a brac.   Some of these pieces are displayed on this website.   Byron plans to do a further book on this theme in due course.  

The Art Collection

Besides erotica, Byron has also been interested in other forms of Far Eastern art, and has assembled an eclectic collection of oriental art and artifacts, ranging from Chinese porcelain through to Japanese screens.  

The Verse

John Byron has also written occasional verse --- none of which qualifies as poetry --- evolving from the romantic yearnings of a university student and maturing into sarcastic little quatrains and limericks about contemporary politics and academia, many of which were written while listening to pompous speakers at conferences on international security and diplomatic relations.

東西方社會和平共存, 世界融合, 是漢學家拜倫的希望

© John Byron - 2021