Kang Tongbi Biography

Kang Tongbi





Kang Tongbi (Madame Lo Chong) was born in Wenpei, Nanhai County, Guangdong Province, China in 1881. She was a painter, poet and women’s activistwas the second of eight daughters of Qing reformer Kang Youwei and Zhang Yunzhu, an educated woman who refused to allow her daughters’ feet to be bound, an issue she and her husband spoke out against for years.
Kang had a classic education and was able to speak many languages, including English, in which she later would lecture in the US.
In 1901 the Empress Dowager exiled her father for his views on reform and the family fled to Japan. At age 20 Kang was sent to the US and attended high school in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1906 she toured the US and Europe speaking out on the reformist causes for women in China.
After briefly attending Barnard College in 1908 she went to Sweden where her father had purchased an island. During a trip to India with her father she had met Lo Chang, who had been born in Honolulu, Hawaii. They married and had their first of two children in 1911.
Kang and Lo Chang moved to China in the early 1920’s where she once again became active in a number of Chinese women’s groups. After China became a Communist government in 1949 she became a member of the Literature and History Research Institution.
In her later life she devoted her time to assembling her father’s writings and editing literary works. She was also an accomplished poet and painter and followed in her father’s lead, speaking out against injustices to women, such as foot-binding, and for the need for young women to get a good education and the achieve their independence.
Her husband Lo Chong became an academic, teacher and diplomat. Her son taught in the U.S. and her daughter spoke 6 languages.
Kang Tongbi died in China in 1969.