The paper explores translations of western visual texts in five popular magazines in Early Republican China in order to unveil the translators’ perspective on the current social and cultural changes expressed in their renditions of the timely imported image. In the reprints of news photos during WWI and the surrounding translated captions, it is observed that the translators represented the warring Europe with a humanist approach by focusing on the war-torn landscape and the miserable condition of the people, in sharp contrast to the everyday coverage on bloodshed battles and diplomatic conflicts in mainstream printed media of its time. The translators’ intention to arouse a sense of empathy and resonance in urban readers was also visible in their novelizations of black-and-white silent films, which were then widely considered translations. The storyline and characterization employed in the bold rewriting of the films imply that the translators had a deep connection to the sentimentalism in Ming-Qing fiction and a strong appeal to urban readers. The translators’ devotion to the visual art was extended to non-literary magazine columns on filming technology and Hollywood gossip, which hinted on their career transition to the film industry in the 1930s. Translation of visual texts, despite the deceiving appearance as mere entertainment dispatch, offered some leads to reconstruct the vision of a group of translators who were largely marginalized, if not muted, in the current historiography.