Background information"The status of the “photobook”—a book, with or without text, where the primary message is carried by photographs—has undergone a major reappraisal during the past decade. Produced in a wide range countries and contexts for over a century, photobooks have added enormously to our understanding of photography and its social and cultural importance.
Although China boasts a fascinating history of photobook publishing, its importance in this larger global history has not been adequately recognized; this exhibition brings to light the richness and diversity of this heritage.
'The Chinese Photobook. From the 1900s to the Present' is based on a collection compiled by renowned British photographer Martin PARR and the Beijing- and London-based Dutch photographer team WASSINKLUNDGREN. Inspired initially by PARR’s interest in propaganda and Socialist Realism, and part of his ongoing research into the history of the photobook the world, the China collection quickly expanded, forming the basis for a major research project and book published in 2015 by Aperture and the China Photographic Publishing House.
This exhibition in six chapters spans from key volumes published as early as 1900 through contemporary volumes by emerging Chinese photographers, presented in vitrines, as enlargements, in videos, and for perusal in an interactive library. While the form, content, and authorial perspective of these Chinese photobooks vary widely, together they offer a rich and multifaceted perspective on the complicated history of modern China.
'The Chinese Photobook. From the 1900s to the Present' is co-produced by Aperture Foundation and the Recontres d’Arles with the generous support of the China Art Foundation.
Additional support is provided in part by Sondra Gilman Gonzalez-Falla and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, Marina and Andrew E. Lewin, and David Solo. Accompanying texts and individual title descriptions are written by Gu Zheng, Raymond Lum, Stephanie H. Tung, and Gerry Badger.
“The Chinese Photobook” at UCCA is part of the 2015 UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange program, and is supported by the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy and IELTS." (https://ucca.org.cn/en/exhibition/chinese-photobook/)
"In the last decade there has been a major reappraisal of the role and status of the photobook within the history of photography. Newly revised histories of photography as recorded via the photobook have added enormously to our understanding of the medium's culture, particularly in places that are often marginalized, such as Latin America and Africa. However, until now, only a handful of Chinese books have made it onto historians' short lists. Yet China has a fascinating history of photobook publishing, and 'The Chinese Photobook' will reveal for the first time the richness and diversity of this heritage. This volume is based on a collection compiled by Martin Parr and Beijing- and London-based Dutch photographer team WassinkLundgren. And while the collection was inspired initially by Parr's interest in propaganda books and in finding key works of socialist realist photography from the early days of the Communist Party and the Cultural Revolution era, the selection of books includes key volumes published as early as 1900, as well as contemporary volumes by emerging Chinese photographers. Each featured photobook offers a new perspective on the complicated history of China from the twentieth century onward. The Chinese Photobook embodies an unprecedented amount of research and scholarship in this area, and includes accompanying texts and individual title descriptions by Gu Zheng, Raymond Lum, Ruben Lundgren, Stephanie H. Tung and Gerry Badger." (publisher's note)
- Gu Zheng, Raymond Lum, Ruben Lundgren, Stephanie H. Tung (text) and Gerry Badger (text).
- Book design
- KUMMER & HERRMAN
- HC with dust jacket, 30 x 33,5 x 5 cm., 448 pp., richly illustrated, text language: English