Featuring the most prominent names in contemporary Chinese photography, these pocket-sized monographs explore the extraordinary diversity of the genre and showcase a creative, liberated, and unique artistic perspective. The collections present an obscure tableau of modern Chinese society, from magnificent landscapes and never-before-seen industrial compounds to the desires of China’s new youth and its growing sociopolitical challenges. The imagery from some of the most exciting artists working today—including “the invisible man” photos of Liu Bolin and the world-famous coal miner portraits of Song Chao—is prefaced with a concise essay that explains the background and inspiration of each featured photographer.
Chen Jiagang has taken the former industrial compounds built in central cities of China during the sixties (the Third Front) as the subject matter of his first bodies of work. Trying to capture the specters of industry that still reside there, his pictures tell the sad story of these cities, which in their time were the incarnation of the social ideal, the glory of the country but which have since become useless industrial cemeteries and endless wasteland Making use of an extremely large format camera, Chen Jiagang is fully engaged in a realist but narrative documentation of abandoned and desolate landscapes and the scars left by time and neglect on such regions.
Capturing another side of China, a country currently experiencing one of the highest rates of development in the world, Chen Jiagang's sumptuous, large-scale color photographs of monumental industrial wastelands make us question the usefulness, or absurdity, of the mad development that humans so intrinsically pursue.
Kenneth Josephson is one of the foremost conceptual photographers in America. Since the early 1960s, when institutions such as MoMA privileged photography in the documentary mode, Josephson has championed the photograph as an object "made," not taken, by an artist pursuing an idea. Using innovative techniques such as placing images within images and including his own body in photographs, Josephson has created an outstanding body of work that is startlingly contemporary and full of ideas that stimulate the digital generation—ideas about the nature of seeing, of "reality," and of human aspirations, and about what it means to be a human observing the world.
Nausea- taken from the title of Sartre's 1938 existential novel-is a body of photographs that registers the interiors of public schools in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Atlanta, Georgia from 1990-92 by American photographer Ron Jude. Departing from mere documentation, Jude lures us into peering through windows, doorways and crevices of walls into empty classrooms and corridors, as we become increasingly conscious of the perils of our own gaze and the uncertainty of looking. Nausea established the building blocks for the next twenty-five years of Jude’s photographic output, including Other Nature, Alpine Star, Lick Creek Line and Lago.