Item description for Liu Zheng: The Chinese by Liu Zheng Gu Zheng...
In 1994, Chinese artist Liu Zheng conceived of an ambitious photographic project called The Chinese, which occupied him for seven years and carried him throughout China. Inspired by the examples of August Sander and Diane Arbus, he has captured a people and country in a unique time of great flux, providing a startling vision of the deep-rooted historical forces and cultural attitudes that continue to shape China and its people. Liu seeks out moments in which archetypal Chinese characters are encountered in extreme and unexpected situations. His photographs are divided among a number of topics which betray a dark vision, albeit one that is laced with mordant humor. His main subjects to date have included street eccentrics, homeless children, transvestite performers, provincial drug traffickers, coal miners, Buddhist monks, prison inmates, Taoist priests, waxwork figures in historical museums, and the dead and dying. This is the first monograph of his work to appear outside of China and will accompany Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, a major exhibition at the International Center of Photography, New York.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 10.79" Width: 10.16" Height: 0.71" Weight: 2.56 lbs.
Release Date Sep 2, 2004
ISBN 3865210376 ISBN13 9783865210371
Reviews - What do customers think about Liu Zheng: The Chinese?
A great collection of pictures Nov 15, 2006
I borrowed the book from the library and liked it a lot. I plan to purchase it. It is true that not all parts of China look like what is presented in the book. But the fact is, if anyone read the caption of the photos, these pictures were taken in the past decade (not 70s). I would say that this collection of photos primarily focuses on the rural area of China. It's a subject matter. Everyone has their own preference and their right to choose. I think it is well said in the introduction part of book. Liu Zheng was trying to document life of groups of people he met during his travel around China. I think these photos sincerely documented life they represent. Neither the artist nor the editor were trying to undermine the development of the new China. Liu is a talented Chinese photographer. If you want learn about modern China, this book may not be suitable. However, if you are serious about photography, missing this book will be a big loss. I am proud to see a photo portfolio by a Chinese artist as good as this.
Disturbing but very powerful Feb 7, 2006
I found these images very powerful...at first look they remind me of Diane Arbus and Robert Frank, but on closer examination you could feel his own invested feelings for these tragic and unfortunate characters. I don't agree with other reviewers about this book. Liu's approach is typical of a photojournalist, who takes as his own reponsibility to expose the more disturbing and the more marginal. Some Chinese readers may feel offended by Liu showing to the world the sick the dying the uneducated the imporverished and the uncultivated...but Liu also showed their joy their dignity and their humor and their hopes. Chinese, and especially oversea Chinese, tend to have this self-esteem complex and always want to boost their own ego by showing only the glittering side of their own country, but a true patriotic can look at his own wound without shame and make his own efforts to better off a society as a whole.
Liu Zheng: The Chinese Jan 26, 2006
The images and information provided by this book is outdated and very misleading to the western readers. The author simply picks up those old pictures, that mostly reflect the Chinese life around 70s and 80s, which is no longer the main stream of Chinese current life style at all.
junk Jan 16, 2006
It's simply another piece of junk by those "artists" and "novelists" from China who try to make money and "fame" in the West by deliberately finding weird things in the country to entertain western audience. I don't see any traces of art from the pains of the dead, the sick, the handicapped, the decayed, the dissected, the amputated, or the female organ of a little girl, which will be regarded as a child porn/abuse in the U.S.
Personally I doubt the preference, motives and taste of the editor of the book. W. Zhang