Item description for Sze Tsung Leong: History Images by Sze Leong Norman Bryson...
Since 2002, Sze Tsung Leong has been photographing the dramatic changes that are transforming the cities of China, revealing a process that begins with the destruction of traditional neighborhoods and ends in the mass construction of new urban environments. He travels with a large-format view camera, visiting cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Nanjing, Pingyao and Xiamen, and the resulting highly detailed images portray the immense scale of the upheaval and of the contradictions created by its uncertain and fluctuating environment. Traditional buildings in the process of being demolished are juxtaposed against the glass walls that are about to replace them; seemingly abandoned buildings on the verge of destruction, or in the midst of construction, reveal clues of habitation; historic areas survive as a result of neglect and isolation rather than intent; and obscured in the midst of expansive, culturally ambivalent spaces, small Chinese script on indistinct signs serves as the only hint that these environments are in China. Collectively, the photographs in History Images capture the erasure and subsequent absence of history, and the moment of anticipation for the new future to unfold; it is an urban reality caught in the tenuous period after the end of one history and at the beginning of another.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 13.7" Width: 11.1" Height: 0.9" Weight: 3.97 lbs.
Release Date Jan 15, 2007
ISBN 3865212743 ISBN13 9783865212740
Reviews - What do customers think about Sze Tsung Leong: History Images?
art and social comment Dec 2, 2007
This is a wonderful book with a not so wonderful subject: the replacement of the old towns in China. Old houses make place for skyscrapers and people are forced to move. Beautiful printed by Steidl.
Arresting Massive Change Feb 6, 2007
Sze Tsung Leong has done one of the greatest things a photographer can do in this book, and that is elaborating a unique stylistic vision and remaining faithful to it over the course of many, many images. His subject is the immense scale and pace of change underway in China today, and he has found ways both bold and sly to lasso his subject. Lets state first of all that the images show an immense amount of care and of technical proficiency. But then there is so much more, great, haunted urban landscapes in the midst of utter transformation. Here is China as you will not be accustomed to seeing it, and that's meant as high praise from a photographer who lives in the country. [...]
China captured in a period of market transition Nov 10, 2006
These images are wonderfully composed and evidence a complete command of the tools of great photography.
Many of the images show old houses and neighborhoods in the process of being leveled to make way for development (e.g., new office buildings; condos; hotels). Leong beautifully captures the disconnect between the shiny new buildings and the dilapidated, half-destroyed houses. This disconnect actually mirrors the current state of China: moving from a command economy to a market-based, global one but still maintaining an authoritarian, socialist form of government. Something has to give.
The last picture in the book is a long view of Tianemen Square on what looks like a foggy day - the square is strangely white, clean. The government is all but erasing history as they destroy old settlements and neighborhoods and this photograph has no blood and no soldiers. But I'm sure very few people have forgotten the history of Tianemen Square.