An Era Without Memories: Chinese Contemporary Photography on Urban Transformation by Jiang Jiehong
The rapid urban development of China is a topic that has grabbed the attention of the world. This groundbreaking book shows how some thirty contemporary Chinese art photographers have used it as a springboard for their practice. A short preface by Jiang Jiehong is followed by an introduction from expert on China, Stephan Feuchtwang. Four chapters follow, each featuring incisive explanatory text by Jiang Jiehong. The photographers showcase their responses to urbanization using a wide variety of approaches, whether Miao Xiaochun's photograph of a vast glass building rising like a UFO behind a traditional old neighbourhood, Wang Jinsong's collages of the Chinese character scrawled on buildings to mark them out as condemned, Zhang Peili's records of pastiche Western architecture, Xu Zhengqin's street hoardings showing dream residential and commercial developments, or Wang Chuan's poetic images of abandoned, half-finished modern buildings. This is a brave and beautiful compendium of reflections on urban transformation that will be a must-have for photography aficionados and anyone with an interest in China or contemporary culture.