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An Era Without Memories

Chinese Contemporary Photography on Urban Transformation

Jiang Jiehong

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An exceptional collection of photographs by contemporary Chinese artists responding to the urbanization of their country

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This brave and beautiful compendium of reflections on urban transformation is a must-have for photography aficionados and anyone with an interest in China or contemporary culture.

Through the work of some of the country’s most talented art photographers, this book explores the unprecedented urbanization of China, offering up histories now being destroyed and futures now being invented.

Each chapter features 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.

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'Outstanding … a series of fantastical images'
Glass Magazine

'A must-have collection for photography aficionados and anyone with an interest in Chinese culture'
Outdoor Photography

'A haunting book'

'Scenes of urban transformation, captured over the course of the last few decades, from breathtaking architecture to affecting portraiture'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 24.0 x 21.5 cm

Extent: 192 pp

Illustrations: 132

Publication date: 20 April 2015

ISBN: 9780500544433

Contents List

Introduction by Stephan Feuchtwang • 1. Ephemeral Cities: Demolition and construction in Chinese urban development • 2. The Otherness of the Real: Shaping a reality beyond the ordinary urban environment • 3. An Alienated Home: A focus on the once familiar, now strange or endangered • 4. Memories Invented: Reimagining realities lost through environmental transformation • Afterword

About the Author

Jiang Jiehong is Professor of Chinese Art at Birmingham City University, and an international curator. His recent projects include the Fourth Guangzhou Triennial of 2012 and the Asia Triennial Manchester in 2014.

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