In the latest essay for his Race Stories column in The New York Times, Maurice Berger, research professor at the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, examines the research of photographers Martin Parr and Ruben Lundgren, whose exploration of Chinese photobooks has resulted in The Chinese Photobook, published by Aperture. Largely unknown in the West, the photobooks, dating from the early 20th century to current times, document a nation undergoing profound cultural change.
“The sheer quantity of important Chinese photobooks that remain unexamined by scholars within and outside of the country suggests that considerable work remains to done,” says Berger. “In this context, The Chinese Photobook represents an auspicious beginning rather than a definitive end, a turning point in unearthing a long-overlooked history and narrowing the comprehension gap between East and West.”
Read “In China, the Photobook as Art and History” and view the photographs at The New York Times Lens blog.
Berger’s Race Stories column, which appears monthly on The New York Times website, is “a continuing exploration of the relationship of race to photographic portrayals of race.”