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250 × 190 mm
326 pages
220 illustrations, 90 in colour
26 Sep 2016

Zooming In Histories of Photography in China Wu Hung

From the first sets of photographic records made by Western travellers to the emergence of ‘Chinese photography’ imbued with national anxiety and individual desire, and from doctored portraits of Chairman Mao to ‘experimental’ representations of urban transformation and avant-garde performances of the post-Cultural Revolution era, the development of photography in China has followed divergent paths through changing sociopolitical contexts, producing images with different agendas, technological innovations and artistic pursuits.

Zooming In explores multiple histories of photographic production in China. At its centre lies a large question: how has photography represented China and its people, collective history and memory, individual subjectivity and creativity? To address this multifaceted question, Wu Hung offers an in-depth study of selected photographers, themes and movements of photography in China from 1860 to the present, covering a wide range of topics from portraiture to photojournalism, architectural and landscape photography, photo-publications and conceptual photography.

‘In this book, Wu brings nuance to the history of photography in China, offering a fresh, postcolonial context for photographs both well-known and previously unstudied . . . The book is well illustrated throughout, with careful photographic reproductions. It includes exhaustive references, a bibliography, and a brief index. It is recommended to complement collections that include books like Brush & Shutter or Terry Bennett’s series of History of Photography in China. Zooming In is also relevant for historical research and for collections that support postcolonial approaches to research.’ – ARLIS/NA Reviews

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Wu Hung is Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago. His most recent publications include The Art of the Yellow Springs: Understanding Chinese Tombs (2010) and A Story of Ruins: Presence and Absence in Chinese Art and Visual Culture (2012), both published by Reaktion.