China Remembered: A Rare Collection of Photographs from a Forgotten Time

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9780060598471: China Remembered: A Rare Collection of Photographs from a Forgotten Time

Over the past 26 years, Japanese photographer and educator Yasuto Kitahara has made almost innumerable trips to China to study various aspects of Chinese art and culture.During these travels, he has taken over 10,000 photographs from all 28 provinces of China, likely the most complete documentation of old China held in a single collection. China Remembered presents Kitahara's photographs and memories of a changing China, a beautiful and moving testament to a culture and history that remains enigmatic to Western audiences.

Divided into 6 main chapters: "People," "Architecture," "Culture," "Nature," "Society," and "Life," China Remembered captures the character, texture, and charm of Chinese life. Moreover, many of the scenes captured in this book have already been destroyed as China has been rapidly developed in recent years. In fact, as China continues to develop, this book will be a rare gem that captures all the lost moments of old China -- its people, its culture, its landscape and its cityscape.

China Remembered presents to the world a China that many will never get to see, in a manner compelling and necessary for all seeking a deeper and more intimate understanding of this great nation.

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About the Author:

Born in 1925 in Nagano, Japan and now residing in Singapore, Yasuto Kitahara's passion for China began in the 1970s when he decided to trace the roots of Japanese culture, art, and architecture. Over the following decades, he has made constant trips to China's various provinces, amassing over 10,000 slides of the country and its people -- his most prized possession -- which he shares with the world in China Remembered.

From Publishers Weekly:

Geography teacher and Japanese native Kitahara’s first collection of photography—taken from 25 years worth of material originally intended to instruct his students—is a colorful blend of China’s many ages. Over the years, Kitahara has witnessed the economic giant’s transformation as it loosens its borders to the West. Major cities like Beijing, Kitahara says, are now in danger of losing their distinctive character. Yet vestiges of its Imperial empires, communist and cultural revolutions still abound. Some of the photography illustrates the stark changes between traditional and contemporary life—movie posters lit by lamps in Kunming, a Western arcade littered with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Pepsi signs in Guangzhou—but the bulk of the book sets out to rediscover rural China, where roughly 70% of its 1.26 billion people still dwells. A mother-daughter team selling handmade hairbrushes on a street corner and an intimate shot of two man playing chess on a park bench showcase Kitahara’s ability to find beauty in the ordinary rituals of life. His montages of local architecture and landscape are most remarkable, offering sweeping views of the Chinese countryside from all 27 provinces and close-ups of such majestic edifices as the former Imperial Palace in Beijing’s Forbidden City. Along with his stunning and poignant photography, Kitahara reveals his penchant for pedagogy: the book is full of facts and histories and could double as an illuminating textbook.
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Yasuto Kitahara
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