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CHINA

CHINESE OPERA, Gong Li, Photography by Jessica Tan Gudnason

For centuries Chinese opera companies have mesmerized audiences with their elaborately costumed and made-up characters and the pageantry of their productions. Among the regional companies in China today, the best known are the Peking, the Cantonese, and Shanghai's Yue Opera, which are featured in this photographic book. Gudnason's aim is to recreate the excitement, emotion, sound, color, and movement of the actors backstage from an insider's view. Her images capture actors in all stages of preparation for roles and fully dressed for a performance and range from gorgeously costumed and heavily made-up leading players to children dressing for supporting roles.

Supplementing the photographs is the text by actress Li explaining the photographs and their significance as well as the background of the major Chinese opera companies.

$85.00 (hardcover)
LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHS AT AN ATTRACTIVE PRICE

CHINA'S SPLENDORS, China Pictorial Staff

Ever since Marco Polo first returned from the Far East with exotic treasures and wondrous stories, China has been a land of great fascination to the Western world. One of the world's oldest civilizations developed there on some of the most strikingly beautiful land in the world. From the verdant mountains and clear waters of the Lijiang River valley, to the majestic Great Wall, to the sculptured gardens of West Lake in Hangzhou, China's Splendors displays a range of visual treasures. China's depth and variety are explored in full-color photos and historical text, including the giant Buddha sculpture at Leshan (at 71 feet in height, the world's largest stone sculpture) and the giant pandas being studied and protected in the Wolong Nature Reserve.

BEIJING & XIAN: China's Great Capitols, China Pictorial Staff

This visual tour of two historic Chinese capitols includes 48 full-page color photos; the accompanying text discusses the history, significance, and details associated with each of the treasures pictured. Beijing was the capitol city of five imperial dynasties. The emperors' legacies include the Imperial Palace, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Gate. Xian was the capitol for over a thousand years, hosting other powerful dynasties. At the eastern end of the famous Silk Road, it was a center of international trade and cultural exchange as early as the first or second century B.C. Today, Xian houses a wealth of archaeological treasures, the most famous of which is the army of 8,000 life-sized terra-cotta warriors as well as other attractions that include the Forest of Steles and the Banpo Neolithic village.

$25.00 (hardcover)
$25.00 (hardcover)

CHINESE ART & CULTURE, Robert L. Thorp & Richard Ellis Vinograd

Lucid and written with verve by two respected American scholars, this illustrated work provides an introduction to more than 7,000 years of Chinese art -- from the pottery-making and jade-carving cultures of the Neolithic Age to contemporary Chinese artists working in video, installation, and performance media.

By placing the arts in context -- in active engagement with societies, economies, and wider fields of culture -- the authors of this survey introduce a dynamic and continually evolving tradition rather than a sequence of isolated museum masterpieces. Although the story of Chinese art unfolds chronologically, the authors introduce relevant themes for each era that help readers understand and appreciate one of the most abundantly productive, continuous artistic culture in the history of the world.

$85.00 (hardcover)
TWO BOOKS, MANY VIEWS
THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA, Michel Jan, Photography by Roland & Sabrina Michaud

Over 165 color images provide striking views of the wall as it snakes across the vastness of China's northern borders and paintings, sculptures, and scrolls depicting life along the wall through the centuries. Here also are evocative portraits of the nomads of the steppes who live near the wall in much the same way as their ancestors. The text recounts the complete history of the wall, from the time it was begun twenty-two centuries ago to keep out strangers, to when it was used to expand the empire into Central Asia, to the period it was used as a trading route facilitating commerce along the Silk Road and later to allow for Buddhist expansion. Included in the text are excerpts from literature and poetry inspired by the wall.

THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA, Daniel Schwartz

Beginning in the 1980's, and during many journeys, Schwartz patiently and obsessively photographed one of mankind's supreme monuments. He was the first foreigner ever to be allowed to see so much of the Wall. From the border of North Korea westward he travelled through mountains and deserts and frozen grasslands to the borders of Central Asia. China's new policy of openness encouraged him to revisit the Wall and to photograph areas that had been closed even to him on previous journeys. This book is at once a photographic essay, a conceptual art project, and a personal odyssey. Also included is a brief history by Chinese historian Luo Zhewen, Jorge Luis Borges's short meditation "The Wall and the Books" and an extract from Franz Kafka's short story "The Great Wall of China".

$85.00 (hardcover)
$39.95 (hardcover),

HISTORY'S FICTION: STORIES FROM THE CITY OF HONG KONG, Xu Xi

This collection of short stories by Hong Kong-writer Xi is like a camera zooming down from the peaks and penthouses to close-ups of the crowded flats and side streets of Hong Kong. XI focuses on the everyday lives of ordinary Hong Kong people and her book is populated by characters like Lam Yam-kuen, a dapper maitre d' of a members-only restaurant; Yvette Chan, an overly protected poor little rich girl; and a middle-aged mistress disgruntled by the insensitivity of her lover.

The collection was specifically written as a composite history of Hong Kong. Its characters are stand-ins for a segment of the population or a larger historical moment -- a lost little boy symbolizes Hong Kong youth, yellow-haired prostitutes capture the go-go 1960s, Grace Hsu in The Fourth Copy represents immigrants, for whom Hong Kong is best lived from far away. Like tantalizing stills from a movie, these stories leave you with glimpses and dangling questions. The book pastes these stills into a literary collage of Hong Kong -- splintered images of past and present, male and female, rich and poor, young and old.

$14.95 (softcover),
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