Bees by Zhe Chen

Bees © Zhe Chen. Courtesy by Beaugeste Gallery, Shanghai

Bees © Zhe Chen. Courtesy by Beaugeste Gallery, Shanghai

They are the initials of names, women’s names, young chinese women’s names. This book is dedicated to them because – as the artist said – “without their incredible trust and friendship these photographs would not exist”.

They are the “bees” of the eponymous book by Chinese photographer Zhe Chen. The fragile lady bees, the photographer shows the scars, marks, burnt skins, of women that escape from pain through physical self-destruction. The escapee finds several suffering solutions from deep hand-made tattoos or serious body modifications, up to taking a final tragic and fatal solution. Self-injuring is an unknown and hidden subject matter in China, more than in other countries, acknowledge in Japan where the photographer Kosuke Okahara told of a true reality in his Ibasyo black and white work. Zhe Chen, travelling through many cities, focuses on her native country and that world that she knows well from inside.

Many are the reasons of self-injury practices.The book has no titles and no descriptions , only the power of the images ,worthy intentions and personal need allow the photographer to keep a sincere, confident and trusting relationships with the beautiful “bees”. Zhe Chen’s earlier work, The Bearable (2010), is a series of self-portraits concerning her private auto-mutilation experience. So the “bees” group could include also ZC who tells with images more than is possible using words.
Words that in the exhibition currently exhibited at UCCA in Beijing will fly from beehives to open skies.

I talked directly to Zhe Chen asking her about intentions, messages and ultimate aim of the Bees.

Keep going to read on Le Journal de la Photographie.


They by Zhang Xiao

Zhang Xiao is one of the new talent of the Chinese photography and his best known and famous work is “Coastline” among others, it was awarded at the Prix HSBC Pour La Photographie in 2011.

I had an interview with Xiao last year about “Coastline” and that time we also talked about the relationship between this work and his previous one, “They”, I asked him if there was a sort of continuity.
“Like many authors in the past – I am thinking about Berenice Abbott’s Changing New York in 1930s – “Coastline” shows us how your country lanscape is fastly changing . It seems you love to take pictures of the people, so you often observe and analyze them. Even if you are young, how do you feel that the Chinese people are changing? I’m thinking about your series called “They”.

Zhang Xiao: “Yes, but I both like to take pictures of the people and landscape. Because most of the landscape are created by human. The landscape is also a reflection of social issues. There are great changes every day in China since it began opening up 30 years ago. The cities are like big construction sites speeding their construction pace to catch up with the rest of the world. All of this appears particularly oustanding in China’s coastal areas. A multitude of countrymen leave their native place to go there. Urbanization drives continually accelerate growth while people’s spiritual life stay. About “They”, these photos were taken in Chongqing city, Southwest China. I think “They” significance is the same as “Coastline”, only different in its geography”.

Today it’s a good time to talk again to Zhang Xiao. In fact, “They” has become a beautiful hardcover book with…

Keep going to read on Le Journal de la Photographie.

Zhang Xiao Le Journal de la Photographie

Chinese Amateurs

Thomas Sauvin is a Beijing-based French artist and editor who is also a photography collector.

Often collectioning is the symptom of an obsession that grows systematically day after days , it needs passion, dedication, perseverance and just a little bit of something crazy, like that little thing called love. If you want it, you have to look for it, even if there is the risk that it will turn into an everending search, that can be unsuccessfull too. Thomas Sauvin found it, but he’s still searching. Sometimes it’s difficult to say when a collection may be considered complete, specially for those collections whose desired objects are unlimited.

This is a very tiny part of… read more here.

Thomas Sauvin

©Thomas Sauvin

Floating with Toni Frissell

I was reading a book about fashion photographers when I saw some images that I never saw before. Ignorance was my fault. Her name is Antoinette Frissell Bacon, aka Toni Frissell (1907-1988), after worked with Cecil Beaton and Edward Steichen, she started to work for Vogue in 1931 and then for Harper’s Bazaar. Her  pictures of women floating in the water (and not only – she was a good photojournalist during the World War II as well) are for me so contemporary and poetic. I’d just like to share with you – whom didn’t remember the photographer Toni Frissel – her amazing images and life.

From the recent book Coming Into Fashion – A Century of Photography at Condé Nast by Nathalie Herschdorfer (Thames & Hudson, 2012), “it was thanks to photographer Toni Frissell that Vogue began featuring a very different sort of image from those that had previously appeared in its pages”.

Toni Frissell, Flipper, 1950

Toni Frissell, Flipper, 1950

Tennis player 1947

Toni Frissell, Tennis player for Harper's Bazaar, 1947

Toni Frissell, Tennis player for Harper’s Bazaar, 1947

Toni Frissell, Mermaid, 1939

Toni Frissell, Mermaid, 1939

Lady in the water 1947

Ciao Gigi

The revolutionary publisher Gigi Giannuzzi passed away, after losing his battle against cancer. He was the founder of Trolley Books that helped great photographers and amazing projects since 2001 in London.
The hard and fantastic work done by Gigi and his team for the art and photography books never will die.

Trollery Books
Wikipedia/Trolley Books
RIP Gigi (Le Journal de la Photographie)
Situation Gigi

Gigi Giannuzzi ©Carla Borel

Gigi Giannuzzi ©Carla Borel