This column references recent books, journal articles, exhibition catalogs, online publications, and similar resources that focus on Asia photography. Please send materials (copies of publications, complete citations, or internet links) to Dr. Raymond Lum, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138, USA (firstname.lastname@example.org). Notice in this column does not preclude publication of a full review in forthcoming issues of TAP Review.
Miryam Sas, Experimental Arts in Postwar Japan: Moments of Encounter, Engagement, and Imagined Return (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center; distributed by Harvard University Press, 2011; Harvard East Asian Monographs, 329). 300 p. ISBN 9780674053403. “In this book, Miryam Sas explores the theoretical and cultural implications of experimental arts in a range of media. Casting light on important moments in the arts from the 1960s to the early 1980s, this study focuses first on underground (post-shingeki) theater and then on related works of experimental film and video, buto dance and photography. Emphasizing the complex and sophisticated theoretical grounding of these artists through their works, practices, and writings, this book also locates Japanese experimental arts in an extensive, sustained dialogue with key issues of contemporary critical theory [source: publisher’s website, accessed 10 August 2010].” See the review in this issue of TransAsia Photography Review.
Benjamin W. Yim & Joan Y. H. Ho, Early Hongkong Travel, 1880-1939 (Hong Kong: University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, 2011). 267+ 91 p. ISBN 9789881902153. Although the focus of this exhibition catalog is not specifically photographs, numerous photographs are used to illustrate the book’s theme. They include studio portraits, streetscapes, picture postcards, interior and exterior views, and photographs of other travel-related items, such as advertisements and brochures. Numerous original-sized reproductions of advertising cards are tipped in throughout.
Sinnathaby Rajaratnam, Private Passion: The Photographs of Pioneer Politician and Diplomat S. Rajaratnam. (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2011). xi, 120 p. ISBN 9789814311434. Color and b&w photos by Singapore’s first Foreign Minister.
Antonio M. Pacheco da Silva, The Portuguese Community in Hong Kong: a Pictorial History. (Macau: Conselho das Comunidades: Instituto Internacional Macau, 2010) 292 p. This is the second volume of a two volume work; vol. 1 appeared in 2007.
Liu Heung Shing & Karen Smith, Shanghai, A History in Photographs, 1842-Today (Melbourne: Penguin Books, 2010) 501 p. ISBN 9780670080908.
Pramod Kumar KG, Posing for Posterity: Royal Indian Portraits (New Delhi: Roli Books, 2012) 256 p. ISBN 9781780762494. “The depiction of the Indian ruler was primarily governed by formal court protocol and etiquette, but also by the capabilities of early photographic technology and the capacity of its practitioners for experiment. The resulting images offer glimpses of a glorious past, but equally reveal the carefully choreographed presentation of royal personas for posterity and the hidden story of the patron–photographer relationship, which played a significant role in enabling it...Pramod Kumar KG is the Managing Director of the Delhi-based Eka Archiving Services Pvt. Ltd. –––India’s first museum consulting company. He is the consultant curator for the City Palace Museum, Udaipur and was until recently Associate Director of the Alkazi Foundation, which holds the Alkazi Collection of Photography [from publisher’s website, accessed 5 August 2012].”
Titus Felicitas, Beijing: Postcards from the Imperial City (Rutland, VT: Tuttle, 2012) 145 p. ISBN 9780804841856. Some 350 b&w and hand-tinted postcards of China’s capital city up to the 1937 invasion by Japan. Has an introduction and other introductions to thematic sections, a bibliography, and notes on postcards in China. The author grew up in China as the child of a German businessman.
Partha Mitter, Akshaya Tankha, Suryanandini Sinha, & Rehaab Allana, The Artful Pose: Early Studio Photography in Mumbai, c. 1855-1940 (Adhmedabad: Mapin Publishing, 2010) 88p. ISBN 978135677000. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Feb–March 2010.
Xiang Si 向斯, Cixi si jia xiang ce: ying xiang bei hou xian wei ren zhi de gu shi 慈禧私家相册：影像背后鲜为人之的故事 (Beijing: Zhonghua shu ju 中华书局, 2011) 288 p. ISBN 9787101081266. Most of the photographs of China’s Empress Dowager Cixi reproduced in this book on her private life are the by-now-familiar ones taken by Xunling. But another, rare, photo purports to be of Cixi’s mother in her old age (p. 19).
Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945. Ed. by Erin Barnett & Philomena Mariani (New York: International Center of Photography ; Steidl /Edition7L, 2011) 247 p. ISBN 9783869303345. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Center May 20-Aug. 28, 2011. “Summary: After the United States detonated an atomic bomb at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the U.S. government restricted the circulation of images of the bomb’s deadly effect. President Truman dispatched some 1,150 military personnel and civilians, including photographers, to record the destruction as part of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. The goal of the Survey’s Physical Damage Division was to photograph and analyze methodically the impact of the atomic bomb on various building materials surrounding the blast site, the first "Ground Zero." The haunting, once-classified images of absence and annihilation formed the basis for civil defense architecture in the United States. This exhibition includes approximately 60 contact prints drawn from a unique archive of more than 700 photographs in the collection of the International Center of Photography. The exhibition is organized by Erin Barnett, Assistant Curator of Collections [from the Center’s webpage, accessed 5 August 2012].”
Atul Bhalla, Yamuna Walk: 22 km, a Journey into the Present (New York: Sepia Eye in Association with the University of Washington Press, 2012) 190 p. ISBN 9780295991771. Landscape photographs of the Yamuna River in Delhi, India.
Hà Nội Xưa = Hanoi in Ancient Time [sic] (Ho Chi Minh City: Tạp chí xưa & nay : Nhà xuất bản Văn hoá Sài Gòn, 2009) 103 p. A bilingual (Vietnamese and English) compilation of old photographs published to observe the 1000th anniversary of the founding of Hanoi.
Images of Singapore (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2011) 140 p. ISBN 9789814328654. Recent photographs of Singapore’s architecture, natural features, cuisines, cultures, etc.
Women de chuan shi xiang ben: Zhonghua Minguo jian guo 100 nian zhaopianji 我們的傳世相本 : 中華民國建國100年照片集 = Our photo legacy (Taibei: Zhong Yang Tongxunshe 中央通訊社, 2011) 359 p. ISBN 9789868663725. A pictorial history of the Republic of China on the mainland, 1912-1949, and on Taiwan from1945.
1850-2010 Kua Yue Shi Ji de Shanghai Cheng Shi Xing Xiang 跨越世纪的上海城市形象=1850-2010 Shanghai : a Photo Contrast of Past Glories and New Accomplishments (Shanghai : Shanghai People’s Fine Arts Publishing House, 2010) 155 p. ISBN 9787532267590. A pictorial history of Shanghai from the introduction of photography to the present.
Shilpa Bhatt Desai; Vivek Desai, photo editor; Suresh Dalal, introduction, Golden Glimpses: Gujarat 1960-2010: a Nostalgic Photo-Journey (Ahmedabad: Art Book Hub, 2010) 219 p. In English and Gujarati.
David Poey Cher Tay, Coming of Age: Forgotten Faces of a Greying Asia (Singapore: David Poey Cher Tay, 2011) unpaged. ISBN 9789810889593. Exhibition catalog. Eighty photographic portraits by David Tay, president of the Photographic Society of Singapore.
Eve Arnold [text], Eve Arnold: Hommage (München : Schirmer/Mosel, c2012) 183 p. ISBN 9783829606011. Published to coincide with an exhibition of Eve Arnold’s photographs. Includes selections of her photographs of India, China, and Mongolia.
Louis-Marie Blanchard & Elise Blanchard, Explorateurs du toit du monde: Carnets de route en haute-Asie, 1850-1950 (Paris: Martinière, 2010) 192 p. ISBN 9782732442167. A pictorial work on explorations in Central Asia and in Tibet.
Rixt A. Bosma, Photography Meets Film: Capa, Ivens and Fernhout in China, 1938 (Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 2011; Rijksmuseum Studies in Photography, vol. 8) 55 p. ISBN 978 90 71450 31 0 Limited ed. of 850 copies. Robert Capa was in Spain photographing the civil war when Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens invited him to join him and his cameraman, John Fernhout, on a film he was about to shoot in China. Capa made films and production stills and “a large number of photo stories for magazines in Europe and the United States [p. v].” They are documented here in the form of individual photos, magazine pages and covers, and contact sheets.
Carlos P. Tatel, Jr., “Non-Western Peoples as Filipinos: Mediating Notions of ‘Otherness’ in Photographs frm the National Geographic Magazine in the Early 20th Century,” Asian Anthropology, vol. 10 (2011) 61-79.
Samuel C. Morse, ed., Re-Inventing Tokyo: Japan's Largest City in the Artistic Imagination (Hanover, NH: Mead Art Museum/Amherst College; Distributed by University Press of New England, 2012) ISBN: 978-0-914337-35-5. Catalog of an exhibition at the College, August 25-December 30, 2012. Essays by Samuel Morse, Trent Maxey, Timothy Van Compernolle, John Dower, and Yamashita Yūji.
Maki Fukuoka, The Premise of Fidelity: Science, Visuality, and Representing the Real in Nineteenth-Century Japan (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012) 304 p. ISBN: 9780804777902. “The Premise of Fidelity puts forward a new history of Japanese visuality through an examination of the discourses and practices surrounding the nineteenth century transposition of ‘the real’ in the decades before photography was introduced [from publisher’s blurb].”
Deepali Dewan, Embellished Reality: Indian Painted Photographs (Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 2012) 120 p. ISBN 978-0-88854-481-0. From the publisher’s website: “The art of painted photographs arose out of a need for 19th-century artists to compete with commercial photography. The ROM has the largest representation of Indian painted photographs in North America. Embellished Reality features 50 works never before exhibited. Unlike the West, where photography replaced painting as an accurate reflection of "reality," in India, photographs were used to enhance the function of paintings, which were seen as a reflection of a higher realm of existence, or ‘hyper-reality.’”