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China: Portrait of a People Paperback – Illustrated, July 16, 2010
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Part of the strength of this book is its independent spirit. It's not a travel guide showing China dressed in its Sunday best, or a photojournalistic approach documenting the underbelly of the country, but rather a peek at the sights Carter has seen and a corrective to both the glowing promotional images and negative media shots that we are all familiar with. --China Daily
Tom Carter is an extraordinary photographer whose powerful work captures the heart and soul of the Chinese people. --Anchee Min, author of Red Azalea
Tom Carter's photo book is an honest and objective record of the Chinese and our way of life... his camera leads us through 33 wide-sweeping scenes of the real and the surreal. --Mian Mian, author of Candy
- Publisher : Blacksmith Books; Illustrated edition (July 16, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 638 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9889979942
- ISBN-13 : 978-9889979942
- Item Weight : 2.87 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.32 x 2.12 x 6.12 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,776,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Carter traveled through 33 provinces and documented his journey with incredible one-of-a-kind photos of the young, the old, city folk, and rural villagers. I spent hours flipping through the pictures. They are not all pretty -- there are startling images of poverty and hardship. The gap between the standard of living in different areas of the country can be clearly seen. Yet there is a raw beauty to it all through the unfiltered lens of Carter's camera.
The pictures show people living their everyday lives. You see them in the streets, by the rivers, in nightclubs and in temples. We get to peek into the myriad of encounters big and small that must make up such a journey. The resounding message is that the Chinese people are a vast mix of distinct cultures and histories and China is a world onto itself. I have already revisited the book several times. The images are ones that stay with you and I feel privileged to experience this incredible adventure vicariously through Tom Carter's eyes.
--Jeannie Lin, author of " Butterfly Swords (Harlequin Historical) "
Of the 100+ reviews on Amazon already posted, many readers regard Carter's Portrait as a surprising view into a "rapidly disappearing" China as the country dynamically thrusts forward into the new millennia. However, as the photos of John Thompson, Felice Beato, and other photographers of the 19th century are my point of departure, their work compared to Portrait illustrates substantially greater changes in China than any since 1949. Memory of more recent changes seems concentrated in metropolitan areas and along the coastlands rather than in the hinterland traipsed by Carter; perhaps such changes appear weighty because of a foreshortened time scale and accelerated development.
It is unusual for a book to be a revelation for such a broad spectrum of readers as CHINA, Portrait of a People has been: besides travelers who have never been to China, and expat residents proud of their knowledge of the country yet unfamiliar with the greater landscape, the book has revealed to native Chinese much of their own country they knew little about. The book expands boundaries, reveals "undiscovered countries," and is likely to rouse from their indifference to China almost anyone who looks through these photos.
Carter's Portrait shows that "China is not just one place, one people, but 33 distinct regions populated by 56 different ethnicities, each with their own languages, customs and lifestyles." We are told that the author backpacked 56,000 miles and visited over 200 cities and villages to gather material for this book, suffering privation, discomfort, and disease to complete this essay. The final result obviously made every step of his journey worthwhile.
This review is continued at the Old China Books book blog - blog.oldchinabooks.com
CHINA: Portrait of a People