Martin Parr and WassinkLundgren: The Chinese Photobook


In the last decade there has been a major reappraisal of the role and status of the photobook within the history of photography. Newly revised histories of photography as recorded via the photobook have added enormously to our understanding of the medium’s culture, particularly in places that are often marginalized, such as Latin America and Africa. However, until now, only a handful of Chinese books have made it onto historians’ short lists. Yet China has a fascinating history of photobook publishing, and The Chinese Photobook will reveal for the first time the richness and diversity of this heritage.

This deluxe, lavishly produced volume is based on a collection compiled by Martin Parr and Beijing- and London-based Dutch photographer team WassinkLundgren. And while the collection was inspired initially by Parr’s interest in propaganda books and in finding key works of socialist realist photography from the early days of the Communist Party and the Cultural Revolution era, the selection of books includes key volumes published as early as 1900, as well as contemporary volumes by emerging Chinese photographers.


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Martin Parr is a key figure in the world of photography; in addition to his work as a photographer, he is a renowned collector of photobooks, and the coauthor with Gerry Badger of The Photobook: A History, volumes I–III. He is a contributor and advisor to several other projects about the photobook, including The Latin American Photobook (Aperture, 2011). Parr is a member of Magnum Photos.

WassinkLundgren is a collaboration between Dutch artists Thijs groot Wassink and Ruben Lundgren. They have received several awards, including the Prix du Livre at Rencontres d’Arles for best contemporary photobook and the China Academy Award.

Gu Zheng is a photographer, critic, historian, curator, and associate professor in the School of Journalism at Fudan University, Shanghai. He also serves as vice-director of that university’s Research Center for Visual Culture.

Raymond Lum recently retired as librarian for the Western Languages Collection at Harvard-Yenching Library, where he also served as Curator of Historic Photographs. He is currently the book review editor for the online scholarly journal Trans-Asia Photography Review.

Stephanie H. Tung is a PhD candidate at Princeton University. Prior to her studies at Princeton, she worked as a translator and junior curator for the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing. She is currently based in Shanghai as a Fulbright Scholar.

Gerry Badger is a critic, architect, curator, and photographer. His published books include The Genius of Photography (2007); The Pleasures of Good Photographs (2010); and The Photobook: A History, volumes I–III, coauthored with Martin Parr.

Additional information


The Chinese Phonebook


Thijs groot Wassink, Ruben Lundgren, Martin Parr


Ruben Lundgren, Martin Parr, Gerry Badger, Gu Zheng, Raymond Lum, Stephanie H. Tung


Kummer & Hermann








hardcover with jacket


28,5 x 31,7 cm








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