Let the Orange in | Grey Chen

Text by Huang Shisi

Let the Orange In
Hard Cover, 52 pages, 41 color plates, 25x20cm
Self published, Nottingham UK, Jul 2012

Book cover, Let the orange in, book by Grey Chen
Book cover, Let the orange in, book by Grey Chen

“It’s easy to lost the joy of photography since we are doing so hard – trudged thousands of miles, wrestling with different compositions, staging for large scenes, manipulating a single image all day long; while it is much easier to forget the reason of taking photographs when serious documentary, mass advertising and fine art market were taking advantages of photography itself.”
__ Grey Chen, Let the Orange in

Let the Orange in is the photobook made by photographer Grey Chen — the essential collection of her photography project about Light. In this project, she has been taking photographs of the scenes with light illuminated since 2010. While the fondness of light must be dated back much earlier, just as she mentioned in the book — sometimes, light is the only inspiration since most of the things are quicker to get tired with after long period of study.

British typical haze weathers awakened her deep desires of sunshine in the beginning, and then she started thinking about the connections between sunlights and emotions. Afterwards, her research went to the direction if the color of light could work instead of light itself in photography – since nothing could be seen without light, while in color photography, light becomes colors after processing. That is why Grey used Orange to replace Sunshie in the title – Let the Orange in. The relationships among light, objects, colors and emotions are what she has interests in.

It is intriguing that her book has haunted me since the first look — the warm fading orange cover, the photographs recorded scarce sunshine fulfilling British people’s daily life, the oily bacon and egg in the morning sunshine, the mouldy lemon slices in the sunset. Grey is a master playing with color photography — she turns the gentlest daily scenes into dynamic photographs, creating a world fulfilling with light, keeping our eyes open for her love of the world.

Let the orange in, photography by Grey Chen, 2013
Let the orange in, photography by Grey Chen, 2013
Let the Orange In, photography by Grey Chen, 2013
Let the Orange In, photography by Grey Chen, 2013
Let the Orange In, photography by Grey Chen, 2013
Let the Orange In, photography by Grey Chen, 2013

Grey Chen (灰小), MA in Photography in Nottingham Trent University, UK; BA (Second Year) in Graphic Design, Camberwell College of Arts, University of Arts London. Her works have been selected in several exhibitions in Europe, mainly UK.

See more, www.greychen.com


Let the Orange in是由摄影师Grey Chen创作且自行出版的摄影画册,此书选取了她的摄影项目“光”中的主要作品。从2010年起,她便开始了不断追寻光的旅程。而对光的热爱,其实始于更早的时候。正如她在书的后记中所提,对事物关注过久总会让人容易感到厌倦,唯有光是她永恒的灵感。

英国典型的阴霾天气唤醒了她对阳光的深深渴望,促使她开始思考光线和情绪的关系。尔后,她的研究方向走上颜色是否能代替光线本身来作用——因为万物离开光线便不存在(不可被看见)。在彩色摄影中,呈现在底片上的光经过冲印之后便呈现为颜色。这也是为什么在标题Let the Orange in中,Grey用Orange(光的常见色)来代替光线本身。光、被摄物、颜色和情绪,这四者的关系,正是她的兴趣点。


Grey Chen (灰小),英国诺丁汉特伦特大学摄影研究生;本科(二年级)毕业于伦敦艺术大学坎布威尔艺术学院平面设计专业。她的作品被屡次选入欧洲(英国为主)的展览。

Coming Exhibition: 50 Contemporary Photobooks from China 2009-2014

Go East: 50 Contemporary Photobooks from China 2009-2014
FORMAT International Photography Festival
Derby, UK
Curator: Yining He

Zhang Lijie, Midnight Tweedle, 2013 © Zhang Lijie
Zhang Lijie, Midnight Tweedle, 2013 © Zhang Lijie

China has a fascinating history of photobook publishing. As Martin Parr considers, China is a forgotten land of photobook that no one knew about. The Chinese Photobook exhibition, coproduced by the Rencontre d’Arles and Aperture, revealed for the first time the richness and diversity of this heritage.

Entering the new millennium, China as the world’s second largest economy is undergoing the most rapid urbanization. As a result of these emerging challenges and creative energies, contemporary Chinese photography has flourished into one of the most vibrant art forms of our time. In the meantime, the publishing of independent photobook among young photographers has become a trend over the past five years. At the early stage, some Chinese photographers published photo-books with the aid of overseas galleries and independent publishing companies. Zen Foto Books is an example; it was established in Tokyo in 2009, specializing in Asian photography with a particular emphasis on China. They successively published photo-books for several Chinese photographers, including Lin Shu’s Toxic and Zhang Yuming’s The Ancient Tower. Didier Quarroz from Switzerland founded Sandmeier Press in Zurich in 2011, and soon afterwards he moved to Shanghai to cooperate with active local photographers and publish photo-books. Meanwhile, independent publishing companies that emerged in China, such as Banana Fish, Gooooodies and Jia Za Zhi Press, are constantly discovering distinctive Chinese photographers and helping them with photo-books publishing. In addition, some photographers choose to express their ideas by means of handmade books. Zhu Lanqing is a youngish photographer born in 1991, and she attained Three Shadow Photography Awards with A Journey in Reverse Direction, a sophisticatedly complied handmade book.

from the photobook 'A Journal In Reverse Direction', 2013 ©  Zhu Lanqing
from the photobook ‘A Journal In Reverse Direction’, 2013 © Zhu Lanqing

50 Contemporary Photobooks from China is aimed at collectively presenting the photo-books created by Chinese photographers from 2009 to 2014 to audience in the UK and the Europe. Photographers that attend the exhibition are from all parts of China and living in different cities in the world, and thus they have a diversity of academic and professional backgrounds. Some of the artists graduated from domestic universities and have experiences as a journalistic photographer; some others were born in the 1990s and went to the Europe or America for photographic education soon after they graduated from high school. Most of the 50 photo-books at the exhibition are produced by independent publishing companies, among which there are photo-books that the photographers print through companies like Blurb or local printing houses; also, there are quite many handmade by the photographers. The works gathered in the 50 photo-books have covered nearly all genres of contemporary photography, including portraits, landscape, fashion, documentary, conceptual and so forth. Albeit these photo-books are not all produced in China, the subject matters centre on the contemporary discourses of China without exception. Photography has long been deemed as the evidence of recording the reality, and the photo-books keep such evidence permanently. 50 Contemporary Photo-books from China is trying to present the lateral of Chinese contemporary photography by virtue of “evidence”, the theme of FORMAT Festival 2015.

Yang Yuanyuan, 10 Days in Krakow, 2014 @Jiazazhi Press
Yang Yuanyuan, 10 Days in Krakow, 2014 @Jiazazhi Press

It is designed as an integral exhibition that showcases photobooks, selected photography and multimedia works. 50 Contemporary Photobooks from China is more than an exhibition that reports the gradations of Chinese photography; moreover, I hope to spark a series of discussions via the exhibition. It is trying to examine the historical, social and visual discourses of Chinese independent photobook publication industry by exploring the interrelationships of photographers, publishers, consumers and the photographic industries. By looking into the current trend of independent and self-publishing photobook movement in China, we can address the following questions: How did the independent photobook trend start in China? What is the social and cultural background behind the industry? How does small presses like Jia Za Zhi Press shape the business of contemporary photobook in China? What are the roles of the photography galleries and art schools in response to such trend?

During the process of preparing the proposal, I received great supports from many photographers and publishers. I wish to assemble the youthful forces of Chinese photography through this opportunity and create an exhibition of the international standards. In addition, I plan to print a catalogue of the exhibition for selling on the site. Furthermore, subsequent to the FORMAT International Photography Festival 2015, 50 Contemporary Photobooks from China will be on itinerant exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities in China.


中国摄影画册出版有着令人沉醉的历史。正如马丁·帕尔(Martin Parr)所说,中国是被遗忘的摄影画册之国,其非凡的摄影画册作品鲜有人知。与阿尔勒摄影节和光圈出版社合作的中国摄影书展览,正是第一次向全世界观众展示了中国摄影画册遗产的丰富性和多样性。


早先,中国的一些摄影师们借以境外画廊或独立出版社的帮助出版画册, 比如2009年在东京成立的Zen Foto Books,专门为亚洲摄影师尤其是中国摄影师服务。他们先后为几位中国摄影师出版画册,包括摄影林舒的《鸠》(Toxic), 张玉明的《古塔》(The Ancient Tower);来自瑞士的Didier Quarroz 于2011年在苏黎世创办Sandmeier Press, 随后便搬到中国上海来和当地活跃的摄影师合作,出版画册。于此同时, 先后在中国成立的独立出版社,如香蕉鱼Banana Fish,Gooooodies以及假杂志社(Jiazazhi Press),一直以来都在不断地挖掘来自中国的优秀摄影师,帮助他们出版画册。除此之外,一些摄影师选择手工书的方式充分表达自己的创意,朱岚清是一位1991年出生的年轻摄影师,她凭借一套精心编辑的手工书作品:《负向的旅程》(A Journey in Reverse Direction),获得2014年三影堂摄影大奖。

“来自中国的当代摄影画册”展旨在将2009——2014年中国摄影师创作的画册集中带到英国及欧洲观众的眼前。参展的摄影师们来自中国的各个角落,生活在地球上的不同城市,也有着截然不同的学习和工作背景。他们中的一些人在国内的大学毕业, 有过报刊摄影师的经历, 也有从高中毕业就远赴欧美院校学习摄影专业的九零后艺术家。 参展的50本画册大多由独立出版社制作,其中也有摄影师自己通过像Blurb这样的公司,或当地工厂印制;还有相当一部分由摄影师手工制作。这50本画册中的作品几乎涵盖了当代摄影的所有类别,包括肖像、风景、时尚、纪实、概念等。虽然这些摄影书并不都是在中国制作,但摄影作品的主题都始终围绕着中国当代的议题所展开。一直以来,摄影都被当作纪录现实的“证据”(Evidence),而摄影书更将这些证据长久地保留了下来, “始生如孽——来自中国的当代摄影画册”的展览正是想借“证据”(Evidence) ——2015年FORMAT国际摄影节 的主题,将中国当代摄影的这个侧面展现在观众眼前。

此次展览参展的作品包括摄影画册、精选摄影作品以及多媒体作品。当然, 的展览不仅仅是一次阶段性的报告展,我更希望通过展览引发一系列的讨论。我希望通过发掘摄影师、出版商、消费者和摄影行业之间的关系来观察中国独立画册出版的历史、社会和视觉内涵。看到中国目前独立自主出版画册的趋势,我们可以提出以下问题:中国独立画册的趋势是如何兴起的?这一产业的社会文化背景是什么?假杂志这样的小媒体如何塑造了中国当代画册的运营模式?摄影画廊和艺术学校在这一趋势中扮演了怎样的角色?

在准备这个项目书的过程中,我受到了很多摄影师和出版人的支持,也希望通过这个展览的机会将中国摄影圈里的年轻力量集合起来,做一场国际水准的展览。此外,我还计划印制和展览相配合的展览图册,用于在展览会场推广。此外,在Format Festival 2015 举行之后,“始生如孽——来自中国的当代摄影画册” 还会在2015年期间在中国北京、上海和其他城市进行巡展。

Inner City | Cao Di

Text by Yuying Yang

  • Edited by Erik Bernhardsson
  • 64 pages
  • 4.5 x 6 inch
  • 60 photographs from the streets of inner Beijing
  • US Trade Paper
  • Published by Modes in Oct 01 2013
Inner City by Cao Di
Inner City by Cao Di

‘I like amusing atmosphere, not just the inner city but also people’s emotions.’ said by Cao Di for his one and only publication: Inner City.

As Walter Benjamin described, Flâneur– a figure of modern urban spectator–is an alienation of capitalistic city. He is no longer a human being but an invisible role hidden in crowd. The same as Cao’s situation, his works have never been shown in any exhibitions or galleries. It becomes a really personal observation to the city and life he lives in.

Cao’s pictures are like his collection. The targets in his pictures including passerby, advertisement leaflets, slogans on the wall etc, they are very normal images that we can see everyday. Cao said he find them very interesting so he took pictures of them. ‘I felt I occupied them, just like collecting stuff. They became mine when I press the shutter.’

As an amateur photographer, Cao described taking pictures as a way of seeking the answers. ‘ For example, I don’t know why I live so I shoot. After taking, I still have no idea but at least I got an excuse. Photography is my excuse for living.’

In his book Inner City, you can see a lot of ‘non-sense’ pictures. They don’t have a deep meaning or hint hide behind them. They are the most honest depiction of the city, almost bored the audiences because they are the view we see everyday through our eyes. But at the same time, the photographer does manage to add a fantasy in. Like the red shoes on a middle-aged woman’s feet, a sky-liked billboard behind a sitting man, a cartoon bag carried by an old man, they are quite amusing and even funky if we take a serious look on them. The reason why we ignore them is numb. We have seen too much in this city so we lost out sensitivity, and thanks for photographer like Cao Di, bring back his Flâneur’s observation for us.

Inner City by Cao Di
Inner City by Cao Di
Inner City by Cao Di
Inner City by Cao Di
Inner City by Cao Di
Inner City by Cao Di

Coastline | Zhang Xiao | Jiazazhi Press

  • Title: Coastline
  • Photographer: Zhang Xiao
  • Date of publication: August 2014
  • Dimensions: 118 color pictures
  • 215 x 280 x 22mm
  • Clothbound Hardcover
  • Editor: Yanyou Di Yuan
  • Publisher: Jia Za Zhi Press
  • Edition: 600
  • Price: USD 65 / RMB 320
  • Website: http://jiazazhi.com/book/coastline/
  • Donated by: Jiazazhi Press
Coastline, Jiazazhi Press, Photography by Zhang Xiao

Zhang Xiao started his journey from 2009-2013 along the coastline of China. China has long coastline which from the mouth of Yalu river in Liaoning province in the northern to the mouth of Beilun river in Guangxi province in the southern. Totally, it is continuous eighteen thousands kilometers. 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 outstanding in China’s coastal areas. A multitude of countrymen leave their native place to go there. Urbanization drive continually accelerate growth while people’s spiritual life stay.

In China, every year hundreds of millions of people find work in other places. During the Spring Festival, hundreds of millions of people return home during a very short time, so the whole family can be reunited. They come from everywhere, North to South, East to West. People often lose their way during this process, losing the feeling of a real home. Lacking a sense of belonging, perhaps this is a symptom of being Chinese during this time.

——Jiazazhi Press


Coastline, Jiazazhi Press, Photography by Zhang Xiao
Coastline, Jiazazhi Press, Photography by Zhang Xiao


Zhang Xiao was born in 1981 in Yantai, Shandong province. He now lives in Chengdu, Sichuan province. He won Houdengke Documentary Photography Award (China) in 2009, won Three Shadows Photography Award (China) in 2010, won The Photography Talent Award (France) in 2010, won MIO Photo Award (Japan) 2011, won The PRIX HSBC POUR LA PHOTOGRAPHIE (France) 2011.


The Yellow River | Zhang Kechun | Jiazazhi Press

The Yellow River by Jiazazhi Press
  • Title: The Yellow River
  • Photographer: Zhang Kechun
  • Date of publication: June 2014
  • Dimensions:  55 colour pictures, 120 pages
  •                       250mm x 250mm x 18mm
  •                      Clothbound hardcover Limited Edition (Signed Copy)
  • Designer: Lina Liu, Yanyou Di Yuan
  • Editors: Yanyou Di Yuan, Zhu Mo, Muge
  • Publisher: Jia Za Zhi Press
  • Edition: 500
  • Price: USD 65 / RMB 320
  • Website: http://www.jiazazhi.com/book/the-yellow-river/

“Carefully and quietly, Zhang Kechun waits for the history itself coming in his view. His pictures are so calm that there’s no arrogant human or angry river. Everything goes to quietness, which is actually enduring power.”

—— Ou Ning (Curator, Art Critic)

In late June, Jiazazhi Press released “The Yellow River”, a poetic photobook created by Zhang Kechun. The Yellow River, known as “the cradle of Chinese civilization”, is the longest waterway in China. Inspired by the series “Sleeping by the Mississippi” taken by Magnum photographer Alec Soth, Zhang Kechun start “The Yellow River” project from 2010.

Carried a Linholf 4*5 camera on his back, Zhang walked more than ten times upstream westward from the estuary of the river, through Henan, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Inner Mogolia, Ningxia, Gansu and Sichuan, heading to the river source near the Bayan Har Mountain in Qinhai. As Zhang said: “While along the way, the river from my mind was inundated by the stream of reality. The river, which once was full of legends, had gone and disappeared. This is kind of my profound pessimism. Nevertheless, as a vast country with a long history, its future is always bright. There is a descent in the matrix; there is her own nutrition to feed her babies; there is the power of creation to cultivate them strongly. The weak moaning finally will be drowned by the shout for joy. From this point of view, it seems, all shall be optimistic.

Zhang Kechun, born in 1980 in Sichuan Province. He currently lives and works in Chengdu. He won the National Geographic Picks Global Prize in 2008, was nominated by Three Shadow Photo Award in 2012, nominated by Sony World Photography Awards in 2012 and 2013, nominated by the Prix HSBC Pour la Photographie 2014.His works were exhibited on 2012 CAFAM-Future Exhibition, 2013 Beijing Photo Biennial, 2013 PHOTOQUAI World Photography Biennale, 2014 Arles Photo Festival, 2014 Beijing +3 Gallery solo exhibition.

3/51 The Yellow River | Photography by Zhang Kechun
4/51 The Yellow River | Photography by Zhang Kechun
41/51 The Yellow River | Photography by Zhang Kechun