Lens and Landscape

1,150 kr

Lens and Landscape is a photo book (or strictly speaking, a pair of photo books) by two photographers from two ends of the world that didn’t get to meet and work togethe as planned due to the COVID pandemic.

In 2019, Bergen based multi-cultural organisation Northing initiated a pilot project where Norwegian photographer Tonje Bøe Birkeland was supposed to collaborate with Shanghai-based Chinese photographer Maleonn. The title of the project, at that time, was Stage and Landscape. Maleonn is known for his imaginative and theatrical photographs carefully staged in a limited space in his studio. Usually, he took pictures of others – actors, models, or onlookers to create absurd visual narratives and psychedelic images. On the contrary, Bergen based artist Tonje always takes the nature and the whole scenario around her for the stage. She always poses herself in front of the camera as female explorers from the past that were forgotten by the patriarchal historians. Northing found this dramatic contrast appealing and hoped the collaboration could spark some unexpected creativity. But due to the pandemic and the never-ending travel restrictions in and out China, the two artists could not meet each other and work together. Instead, with the help of internet, Northing created a meeting point for them to meet in form of a book.

The book contains a conversation between the two artists and their most important works, which also constitute a visual dialogue. Book designers Yilei and Pan Yanrong found a creative way to bind the book. They split the book into two (one artist each), which are hold together with a portfolio. Reading the book, one shall lay the portfolio flat on a table and open the two parts at the same time, because the page numbers continue from one (part of the) book to the other. On spread consists of four pages. And the photos on each spread by the two artists form a dialogue that follows a clear visual logic.

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Om utgiveren:

Kinakaal forlag er et flerspråklig publiseringsprosjekt. Det er igangsatt av Northing, som tilrettelegger for kulturutveksling mellom Norge og Kina. Forlaget har blant annet gitt ut poesi, tegneserier og en fotobok.


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