This limited edition book and the exhibition which it accompanied is the culmination of a three-year project in which Taca Sui traveled to remote locations in central China where the literary classic, The Book of Odes (Shi Jing) originated in the Bronze Age, before Laozi and Confucius. These brief, lyrical poems have been a source of inspiration to cultivated Chinese ever since they were written and have occasioned a vast body of commentary to the present day.
To prepare for this photographic series, he immersed himself in the classic texts and commentaries before working on an itinerary based on places named in them, using a Ching dynasty map for guidance. Traveling to remote parts of China far from the well-traveled routes of international travelers, Taca did not seek to illustrate the Book of Odes but to evoke their workings in a different medium. He has spoken of “pushing the Odes’ literary significance into a distant and unfamiliar world, bringing the work’s amorphous and mystical concepts into reality.”
The formal austerity and timeless subject-matter of Taca’s work sets him apart from the great majority of his contemporaries, relating him to earlier masters of the medium rather than to current practitioners of manipulated photography.
The book contains a Preface by Haun Saussy, University Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago, in which he discusses the literary and historical background of the photographs and an essay by John Tancock (Taca’s Odes) which focuses on Taca Sui’s unique position among contemporary photographers.
The deluxe limited edition of 40 plus 10 artist’s proofs containing the book and 108 original platinum prints mounted by the artist on acid-free stock is housed in a cedar wood box. Each copy of the book is signed and numbered by the artist.
Special deluxe edition with 108 platinum photographs in cedar wood box (Image size 3 1⁄2 x 3 1⁄2 in)
Edition of 40 plus 10 AP
5 7/8 x 13 x 8 3/4 in (15 x 33 x 22 cm)
Price available upon request