China

Hiroji Kubota, Author, Jonathan D. Spence, Foreword by W. W. Norton & Company $75 (0p) ISBN 978-0-393-02243-8
The China framed by Kubota's camera lens is neither a collectivist utopia lurching toward a high-tech future nor a consumer society adopting capitalist ways, trends overplayed recently in the Western press. Instead we glimpse an immensely varied, post-feudal China struggling to modernize in the face of persistently low living standards. One hundred eighty-five candid color photographs show ferryboats and junks; meat shops where slaughtered cats and dogs are sold as food; careworn peasants, student artists, nude bathers, duck farmers; ancestor worshippers, devout Muslims and Tibetan lamaists. Kubota, born in China but launched on his photographic career in the U.S., traveled through the People's Republic from 1979 to 1984. He roamed from northwestern deserts to Manchurian forests, from ice-fishing in subzero temperatures to tribal ""water festivals.'' Yet, somehow, the Chinese people and the country's political climate remain elusive in all of this. November 25
Reviewed on: 11/01/1985
Release date: 11/01/1985
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