cover image Quiet Beauty of China

Quiet Beauty of China

Rizzoli, Fok, Pat Fok. Rizzoli International Publications, $45 (134pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-0859-5

""My adult life has been a search for harmony,'' explains the author of Faces of China, and her gentle new volume eschews the ``highrises of Beijing, the super highways of Guangzhou, the industrial buildings of Shanghai.'' Poetic images of Fok's ``dream world'' include the mountain of Huangshan, whose peaks are enshrouded with clouds after a rainstorm; Jiuzhaigou, a remote primeval forest, ablaze with the colors of autumn foliage and a turquoise lake; Tong Li, a small village, evocative of Venice, with 49 bridges and houses dating to the Ming and early Qing dynasties. Fok offers pictures of Tibet as well: high plateaus, glaciers, Buddhist statues and the faithful prostrating themselves. She recalls how her camera flash was ``so embarrassingly out of place'' outside the Tibetan Jokhang temple at dawn and how, out of respect for its private sacredness, she didn't photograph a ``celestial burial,'' in which the corpse is torn limb from limb until every piece of human flesh has been fed to the vultures. Picture captions would have been welcome. (November 20)