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Chen, Howard Henry. MULTIPLE ENTRY VISA: HOWARD HENRY CHEN PHOTOGRAPHS: THE ARTIST PORTFOLIO. Portland, Oregon: Howard Henry Chen Studios, 2007. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 25 pages. Fine.

Artist Portfolio. Entirely created and hand-made by the photographer in an edition of one. There is no ISBN. The Artist Portfolio is the only one of its kind that exists. Presents, in a handmade original, Howard Henry Chen's "Multiple Entry Visa", a sequence of images that have been exhibited but have yet to be collected and published in book form. They are photographs taken in Vietnam, taken while the Vietnamese-American photographer was visiting family who stayed after the end of the American War (Chen was among the very last to escape, in the dramatic American evacuation of Saigon in 1975). "Chen's preconceptions of which Vietnamese landscapes should have the most resonance evolved as he realized that those ideas were formed by faulty memories and partial histories. This tension of trying to imagine (or remember) Vietnam as a bloody battlefield, an Orientalist's fantasia, or a traveler's playground fascinated the artist, especially as almost all of the images are representations of manufactured fictions anyway: Surreal theme parks inspired by native mythologies or solemnly contrived, propagandized war monuments or places that portray a Vietnamese interpretation of Western culture's view of itself: Australian-designed, EU-financed water parks cool down polyglot expat kids as they splash together on weekends. Ochre-hued walls of Indochine-style buildings never get painted, by design. Rusty US Army helicopters put up as trophies are snubbed by those they are meant to awe. Once-neglected temple ruins of the Cham are re-built brick-by-brick. Monuments of an ancien regime have morphed into magnets for middle-class Chinese tourists from Shenzhen" (Howard Henry Chen). Chen uses the panoramic shot as his primary visual trope. It's one very wide-angle shot that he then breaks up into triptychs or diptychs. The effect is brilliant, as the broken-up pieces/fragments of the whole image stand on their own while also remaining an integral part of a coherent whole. An absolute "must-have" portfolio for Howard Henry Chen collectors. This Artist Portfolio is one-of-a-kind. As far as we know, it is the only piece the photographer ever made (in lieu of a full-fledged book of his work). A rare portfolio-piece thus. Lavishly illustrated with panoramic color plates. One of the most brilliant living American photographers. A fine collectible piece. . $150.00

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