Nong, Chen (Artist/Photographer) & Simons, Robert (Contributor). CHEN NONG: CLIMBING TO THE MOON. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Alex Daniels/Reflex Editions Amsterdam, 2012. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 66 pages. Fine.

Exhibition Catalog. One of the most beautiful and important art photography books of our time. The first and only edition. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original only. None of the copies was widely distributed even in The Netherlands. The First Edition is now rare. A brilliant production by Chen Nong and Alex Daniels: Oversize-volume format. Pictorial hard boards with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Photographs by Chen Nong. Essay by Robert Simons. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper in Amsterdam to the highest standards. The reproduction quality is exemplary in every respect. Without DJ, as issued. Presents "Chen Nong: Climbing To The Moon". The Chinese artist/photographer's masterpiece, one of the most beautiful photographic sequences ever created in our time. As a one-of-a-kind photographer, Chen Nong works more like a visionary film director/auteur of epic films. As each of the staged scenes in this magnificent volume shows, his "cinematic" style is breathtaking and powerful: Using one of the earliest tripod cameras still working, he recreates epochal events in Chinese history (as well as his own personal experiences) by casting amateur models (in the case of key sequences, hundreds of them) and dressing them up in historically accurate period costume or their equivalent in hand-made origami. He shoots each scene in black-and-white, and then injects his unique style by hand-painting each of the prints. You will not think of the hand-painted photograph in the same way again once you see what Chen Nong has done with it: He has transformed an old and now rarely-practiced photographic art into great art that resonates across space and time. The resulting images have the authenticity, drama, and intensity now missing in most contemporary films. One needs to be reminded that this is the photograph, a two-dimensional still medium, through which he manages to convey the action, movement, and violence of History itself. "Impresses most in relation to how it melds different ideas and thematic levels in a single piece. An army of terracotta-like soldiers is reminiscent of the terracotta army that was unearthed in China. Here, however, Chen himself created paper costumes for the men. The contrast of heavy terracotta and lightweight paper, bathed in dramatic lighting, reveals these figures as an army of morality. Invites you to sit down, enter in, and wander around his modern fantasy of Chinese history and reality" (Publisher's blurb). An absolute "must-have" title for Chen Nong collectors. This title is a contemporary art photography classic. As far as we know, this is the only copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and despite its imperfection (slight crimping on bottom board corners, but it's there) remains in fine condition overall: Every internal page is clean, crisp, and bright. Please note: None of the copies was widely distributed even in The Netherlands. Issued without a DJ. A rare copy thus. Lavishly illustrated with color plates. One of the most brilliant artist/photographers of our time. A fine collectible copy. . ISBN 9071848159. $200.00

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