Polaroids from the Middle Kingdom: Old and New World Visions of China by Lukas Birk


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Foreword by Katherine Don.

Upon relocating to Beijing, photographer Lukas Birk attempts to escape the sense of stagnation that plagued him in his central European home. He encounters a group of like-minded young creatives who share his sentiment of “nostalgia teetering on the edge of melancholy.” Hoping to express that feeling, Birk discovers his father’s collection of expired Polaroid film. With Birk’s medium acting as a metaphor for the transformation of modern China—its rapid development and the void of nostalgia left behind—this book presents a sense of something from the past interrupted by modern motives, a collision of old and new world visions. In her insightful foreword, art advisor Katherine Don details Birk’s contribution to contemporary art in China and comments on his pioneering innovation. Birk’s stunning collection of inventive imagery captures the vibrancy of contemporary life, inspired by the filter of his own nostalgia and longing.

ISBN: 978-0-9881745-6-6
128 pages; 15 x 12" landscape jacketed;
hardcover; 5,000 words with 70 4/c photos


Lukas Birk