Jiazazhi Press’s beautiful re-issue of Chinese photographer and Three Shadows laureate Chen Xiaoyi’s photobook “Koan”. The series consists of photo-etchings of abstract landscape images shot during a stay in Iceland. Xiaoyi’s careful photography is further accentuated by the panel format, fold-out design of this new release.
In Zen buddhism, ‘koan’ describes a ridle or story that helps attain a state of spontaneous reflection. In her afterword, Xiaoyi describes that, “in contradiction to Western philosophy, Koan’s emphasize the inadequacy of language and words, and the importance of intuition over reason and logic, to transform the self.”
“As Eastern philosophies, Tao and Zen always advise people to stay absolutely quiet and purify thought processes. In order to achieve this goal, our attention should focus on the most basic form of the universe’s existence. […]
I try to explore beneath the surface of things by simplification and abstraction to awaken spiritual awareness and intuition before the symbolic.”
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