“Thundershower” is the photobook debut of Zhang An, a young photographer based in Nanjing, China. Though light and playful at first, the imaginative photographs in “Thundershower” gradually take on a certain weight and meaningfulness. In one image, Zhang An dips his finger into a puddle of water as if touching a portal into another world; in others he observes the interaction of light with plants in the forest or interacts with his surroundings, either directly (e.g., by arranging a thread of yarn around a flower, mimicing the cobwebs of the adjacent pages) or through his compositions.
“Thundershower” is a highly personal book whose journey began years ago, when Zhan An received three letters from an online penpal; love letters and a farewell. “I still haven’t had the time to process the emotions expressed. It’s already over. Like the aftermath of a thunderstorm, the rain has stopped but my body is still wet,” he writes in his afterword.
“[H]er questions come to mind: ‘Do you know what beauty is? Why do you take photographs?’
These questions are too heavy for me. I have no answers.
This book also has no answers. But at the very least, I hope it’s a reply.”