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A Map of the East - SAVE 50%!

A Map of the East - SAVE 50%!

by Leo Rubinfien
Afterword by Donald Richie

Regular price $12.50 USD
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Product Details


ISBN: 978-0-87923-943-5
Pages: 132
Size: 9.5" x 9"
Published: October 1994
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In this startling and illuminating book, Leo Rubinfien attempts to define the character and idiosyncrasies of a part of the world that intrigues and alarms Americans today as it has rarely done before. His “map” is neither precise nor defined by boundaries. It is, rather, an elegy and a celebration, a book of photographs composed poetically through subjective eyes, a sequence of couplets (here seen as paired photographs) carefully arranged by the hand of an artist. It is a book, like the very best of its kind, that enables us to see anew.

Rubinfien spent his early youth in Tokyo. He returned there in 1979 and for the next eight years traveled almost continually, making the pictures in his book in Japan, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, the Philippines, and Vietnam. In the 107 images presented here he moves through the vast landscape and complex cultures of the Orient not as a reporter but as one who can remember what has passed and convey the poignancy of what will soon disappear. Like the finest western observers of the East, Rubinfien is able to express a great tenderness for the word he portrays while remaining acutely aware that he is an outsider.

In Rubinfien’s “Personal Asia,” writes Donald Richie in his Afterword, “the most ordinary stuff can appear before us with even visionary intensity . . . the ordinary [may] become extraordinary, be transformed, rescued, redeemed.” Here, then, is an intimate, lyrical work that gives readers the shanties and businessmen, air pollution and toy shops, ferryboats and war relics, innocence and femininity of an Easy that is changing at a frantic pace. The photographs reveal both how the East views itself, and how the West constantly assaults but never quite conquers it. Knowing that no one can answer just how much ahs been lost or gained from the West’s intrusions in the East, Rubinfien brings us a book that will prove one of the most sensitive treatments of the question and a lasting addition to our literature on the Orient.

Author: Leo Rubinfien
Leo Rubinfien was born in Chicago and received his MFA in Photography from Yale University. Soon after graduating, he gained prominence for experimenting with the new color techniques and materials that became available in the 1970s. In addition to his three photo books, he has published numerous essays on photography. His work has received several awards, including Guggenheim and Asian Cultural Council Fellowships.

Donald Richie
Donald Richie was born in Ohio and first arrived in Japan with the American occupation force in 1947. While working as a typist and writer for the Stars and Stripes newspaper, he befriended Japanese filmmakers and began his lifelong effort to promote Japanese film and culture in the west. He went to New York to attend Columbia University in 1953 but soon returned to Japan, where he spent the majority of his life. A prolific film critic, he wrote hundreds of reviews for The Japan Times as well as some of the foundational texts on Japanese film theory for an English-speaking audience, including The Films of Akira Kurosawa.