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Paperback, 96 pages, booklet in the flap, b/w, 17 x 21 cm
Italian, English , Paperback, 96 pages, booklet in the flap, b/w, 17 x 21 cm , 2023 .
In the autumn of 1974, Gae Aulenti took part in a trip to China, visiting Hong Kong (still a colony at the time), Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and a few smaller locations. After the years of the Cultural Revolution, China was reopening to the world, and a curious and tireless traveller like her was struck by the highly disciplined collective life, order and cleanliness, but also by the great transformations of the territory and the new infrastructures such as universities and hospitals. It is a world suspended between millenary traditions and the drive towards modernisation that Mao Zedong’s ideology had imposed upon the country. Yet it is still the China of bicycles, of a thousand shops and the Great Wall visited without the presence of tourists. A place in some ways distant and exotic, yet Aulenti is careful to capture the beginning of the China to come. An astonishing reportage that shifts between great panoramas with the telling details picked out by a sharp-eyed observer.
Design: Teresa Piardi – Maxwell Studio / Courtesy Archivio Gae Aulenti