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Landscape book cover of Xu Yong, Negatives, with inverted photo of figure holding object over head. Published by Verlag Kettler.

Xu Yong


By (author) Gerard A. Goodrow
By (author) Cathrine Cheng
By (author) Shu Yang


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  • A survivor's account of the Tiananmem Square massacre, told through photographs taken at the event
  • The colours of the photographs have been inverted to create a more interactive and thought-provoking experience
Full Description

Inspired by the reform movements in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, student protests began to form in China in the spring of 1989. They made Tiananmen square their central meeting place. Unsettled by this public display of dissent, on 3 and 4 June the Chinese army violently crushed the protests. There are no official figures for the number of victims. 2600 people are estimated to have been killed, and 7000 injured.

The photographer Xu Yong, aged 35 at the time, was among the survivors. He captured the chaotic scenes on celluloid. In 2014, he published his photos in a book that was banned by the board of censors. This new edition, published by Verlag Kettler, makes the book available to the public.

Xu has not retouched the photographs. He reproduces the negatives with inverted colours, which can only be deciphered once the colour inversion function on mobile phones or tablets is activated. Consequently, his work represents an eerie yet authentic perspective on this watershed moment in Chinese history.

Text in English and Chinese.

Verlag Kettler
4th Apr 2017
309 mm x 248 mm
80 Pages
56 color, b&w
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