Spectacular China
by Nigel Cameron

Landscape-format oversized volume celebrates the wonder, majesty, and mystery of China

There is great reason why China is called the Middle Kingdom and its Chinese character is a globe. For if the earth truly has an origin--from the sweeping sands of the Gobi Desert, to the 29,000 foot peak of Mt. Everest, to the lush, palm tree-lined shores of the Wanquan River and the sun-drenched tropical beaches of the Hainan Province--China would be it. Yet this book, and China itself, is about much more than a beautiful landscape. China's nearly 1.5 billion people comprise the largest population in the world, and with a written language almost 4,000 years old and 56 recognized ethnic groups, the country's richness lies in the history and diversity of the people and their interdependence with their surroundings: the people's development of the land, and the land's inspiration of the people. This unique, oversized volume celebrates the many splendors of China, and features 180 magnificent color photographs, including 36 pages of foldouts in which each image expands to nearly four feet wide.

Since Marco Polo first returned from the Far East in 1295 with exotic treasures and wondrous stories, China has been a land of great fascination to the West. Spectacular China captures all of the fantastic and intriguing natural wonders--the breathtaking Huangshan Mountains and mist-wrapped peaks of Guilin; the Golden Summit of Mt. Emei; the 3,400 mile Yangtze River that is known as China's "source of wealth" and is the longest river in Asia; snow covered Tibetan peaks; the towering precipices of Qutang Gorge along the Yangtze River; and Hangzhou's quiet, lotus filled West Lake. The range of visual treasures is as expansive as the 3.7 million square miles of China itself.

The people's impression on the land is just as significant--from the imperial and ancient, to the modern metropolises, Spectacular China explores the formidable, palatial halls of the Forbidden City; the seven ancient capitals of Anyang, Xi'an, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Nanjing, Beijing, and Hangzhou; and the 6,000 life-size terra cotta warriors of the second century B.C. Emperor Qin Shi Huang's army.

Like a timeline through the country, the works of the Chinese have truly become part of the landscape--from the 1,056 mile Grand Canal built in the fifth century B.C. to connect Beijing and Hangzhou; the Great Wall of China, the world's largest engineering and building project stretching nearly 1,500 miles with sections dating back to the fourth century B.C.; the gilded Buddha in the Hall of Maitreya standing nearly nine stories tall and the six foot Buddha in Yufo Temple carved from one solid piece of jade; the Temple of Heaven in Beijing; the world famous Summer Palace built in 1750 and its imperial gardens; and the timeless terraced fields of Guangxi; to the cosmopolitan streets of Hong Kong; steel mills and international port of Shanghai; and the dazzling fireworks over the Chinese capital of Beijing on Chinese New Year.

This first co-publication of a major illustrated book between Chinese and American publishers, Spectacular China is a breakthrough of cultural and commercial significance. For this project, the China Tourist Press has collected a lifetime of works from the very best Chinese photographers seen together in book form for the first time. Spectacular China was published simultaneously by Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc. in the United States and China Tourist Press in Beijing.


16 x 10 5/8 in., 132 pages
ISBN: 0-88363-157-1

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