White Cube – Zhang Huan

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Zhang Huan, The Mountain is Still a Mountain
White Cube
London, 2012

Zhang Huan is a Chinese artist based in Shanghai and New York. The Mountain is Still a Mountain documents Huan’s series of paintings made from ash. The works take the form of large-scale reproductions of photographs found in old historical photography books and the artist’s personal collection; the ash is collected from temples in and around Shanghai.

Echoing Huan’s book source material, Kellenberger–White’s design takes its inspiration from an old 1950s photography book, quoting its grid and captioning style in a new format. Eric Gill’s elegant Perpetua typeface is used for the opening essay text, which is printed on a heavy cream book paper.

Referencing the appearance of an old book found without a dust jacket in a dusty, dimly-lit bookshop, an unusually thick dark book-cloth was chosen to cover the book, while the title was deeply embossed with black foil—evocative of a temple-like darkness.