The photographs in Geomancy were taken from October 2007 to November 2008, using an Olympus Stylus with color film. I had left New York for Beijing, where I lived on Xindong Lu, sometimes tutored English, and occasionally wrote a column called “Raw China” for Vice. The city embodied an almost too good to be true clichéd “otherness” with an overabundance of literally foreign colors, textures, shapes, and structures. Put another way, China, and Beijing in particular, is extremely photogenic. The title comes from a reference to the Forbidden City in the accompanying story “The First Bus of Beijing” about riding the No. 1 bus. It couldn’t be more appropriate, as Geomancy is a concept taken very seriously in China that means “the art of placing or arranging buildings or other sites auspiciously.” Whether that goal is attained or not is a matter open to interpretation. This selection is one person’s photographic odyssey into the sites, roads, byways and alleys, the in-between spaces, the objects and flora, their positioning and relationships to each other, that made greater Beijing a fascinating, bewildering, and close to overwhelming place.
- Jocko Weyland
Published by Dashwood Books (New York City).
96 pages, 12 x 18 cm, softcover, Dashwood Books (New York City).