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“AUCKLAND TRAVEL WRITER and photographer Chris van Ryn has complied a collection of striking black and white portraits from across the globe in Bodyography, a study of the body as a storytelling medium. From the untouched innocence of youth to flesh etched deep with the traumas of life, during the last few years the artist has captured compelling images of people in India, Cuba, Nepal, China, Mongolia and Argentina. Some of these stark images present characters who wear the milestones of life in scars and breaks, furrows and contortions; others capture fresh skin and supple frames not yet moulded by the demands of the world. In between these two poles the stories of humanity unwind – the inevitability of loss, thrill of hope, twisting of compromise and burden of defeat. The artist has approached his subjects as tellers of their own stories, providing the barest of context in brief accompanying excerpts. The result is affecting, making these stark chiaroscuro images throb in he full spectrum of life’s colour. The book itself is a handsome glossy hardcover and includes a foreword by writer Graham Reid and an introduction from the photographer. For artists with an interest in travel photography, street portraiture or visual storytelling in general Bodyography is the master class in sensitivity and communication".

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