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Ningbo’s Photobook Library

 


Written by (作者): Ted Chen 陈云柳
Photos by (图片来源): Ted Chen 陈云柳 & Sudheer Uralath


 

On February 20th, 2017, Photobook Library, a bookstore that specifically showcase books on photography, opened in Jiangbei District. We recently sat down with the shop’s owner, Yanyou, to learn more about the project and its purpose.

Yanyou’s story of inspiration goes back 11 years.

In 2006, Yanyou opened a blog called “Fake Magazines” to share foreign designs that he had found online. The reason for the name, as explained by Yanyou, was that real magazines should be printed on paper, rather than solely exist in the form of a digital network. At the time, his goal was to make a print magazine about design, and the blog was seen as a stepping stone.

In 2011, after several tries, Yanyou cooperated with the domestic outstanding young photographer Sun Yanchu and launched their first photography collect, “Obsessed”, for “Fake Magazine”. Since then, “Fake Magazine” has published a series of highly styled photography books.

In 2014, Yanyou moved from Ningbo to Beijing. Even though he had problems with the heavy traffic, bad pollution and rapidly expanding population, this didn’t dispel his desire to live and make a living in China’s capital. It was only after his child was born that he decided to move somewhere where his dreams could take root, finally having become tired of the city. He returned to Ningbo, where in 2016 he got the idea of opening a public bookstore. “Like ‘Fake Magazine’, the bookstore began online, with our eventual goal of opening a real bookstore.”

A year later, the Photobook Library was completed, with Yanyou’s dream finally becoming a reality. Even though most stories stop here, this is only the beginning for Yanyou, who wishes to put the spotlight on photography in the city and inspire Ningbo’s photography enthusiasts.

Being a photography enthusiast myself, I had a lot of dreamy expectations for the Photobook Library as a place that would be bright, quiet, spotless, where we could all enjoy a nice day.

When I walked into the library, I picked up the first book I saw. As I opened it to the first page, I realized everything was as I had imagined and expected it to be. In this little space, the past, the future and present intertwined. I could feel the flow of time, slow and gentle as water. Every book looked charming under the bright warm sunshine. And Yanyou quietly placed a new book on a shelf not far from me.

Yanyou was very kind, his voice was soft, but every word he uttered had an indescribable power. He said that the Photobook Library would cooperate with a domestic photographer to open an exhibition, and that he was very happy that photographers like me could come to the Photobook Library, that there were still so many things for photography he wished to accomplish, and that the Photobook Library belongs to all photography lovers, this was to be a dreamland for photographers.

It is no wonder that the Photobook Library is a dreamland for photography lovers; everything here is quiet, orderly, free and harmonious. The space is home to many wonderful photography works selected from

around the world, domestic outstanding young photographer works exhibitions, open photography art salons, and lots more. Here, you can enjoy your favorite photography, and have a nice conversation with unfamiliar friends who share the same interests as you, you can even just have a cup of coffee and

do nothing but enjoy yourself on a leisurely afternoon, just perusing the store’s vast selection. Here, there is everything about photography.

Perhaps one day, when I come to Jiangbei 8th Park once again, the Photobook Library may not even be there anymore; or perhaps, at that time, it will have become the best photography library in the world.

“I hope that this library will not only allow you to see the best international photography books, but for it also to become a model of the photography scene here in China,” said Yanyou.

 

2017年2月20日,Photobook Library(摄影书图书馆)正式在宁波江北建成开业。创始人言由说,这是一个关于生活和梦想的情节烂到爆的故事。

回到11年前,故事是这样开始的。

2006年,言由在百度空间开设了一个博客,取名叫做“假杂志”,专门分享从网上收集到的一些国外优秀艺术设计。之所以取这个名字,是因为言由一直近乎偏执地认为,真正的杂志就是应该是要用纸来制作,而不是以网络文字影像的形式存在。那个时候,他的目标就已经是要做一本自己的纸质杂志,博客不过是个铺垫。

2011年,几经辗转之后,言由与国内优秀青年摄影师孙彦初合作推出了“假杂志”独立出版的第一本摄影书《Obsessed》。从那以后,“假杂志”又出版了一系列极具风格的摄影书,并且一本比一本做得好。2014年,言由和“假杂志”一同从北京南迁回了自己的故乡宁波。言由说,北京的确有着这样那样的问题,拥堵的交通、恶劣的环境、急速膨胀的人口等等等等,但这一切都没有打消他在那里生活下去的信念,因为梦想依然还在。只是在孩子出生之后,言由才意识到原来他已经厌倦了北京的生活。他选择了离开,但不是逃跑,更不是被北京赶走,他仅仅是单纯地想要一个更好的生活,想要寻找一个自己的梦想可以生根发芽的地方。

2016年,回到宁波两年的言由有了开实体书店的想法。那时的他经营着自己的网店,专门售卖一些优秀的摄影书刊。他在一篇文章中写到:“就像‘假杂志’一样,这个书店始于网络,是一个‘假书店’,但我们最终的梦想还是要开一家实体的摄影书店。所以,这一切都只是个开始。”

一年后,Photobook Library落成。梦想似乎走到了终点,一切好像就要戛然而止。但,这只是另一个开始,对于言由来说如此,对于广大摄影爱好者来说也是如此。

作为一个摄影爱好者,我在去Photobook Library之前曾不止一次地幻想着,那里应该是明亮、安静、一尘不染,可以把所有的美好都装进去的。

当我走进Photobook Library的大门,拿起一本摄影集,翻开第一页的那一刻,我就知道一切正如我所想的那样。在这个不大的空间里,过去、未来和现在交织在一起。我仿佛能感受到时间的流动,缓缓地,温柔如水。阳光下,每一本书都散发着迷人的魅力。而在不远处,言由老师正安静地独自摆放着新书。

怀着忐忑的心情,我走上前和言由老师攀谈了几句。言由老师很和善,但话语中又有一种无法言说的力量。他说不久之后会在Photobook Library和一位优秀的国内摄影师合作开一个展览,他说很开心我们这些摄影爱好者能来到这里,他说他做得还远远不够,他说Photobook Library是一个属于所有影像爱好者的理想国。

是的,Photobook Library是一个属于所有影像爱好者的理想国,一切都安静、有序、自由、和谐。在这里,有精选自世界各地的摄影大师作品集,有国内优秀青年摄影师的作品展,有开放的摄影艺术沙龙,还有每一位远道而来心怀热爱的摄影人。在这里,你可以安静地欣赏最爱的摄影集,可以和志同道合的陌生朋友探讨共同感兴趣的话题,可以点一杯咖啡什么也不做地打磨掉整个悠闲的午后时光,也可以像我这样贪婪地把所有书都翻个遍。在这里,有关于摄影的一切。在这里,也有生活和理想。

也许有一天,当我再次来到宁波江北8号公园,Photobook Library已经不复存在;又也许,那时的她会是这世界上最棒的摄影图书馆。

“我希望,这个图书馆不仅能让大家看到国际上最新最好的摄影出版物,也能够成为摄影书文化在中国的一面镜子。”言由老师如是说。


Photobook Library

Address | 地址: Building 3, Jiangdong No. 8 Park, 8 Baoma Street, Jiangbei District | 江北区宝马街8号八号公园3楼
Hours | 营业时间: Mon-Fri, 10:30 AM-5:00 PM; Sat-Sun, 1:00-6:00 PM | 周一到周五(10:30-17:00); 周六到周日(13:00-18:00)

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