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Book Description
London: Jonathan Cape, [1960]., 1960. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Included. 1st Edition. 4to. pp. 30 + 80 plates. 80 b/w. illus. (all full-page). quarter cloth. dw. (minor edge wear).
Dealer Notes
K.F. Wong shot to international fame with his images of Borneo, though not without controversy.

In 1955, Wong was made an Associate of The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain (RPS) – one of the most prized accolades in salon photography. The following year, together with a few other amateur photographers, Wong helped to establish the Sarawak Photographic Society. In 1958, the society organised the first British Borneo Territories Photographic Exhibition in Kuching, with Wong as one of the jury members. Further recognition came in 1959 when he was elected a Fellow of RPS, having received full marks for each of his 12 entries that he had submitted in his bid for accreditation. At the time, Wong was only the second Chinese in Southeast Asia to have been awarded the fellowship.

Wong produced two acclaimed photobooks from his collection of photographs of indigenous peoples, which have since become collectors’ items. Pagan Innocence was published in London in 1960, possibly the first photobook on the Dayaks. In his introduction to the publication, Malcolm MacDonald proclaimed emphatically: “Mr K.F. Wong is a magician with his camera. Every photograph that he takes is a work of art."

Pagan Innocence is indeed an impressive photobook. Wong’s photographs are beautifully reproduced on the right-hand side of each spread, with the left page unadorned except for a single line of caption. The nudity depicted in Pagan Innocence made the book all the more infamous. Partly in anticipation of a backlash, a reviewer of the photobook took aim at those “fuddyduddies” who considered the female bosom as something shameful. The photobook became so popular that French and Swiss editions were later published.
Author K F Wong
Date 1960
Binding Cloth
Publisher Jonathan Cape
Illustrator K F Wong
Condition Very Good Plus
Pages 30

Price: £250.00

Offered by White Eagle Books

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