Bees & The Bearable


Out of stock

Chen Zhe
26.0 × 21.0 × 2.5 cm
280 pages, 19+1 saddle-stitched booklets
75 color plates, 40 grayscale journals & letters
First edition second printing: 800

Published by Jiazazhi

This book is nominated as one of the best photobooks in Fotobookfestival Kassel 2016

The Bearable & Bees is a two-part project that documents, researches and explores the psychological labyrinth around self-inflicted harm. The Bearable records the artist’s own dark, though occasionally euphoric, history of self-affliction while in Bees, photography becomes a vehicle of exchange between the artist and the others. Identifying the physical self-destruction of her subjects as an act of spiritual cleansing, Chen Zhe expanded her photographic observations with a collection of letters, dairy entries, online chat histories, quote fragments and scribbles. Referring to bees as they sting to self-defense, leaving ‘their lives behind them in the wound’ (Virgil, The Georgics), the project is Chen Zhe’s closing statement of her long contemplation on the disquieted souls, the wounded bodies and the elusive link between the two.

The Bearable & Bees has been exhibited worldwide and won numerous awards such as Inge Morath Award, Three Shadows Photography Award, Flash Forward Emerging Photographer, Xitek New Talent Award and Photographer of the Year, Lianzhou Photography Festival etc. The Bearable & Bees is also featured in TV documentaries produced by ARTE, France/Germany; NHK WORLD, Japan and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, China. The publication Bees & The Bearable was awarded the Best Photobook of the Year by Kassel Fotobookfestival in 2016.