Sharing the disappearing traditions of Asia
This 3-volume set of oversized books captures the amazing traditions in Asia that are rarely seen outside their homes. The author and photographer, Kevin Kelly, spent 50 years travelling to the ends of the road in 35 Asian countries to record the costumes, architecture, festivals, and traditional lifestyles that are becoming rarer by the day, or have already vanished. The 9,000 images in Vanishing Asia range between Turkey and Japan, from Siberia to Indonesia, and everywhere in between. Each one of its 1,000+ pages is uniquely designed. These large pages are crammed with stunning costumes, astounding cultural scenes, lifestyle inspirations, and a fantastical armchair journey. This immense book set celebrates the diverse cultures of Earth’s largest and most populous continent, a kaleidoscope of wonders that are sadly disappearing quickly. Readers will delight in its abundance of design ideas, as well as its overwhelming beauty. There is, honestly, no other book like it.
SCENES FROM THE BOOK
Vanishing Asia will be published late November 2021, with distribution by Publishers Group West and Ingram. It is already available for presale on Amazon. The project was originally funded on Kickstarter, exceeding its goal eightfold.
This EXTRAORDINARY book set is incredible. With 1000 pages this has filled some very pleasurable hours. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading of each culture and the details within, but of course leafing through the incredible collection of images has been utterly joyful. — Sir Richard Taylor, WETA Workshop
This book is a national treasure, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. — Chris Michele, Photographer
Imposing, awe-inspiring. Ever since founding Wired Magazine, Kevin has been roaming remote places to record extraordinary cultures. — Mark Moffett, National Geographic photographer
This is one of the best investments in a book series you will ever make. — Chip Conley, Airbnb
Wow, Vanishing Asia is amazing. We marveled at how you must have planned for more than 5 decades to pull this off. — Peter Menzel, Photographer
To say that Vanishing Asia blew me away, would be an understatement. What a marvelous gift to the world. Your invisible interactions with the people and cultures you met and photographed are palpable here. Vanishing Asia is magnificent. I’m grateful that you persevered with this project and that I’ve lived long enough to enjoy its completion. Wow! Just wow! — Jay Kinney, Editor, Publisher
Turning from page to page is overwhelming in the best way. — Steven Leckart, Filmmaker, Showrunner
I am simply blown away by how wonderful it is. It’s deep, beautiful, educational, smart, and just plain gorgeous. It will take me years to soak it all in, and I’m so happy about that! My only criticism, really, is that Vanishing Asia is so substantial, both as an object and as an experience, that it really needs to have an entire room dedicated to it, all by itself. I guess I’ll call my architect. — Todd Lappin, Author
This astonishing, monumental, and beautiful collection of color photographs meticulously assembled over 49 years by Kevin Kelly traveling on a shoe string budget, mostly by himself without interpreters, sleeping under the stars sometimes, usually living off the generosity and kindness of the local people, and not speaking the local lingos, will be treasured and mined by travelers, sociologists, artists and art historians, historians, costume designers, architects, anthropologists, scientists and engineers and many others for years to come. Kevin may be better known as a writer and philosopher, but here, what I think might be his true love, photography, shines like crazy. Kevin’s positive, happy, hugely curious and loving personality enabled him to travel safely to faraway places and as a complete stranger (and obvious foreigner), navigate his way into private family affairs and all manner of the local human activities and traditions, and place his camera right into what was happening and shoot great photographs. The many incredible portraits (smiling and serious) he got in return (ok, and yes a few dour looks too) and the trust of the locals is exhibited over and over. There is so much humanity, art and craft in the books interwoven with images of food, baby back packs, men and women at work, and fascinating town and country landscapes. These books are treasures — John Patton, Founder, Bio-tech Scientist
This will live on our coffee table for the foreseeable future. — Alexander Rose, Director of Long Now Foundation
Since Vanishing Asia arrived I’ve hardly done anything but turn the pages, learning from and admiring the work. The photographs are visually stunning, and Kelly captured the essence of the countless places. What’s more, not for the first time, Kelly pushed the boundaries of what can be done in print. He has created a new kind of book not seen before. I expect to spend many more days and weeks, if not months, studying your photographs, lovingly assembled on beautiful paper. — Lee Dembart