Photography and Literature

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Images in the Heavens, Patterns on the Earth: The I Ching

Photographs by Janet Russek
Photographs by David Scheinbaum

The ancient Chinese wisdom of emperor Fu Hsi's I Ching or The Book of Changes has served as a guide to human behavior for millennia. Pondering the highly visual images imparted in the hexagrams of the I Ching, the seeker finds complex responses to questions or situations embedded in the multiple layers of images that must be deciphered and applied to one's individual circumstances. Among the I Ching's remarkable qualities is its capacity to speak universally through lyrical allegories of the natural and human worlds. Photographers and collaborators Janet Russek and David Scheinbaum have long been students of the I Ching. As landscape photographers accustomed to the teachings of the natural world, the relationship between their work as visual artists and their personal experiences working with the I Ching naturally led them to create this visual companion to the hexagrams. Their photographic interpretation of the Chinese Oracle—featuring sixty-four duotone landscape portraits paired with text from the I Ching—offers an additional metaphorical dimension to consultations with the book.


Janet Russek is a photographer and the codirector of Scheinbaum & Russek Gallery Ltd. She is the coauthor, with David Scheinbaum, of the book Ghost Ranch: Land of Light (Balcony Press).

David Scheinbaum is a professor of art and the former director of the Marion Center for Photographic Arts at the College of Santa Fe. Former assistant to Beaumont Newhall, Scheinbaum has authored numerous books including Bisti (UNM Press) and Miami Beach: Photographs of an American Dream (University Press of Florida).

Jonathan Porter is a professor of history and the director of Asian Studies at the University of New Mexico and the author of All Under Heaven: The Chinese World with Eliot Porter (Pantheon) and Macau: The Imaginary City (Westview).


"A book of lasting beauty and substance."



Published By Museum of New Mexico Press

8.5 x 11.5 in. 160 pages 64 duotones