Publisher’s Spotlight: Jiazazhi
These past months we have been focusing on books on Lenscratch. In order to understand the contemporary photobook landscape, we are interviewing and celebrating significant photography book publishers, large and small, who are elevating photographs on the page through design and unique presentation. We are so grateful for the time and energies these publishers have extended to share their perspectives, missions, and most importantly, their books.
Jiazazhi focuses on creators and the world they care about through the medium of pictures and images, and is committed to presenting the above content in different media: online, magazine, publication, bookstore, exhibition, art book festival, to take a stand and show presence through practice. In 2017, it opened a physical space, Jiazazhi Library, in Ningbo, and in 2021 it opened another space, Special edition Project, in Shanghai.
Follow Jiazazhi on Instagram: @jiazazhi
What was the first book you published, and what did you learn from that experience? What is your mission as a publisher?
The first book I published was Obsessed. After that book, I realized that I could survive by publishing. My mission is to introduce Chinese artists to the world.
How big is your organization?
Now we have a 10-person team.
What are the difficulties that publishers face?
We don’t face any difficulties that are worth to mention.
Are there any publishing projects that have been particularly meaningful to you?
All of them.
What upcoming projects are you excited about?
Every book we publish.
How many books do you publish a year, and how do you choose which projects to publish? Do you have a specific focus?
We focus on Chinese artists, or subjects related to China. We publish around 10 books a year. We don’t have a specific standard.
How can an artist get their work in front of you? Do you have any advice for photographers?
It’s very easy to get me interested if the project is good. I usually don’t give any advice to photographers.
What is the typical timeline of a project, from the beginning to the finished product?
We don’t have any difference than other publishers in terms of the process of doing a book. But the artist himself/herself will take an important role on the book.
How collaborative is the design process with the artist?
Very deep. We listen carefully to artist’s request. And we also give very professional advice to artists who don’t have enough book-making experience. All of them were willing to take our suggestions.
How is the financial side of the project structured between publisher and artist? Does the artist contribute to production cost?
Every project is different. It depends on the idea from both sides.
What support do you give artists in terms of marketing or distribution? Do you attend book fairs?
Yes, before the Covid pandemic, we participated 15 book fairs worldwide in 2019. We planned to participate in more fairs in 2020. But the pandemic came, and all the plans were postponed. We hope the situation could be better from this year, and we can restart our book fair tour plan.
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