Combing for Ice and Jade is a love note from Kurt Tong to his nanny, who was one of the last remaining ‘self combed’ women left in China. An early form of Feminism, the comb up ceremony granted women great autonomy at a great cost.
Kurt Tong has worked closely with his nanny over a period of nearly 7 years. Having only 8 photographs of herself, the book is an exploration of her extraordinary life. Her story is slowly revealed through the book, combined with Kurt’s family archive, found photographs from her extended families, new photographs, Chinese ink works and women’s magazines from China that spanned 6 decades.
Special Edition includes one original rice print with Chinese ink on traditional Xuan paper by hand, rather than by machine that would be accompanied in the Normal Edition. Please write to us for availability.
Artist Info Born in Hong Kong in 1977, Kurt Tong left to UK when he was 13 years old. Currently he bases in Hong Kong. In his early career as a photographer, he was good at taking documentary and photojournalism. Gradually, he turns attention to his own family history. His work concentrates on individuals, like his grandfather, his parents and his nanny. Combing for Ice and Jade won Punctum Award in Lianzhou Foto in 2017 and Photo Folio Award in Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2018.
Combing for Ice and Jade／顏姐｜Kurt Tong／唐景鋒｜175 x 245 mm｜278 pages with 8 booklets and one piece of leaf｜Hardcover, section sewn perfect binding｜First edition of 700, including 37 special edition｜Published by Jiazazhi｜Apr 2019