||| 10.22 PROJECT UPDATE
THANKS TO YOU! We have surpassed our starting goal and our 70K stretch goal! And since launching this campaign, Mongolia has received some exciting press in Newsweek, The Guardian, Business Insider, South China Morning Post magazine, AFAR, and My Modern Met, with more to come soon... Since it is the final days of this campaign I have added a few new rewards with prints, so please do take a look! I am also very grateful for shares to your friends & family as Mongolia is a great gift for the upcoming holidays, and I still have books available at the discounted Kickstarter price which I will personally sign for you. And now anyone who gets the book or a reward that includes the book, will also receive an 8x10" signed match print! (see my 10.1 post in Updates section above for details) Thanks again for your interest in this project that is so dear to my heart. |||
Mongolia is a large format photography book, and my personal passion project, which tells the visual story of this largely unknown and intriguing country and its people through a series of 185 black & white and color portraits and landscapes. The project has taken me 17 years—and 13 month-long trips to complete.
I first heard about Mongolia from my grandfather when I was around 7 or 8 years old, through his tales as a soldier during World War II. He spoke of how he had been rescued in late 1944—when he was a prisoner of war—by a detachment of Mongol soldiers who were fighting under Soviet command. I remember the excitement in his voice as he explained how he and other British and American prisoners in the camp had been rescued by these massive men from a foreign land. Since then Mongolia has always been on my mind. Those men saved my grandfather’s life—and ultimately mine as well.
Many years later, in 2001, I saved enough money from my job as a photo assistant, took a month off, and traveled to Mongolia. I spent the majority of that month shooting in the West, attracted by the unspoiled beauty and endless landscapes. When I returned to New York City, I looked at a map of Mongolia and fully grasped just how little ground I had managed to cover during that initial trip. I felt a strong urge to see more: the Gobi desert in the South, the eagle hunters in the West, the Tsaatan reindeer herders in the Northern Taiga, and so much more. That epiphany inspired the idea for this book, which has been a long-term labor of love—17 years in the making.
During all those years and many trips, I covered all of the vastly different provinces of Mongolia in all seasons. Winters—when temperatures dropped to -35 degrees celsius—were particularly challenging, but always the most visually interesting. Cracking ice on a frozen lake while my guide and I were driving over it, sandstorms, and other extreme weather conditions, created unexpected moments that turned into powerful images.
Why so Long?
Because this was my personal project, I wanted to take all the necessary time to express in images the emotions and character of this rugged, and still very mysterious place, to travel deeper into the culture and immerse myself with the people who I felt completely foreign to when I first arrived. It was only after returning again and again, spending the time to observe, learn and understand, that I was able to be forgotten amongst my new friends. Only then could I take the photos that would tell this genuine story. Over the years of working on this project, the main goal has become to create a timeless body of work about this quickly-evolving country.
Becoming a photographer was at first, an excuse to travel the world, but soon became a life-long passion. After dropping out of University where I was studying International Law and Economics in France, I did a brief stint as a model which sparked my first interest in photography. I began my career in 2001, after working with fashion photographer Nathaniel Goldberg. Early on, I focused mainly on travel photography, but since, have broadened my scope of work to include fashion and portraiture. I’ve been documenting the world ever since—traveling through more than 100 countries—from the most secluded shores of the Indonesian Archipelago, to the rough, mountainous terrains of Afghanistan.
I’ve been the recipient of many awards throughout my career, and my work is regularly featured in magazines such as Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and The New Yorker. I’ve also teamed up with renowned international advertising agencies such as M&C Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, McGarryBowen, and JWT Worldwide to work on advertising campaigns for Starwood Hotels, The Walt Disney Company, MetLife, and Louis Vuitton, among others.
I was born in Versailles, France and live between New York City & Hong Kong with my wife, Creative Director Gretchen Lagrange. To see more work please visit: fredericlagrange.com
Spreads from The Book.
FOREWORD: Pico Iyer is the author of two novels and thirteen works of non-fiction, and has been traveling around Asia, and writing about Tibetan Buddhism, since 1985. His books include Video Night in Kathmandu, The Global Soul and The Art of Stillness, and his three recent TED Talks have received more than 8 million views. His work appears in twenty-three languages.
DESIGN: Matt Willey is a graphic designer and the art director of The New York Times Magazine. He is a co-founder of both Port Magazine (2011) and Avaunt Magazine (2015). In 2014 he was named ‘Designer of the Year’ by Creative Review, and was elected as a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) in 2015. Matt lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.
PROJECT DIRECTOR: Gretchen Lagrange is a creative director and brand consultant in both New York City and Hong Kong. She has spent the majority of her career in magazines with international publishing giants like Condé Nast, Hearst, and Time Inc., among others. She has been traveling and working with Frédéric for the past 15 years (and is also his wife).
Story Excerpt From the Book.
A few years after shooting the image below, I returned to Mongolia with a print as a gift for the family. The mother stared at the photo for a moment and then, without a word, and looking very upset, she left the room. Her husband then looked at the image, stood up, and walked away, brushing tears from his eyes. My guide and I stood there silently, worried we had unknowingly broken a sacred custom. The husband eventually came back and explained that their baby had died from a virus a few weeks after I had taken this portrait. The photo I had just given them was the only one they had ever seen of their baby. This was one of the most emotionally intense moments I've ever felt while traveling in Mongolia.
The Mongolia images have been featured in:
The Book Details.
STANDARD EDITION: Hardcover Linen (blue) 13.5 x 16.5" (970 books printed in total). COLLECTOR’S EDITION: Hardcover Linen (red) 13.5 x 16.5" with blue linen slipcase and a limited-edition print (30 books printed in total).
— 252 pages, 185 images (color and black & white )
— Printed 4-color on Arctic Ivory Matte 170 gsm paper
BOOK RELEASE: November 2018
All prints offered in the Rewards are limited-edition, signed and numbered. I will hand-sign and personally quality check every print before it ships to you.
In the Rewards where you have a choice of print image: Once the campaign ends, we will send you an email to get your shipping address and at that point you can give us your choice of print image.
Please note that the print images shown below in Rewards are not to scale. For actual sizes, please refer to the measurements listed. To see the Reward print images larger, scroll down to the next section under this one, called “Reward Print Images (larger scale)”.
Reward Print Images (larger scale):
What Your Pledge will Help Fund.
13 trips to Mongolia.
17 years of camera maintenance & repair.
400+ hours of editing and re-editing and then editing again.
1261 rolls of film and lab processing.
352 negative drum scans.
30+ boxes of print paper.
94 CMYK ink cartridges.
AND... The printer, the publisher, the writer, the designer, the copy editor, the fact checker, my photo assistants and countless cups of coffee and green tea (for me!) for my over-worked studio staff and production team.
Self-funding this book project in it’s entirety was not cheap, but it was the only way to not compromise on any detail and to have full control of every step of the creative process. It was extremely important to me to choose my team and my images to craft a book of the highest quality the way I intended the work to be seen.
THANK YOU for your interest and support.
Shipping & Delivery.
All books and rewards will be hand-packed with the utmost care and shipped by the end of November/early December 2018. Our goal is for you to have yours in time for the holidays. Please note that once you click on the reward you’d like, there will be an extra shipping charge automatically calculated and the cost varies depending on where you are in the world. Please be aware that this is a very large and quite heavy book that weighs over 4kg (9lbs). We have done our best to keep the shipping costs as low as possible.
Follow me—and this Project on Social Media (click links below):
Facebook (Frederic Lagrange Photography): bit.ly/FB-FredericLagrange
Instagram (@fredericlagrange): bit.ly/Instagram-FredericLagrange
Please visit fredericlagrange.com to stay up-to-date on new work!
Risks and challenges
Nearly all of the challenges of creating this book are behind me as I have already self-funded the project in it’s entirety and both the limited Collector’s Edition and the Standard Edition books are 100% completed and waiting to decorate your coffee tables.
We will be packing and sending all of the rewards out shortly after this Kickstarter campaign ends, with the goal of everyone receiving them in time for the holidays. The only risk or challenge is that the book doesn’t sell and my Brooklyn photo studio becomes a warehouse…!
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