On the Road

The Catholic Faith in China



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Product Details

Product Code:
0.63 (in)
Size (HxW):
12.38 x 11.5 (in)
Publication date:
November 02, 2021
42.24 oz
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Beginning in 1989,world renown photographer Lu Nan spent fifteen years completing his trilogy: Part One: The Forgotten People—Living Conditions of China’s Psychiatric Patients; Part Two: On the Road—The Catholic Faith in China; Part Three: Four Seasons—Everyday Life of Tibetan Peasants. In this opus magnum of epic photography works, Nan affirms a richly human way of seeing.

Each photograph in the trilogy stands on its own, yet belonging inalienably to the whole. Each is a crystalline node that amplifies and extends the other; every individual moment is at the same time an empirical part of all other moments. The trilogy focuses on the human condition in three realms. Particles of substances are caught up in a web of light and shade, suggesting a state of moral elevation and ultimately guiding the viewer’s gaze towards a secluded inner spiritual world in all of us.

From 1992 to 1996, Lu Nan photographed On the Road: The Catholic Faith in China, Part Two of the trilogy, across ten provinces and cities in China. During this period, Nan set foot in over 100 churches, but his emphasis was on how love and the Catholic faith are practiced in the everyday life of the believers amidst the great challenges they face with the Communist government. He shows us that an inner union with God is imbued in the everyday life of these believers, and that deep in their hearts is the true Church. Their time on earth is but a tempering trajectory. Through enduring the trials of life they are able to find true strength in divine grace; they can discover and revel in their own inner light as children of the true God.


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  • 5
    On The Road

    Posted by Valerie Torgerson on Sep 3rd 2023

    Superb photography tells a story of quiet courage, faithfulness in the midst of poverty, and the soul's desire to reach out to God. Lu Nan has taken his considerable talents and understanding to depict humility, determination, and hopefulness in the common people living in China.

  • 5
    ON THE ROAD: the Catholic Faith in China

    Posted by Sister Ninian Eaglesham OSB, Abbess Emerita on Aug 21st 2023

    Those responsible for the production of this work have known how to enhance the sacred character of the subject matter by the sensitive use of the modern book design. The format is generous; the pages on the left facing the images on the right are blank, apart from a simple explanation at the foot of the page, thus ensuring a minimum of distraction to the eye. The grayscale images on a white background are not only evocative but contemplative in atmosphere, reminiscent through their use of light and dark of the paintings of the Old Masters. The scene of a baptism, for example, where the rapt onlookers peer at the tiny baby, resembles a nativity scene from the Flemish school. The same could be said of the faces of the faithful by candlelight at the Mass celebrated in earthen homes, or as they prepare to read the Bible or when at prayer. These faces are etched by the effects of poverty and hard work; there are no broad smiles, yet they are not sad. They impress by their peace and dignity. What also impresses is the evident human and spiritual bond between the believers. Their recollection at the bedside of the dying and at funerals looks like a profound communion. Death is in the midst of life; there is no lamenting. They are one in their reverence, whether kneeling together on rough ground as the monstrance is carried past, or in their solidarity as they wait in line for confession. Each image deserves a commentary. Suffice to say that we can be deeply grateful to have this pictorial witness to the transcendent power of faith in God, Christ, and His Church under every human condition. Sister Ninian Eaglesham OSB, Abbess Emerita St Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde Isle of Wight, England

  • 5
    A Visual Pilgrimage: "On the Road: The Catholic Faith in China"

    Posted by Xin Chen on Jun 3rd 2023

    "On the Road: The Catholic Faith in China" is a visually captivating photography book that takes readers on a profound journey through the little-known and diverse landscape of Chinese Catholicism. Through stunning images and thoughtful compositions, the photographer captures the essence of faith, devotion, and cultural significance, providing a remarkable visual narrative that celebrates the enduring spirit of Chinese Catholics.