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International Photography Festival and Exhibition open

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"Starting from the East" a platform for Chinese and foreign photography exchange The 2016 China International Photographic Art Festival, aka the 16th China International Photographic Art Exhibition opens in Zhengzhou.

On May 26, photography works by both Chinese and foreign photographers featuring Central China were displayed, performances were put on, and a promotion movie for the city of Zhengzhou was broadcast. The 2016 China International Photographic Art Festival, aka the 16th China International Photographic Art Exhibition, jointly hosted by the Chinese Photographers Association and Zhengzhou People's Government, and organized by Zhengzhou Cultural Investment and Construction Corporation, was unveiled in Zhengzhou, Henan Province.


The opening of this international photography event, with the theme of "Starting from the East," was attended by Bai Lichen, former vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Li Qianguang, Party leadership group member and former deputy chairman of China Federation of Literary and Art Circles (CFLAC), Liu Qiwen, former deputy chairman of the CPPCC Henan Provincial Committee, Lu Guoxian, Party leadership group member of Henan provincial government and deputy head of provincial cultural administration reform and development work leading group, Wang Yao, chairman and Party chief of Chinese Photographers Association, Yang Yuanxing, China Artistic Photography Society, Pang Jingjun, director of CFLAC' Theory Research Office, Zhang Xihai, CFLAC International Connections deputy director, Cheng Zhiming, Zhengzhou deputy Party chief and city government Party leadership group director, Wang Zhang, CPPCC Zhengzhou city committee chairman, Hu Quan, Zhengzhou deputy Party chief, Liu Dong, deputy director, Yang Jie, CFLAC Henan provincial committee, Chinese Photographers Association consultants Yu Jian, Wang Yuwen, Zhu Xianmin, deputy chairmen Wang Dajun, Li Weikun, Zhang Tongsheng, Luo Gengqian and Suo Jiulin, deputy secretary Peng Wenling, and Liu Yu, director of CFLAC photographic art center, as well as photographers from more than 30 countries and regions around the world.

Wang Yao, on behalf of Chinese Photographers Association, welcomed all the guests present at event in Zhengzhou, and thanked domestic and foreign friends who support the development of photography in China. In her speech she said the event provides opportunities for participants to communicate and exchange ideas. Photography is a means to document society and express thoughts and affections. Since President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the art conference, Chinese photography practitioners have learned and practiced Xi's ideas to renovate from life experience to boost the development of Chinese photography.

Wang Yao introduced the major activities of this event, and revealed to establish five platforms: a platform for spreading positive energy, revealing the power of image, a platform for telling China stories and showcasing China's images, a platform for domestic and foreign photographers to communicate and change ideas, a platform for academic exchanges and publicizing works, and a platform to serve the public and for people to share the works. She said that through building those five platforms, this photography art festival will become a scene for photographers from around the world to communicate and learn from each other. Zhengzhou as a city with rich history and culture, is an important stop on the One Belt and One Road initiative. Photographers will certainly yield good results during their stay in Zhengzhou.

French art exhibition plannerNicholas Havette, who is art director for this event, said Zhengzhou is full of energy, the exhibition venues are grandiose that connect the public, which he likes.


This event, themed "Starting from the East," is designed to establish a platform for Eastern and Western cultures to meet, and for Chinese and foreign photographers to mingle. The 4,719 works are on display at Zhengzhou Yi Da Art Museum, Henan Art Center, Zhengdong CBD Plaza, Shangcheng Relics Plaza, among other venues. The exhibits include archived photos, contemporary Chinese and world photography works. Showcasing the achievements of photography development around the world, the event highlights the exploration and practices by world photographers in various categories.


The exhibition, “Time, Rebirth” planned by Jiang Jian includes signature works by photographers Zhu Xianmin and Li Gang. As shown, “Time”by Zhu Xianmin uses images of the past half century to explore the meaning of life, while “Rebirth” by Li Gang reflects upon the life and death of Chinese horses.“Wartime”planned by Chen Xiaobo retrospects on the living memories of Chinese children through history, reminding people of war and its impact on children. “Civilized Zhengzhou”tries to discover the beauty of Zhengzhou and update the construction and development of the city.

This festival has a special section “Focus on Children,” aimed at raising awareness of the growth of children among the public, governments and the media,  which represents the answer by photographers to the common problems facing the living of mankind. The exhibition of international photography works, in categories of documentary, art and commercial, attracts big crowds of viewers. In order to resonate the national policy and tell China stories, this festival has a special section, "China in foreign eyes." "Insight," an exhibition of Brazilian photographerEvandro Teixeira's works, planned by Wang Weiguang, exhibits the photographer's 50 signature works, which represent his sense of news awareness and extraordinary ability of visual expression, as well as his caring for humanity. US photographerJean Christian Bourcart's works exhibition, planned by Nicholas Havette,  features dilapidated buildings and messy streets in Camdencounty, which reveal an unfamiliar side of life in America. "Silent lens," (US) photographer TTY international exhibition uses virtual photography to demonstrate the hidden change of the world, and reviews the history of paining and photography. The US contemporary human portrait exhibition exhibits a collection of works by 10 American photographers, in for categories o portrait, humanity, people and animals, and people an environment. In order to diversify photography culture and involve more international elements, this festival has a special section, the South Korean Photography Exhibition, which features "Arirang" and tells stories of people, mountain, the sea, trees and stones that reflect South Korean social life in the past, at present and in the future.



How to approach problems, reassess the subject of photography and estimate and study trends for photographers has become a major topic of this festival. "Youthful World View," an exhibit of works by young photographers of the Xinhua News Agency, showcases the photographs taken by Xinhua photographers stationed in foreign countries, which represents the coverage of world affairs by Xinhua and China's stance. The International University Photography Exhibition, planned by Xu Daqing, focuses on young photographers and their newest photography works.

On the opening ceremony of the festival, organizers donated 60,000 yuan acquired from auctioning some of the exhibits to impoverished children via charitable organization.


In the afternoon following the opening, a symposium was co-organized by the ethics committee, theoretical research committee and international committee of China Photographers Association, and the Zhengzhou committee of the CFLAC, during which contemporary photography in both Western and Eastern cultures were explored. An image display titled "Shangdu in the dream," a lecture on photography, an expert meeting, as well as a trade fair of books, photos and equipments were held during the festival.


China International Photographic Art Festival is an important window and platform to introduce photographers from both China and foreign countries and their works. The exhibition was established in 1981 after being ratified by the Ministry of Culture of the China, and has been held biennially. This year's event didn't follow conventional exhibition models in order to provide more layers of exchanges for photographers.


This event wraps up on June 2, thought the exhibition at Shengda Art Museum lasts until June 26.


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