Chinese Dream Presented in Monaco
Art Exchange VOL.01/2014|By Wang Yao
1990,Shanxi Province. Beside the big cities,there is little school uniform school uniforms, boys and girls' clothing are always so utterly different. photo by Li Qianguang
Human Nature by Wang Wenyang
In 1980
In 1990
In 2008
Vermicelli photo by Liu Xiaofeng
The rush hour in 1970s Anonymous
The people who went to work by bike in 1985 by Lu Jie
On the way to Work in Shanghai in 2010 by Liu Xiangcheng

  • 1990,Shanxi Province. Beside the big cities,there is little school uniform school uniforms, boys and girls' clothing are always so utterly different. photo by Li Qianguang
  • Human Nature by Wang Wenyang
  • In 1980
  • In 1990
  • In 2008
  • Vermicelli photo by Liu Xiaofeng
  • The rush hour in 1970s Anonymous
  • The people who went to work by bike in 1985 by Lu Jie
  • On the way to Work in Shanghai in 2010 by Liu Xiangcheng
   

At 7 pm on February 14, 2014 (local time), “Dream and Memory—35 Years of Change in Chinese People’s Livelihood” photo exhibition, whose planning, editing and setting up lasted for nearly 4 months, made its premier in Monaco during Chinese Lantern Festival and St. Valentine’s Day in western tradition. Distinguished guests such as Madame Zhao Shi, vice president of CFLAC, Michelle Roger, state minister of Monaco, and Catherine Fautrier, ambassador of Monaco to China, attended the opening ceremony. While accompanying those guests along the exhibition, I told stories behind each picture and gave a retrospect of the 35 years when Chinese people enjoy an increasing high level of livelihood and make their Chinese dream come true with the rapid development of Chinese economy. Vice president Zhao Shi and state minister Michelle Roger gave their high appraisal of this exhibition. 

After viewing this exhibition, Madame Zhao Shi left her message: “Congratulations on the successful holding of “Dream and Memory—35 Years of Change in Chinese People’s Livelihood” photo exhibition in Monaco and words of praise from state minister, all walks of life and mass people in Monaco”! The state minister of Monaco, Michelle Roger, wrote as follows: Your excellent photos have demonstrated the huge change in China! Thanks a lot for bringing China Today Arts Week to Monaco and this event will ensure our continuous cooperation and deepen people’s friendship between Monaco and China”. Besides, many touching remarks from local audiences were written in our memo such as “It’s a wonderful exhibition!”, “China’s rapid development is amazing!” and “The photos in this exhibition has brought my memory about living in China back to me, a traveler abroad for years”. 

As this photo exhibition was well-received in Monaco, many audiences would come to enjoy it once and again. What attracted their attention was not merely those exquisite photos and excellent instants and they were curious to know the story behind each photo such as Bee-brand Sewing Machine, Carpenter’s Making Furniture and Rationed TV Purchase. While learning more about bits about China in different periods, foreign audiences would discuss with each other and take their mobile to shoot pictures of some exhibits they were interested in. Most audiences would say something to the Chinese working staff, either praising excellent photos, or talking about their impression about China, or wondering at the miracle that China, once a backward country, has within three decades, achieved a capital country’s achievement in a century. I remembered a Chinese viewer who took his foreign friends together. In front of the photo of Fujian Tulou, he stood there quite a long time before he said in English with profound significance, pointing at the picture, “This is my hometown. My home was just in such a structure where my dream was formed”. 

This photo exhibition is indeed a great success because its contents, closer to life in the reality, demonstrate the social progress and improved people’s life through changes in daily costumes, household, cuisine, communication, entertainment and environment, through people’s expression and nonverbal language and through family together photos across the time and space. Every photo seems to narrating a Chinese story since the reform and opening up. In the meanwhile, livelihood, a universal issue, was decided as an appropriate perspective. Despite linguistic difference, people all over the world will focus on livelihood in their daily life. Thus, foreign audiences will never feel strange when they learning about China after 35 years of reform and opening up through photos of ordinary people. Moreover, during the course of editing, the caption was specially designed to meet with foreign logic and their demand for information. 

Chinese dream is a lifetime aspiration of each national and the recording by photo is just a process from dream to reality. Reform and opening up is the engine of China’s development, source of happiness of billions of Chinese people and a necessary path of national revival. From basic daily demand to better-off life and then to spiritual pursuit, Chinese people are constantly endeavoring for improvement, further exploration and realizing their dream. 

While Chinese photo exhibition was reflected in the azure Mediterranean, the great Chinese dream was presented in Monaco and the whole Europe, a mixture of classic and modernity, had to review China and Chinese story. It is just the power of image and charm of photography that utter out Chinese story and voice of China! 

Chinese dream will take off at Monaco and fly all over the world!  

(The author is president of China Photographers Association.) 

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