——on 2016 China International Photographic Art Festival and Exhibition
Ala by Chi Xun (U.S.A.)
Food Is the Paramount Necessity of the People by ZHU Xianmin (China)
World-famous architecture design master Oscar Niemeyer by Evandro Teixeira (Brazil)
The Waking of Insects by MENG Fanyu (China)
Brothers by Shibasish Saha (India)
Zhengzhou Culture Center by Li Yingzhou (China)
From Zhengzhou to the World
Located in the hinterland of Central China, Zhengzhou is blessed with a commonly recognized unique geographic advantage. In the construction course of “Silk Road Economic Belt” and “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”, Zhengzhou, as the core of urban compound of Central China, enjoys not only the express train between Zhengzhou and Europe, but also significant progress on E-commerce and airport developments, and therefore becomes a key city in the “B&R” Initiative. Such an international photographic art event in Zhengzhou will certainly facilitate the constant dissemination and development of photographic art, and at the same time bring the crucial function of Zhengzhou in the “B&R” strategic development into full play.
As a universal language without words, photography is a “barrier-free” passage for cultural and art exchange between the Orient and the Occident.
“The 16th China International Photographic Art Exhibition is jointly sponsored by China Photographers Association and Zhengzhou People’s Municipal Government. Fully in accordance with international practice and in connections between domestic and international parts and between tradition and modernity, this event aims to forge China’s Image Art Center at Zhengzhou.” said as Xu Daqing, chairman of Zhengzhou Cultural Investment Co.,Ltd.in his view, by means of inviting foreigners and promoting international exchange, and relying on the cultural and historic charm of Zhengzhou and influence of photographic culture, this international photographic art event, will not only enable international friends to know more deeply about the local culture at Zhengzhou, but also in the background of globalization, showcase the great development of Zhengzhou and considerably promote the international reputation, influence and leadership. “During the course of this event, lectures and master classes provided a sound platform for amateurs of Zhengzhou to learn and exchange. They introduced latest concept in photography, aroused a brainstorm in the photographic circle of Zhengzhou and even the entire China, and brought about new visions, new styles and new outlooks”.
At the same time, the holding of such a big event gave an obvious promotion to the local economy. A large number of visitors, photographers holding personal exhibitions and amateurs from all over China gathered at Zhengzhou, driving up prosperity in accommodation, transportation, sightseeing and catering service. Trades of pictures and photographic equipment led to the existence of Zhengzhou Pictures Market and provided possibilities for future investment fairs and cultural industries at Zhengzhou. Plenty of foreign photographers came to Zhengzhou for inspiration and introduced beautiful landscape, folk customs and cuisine culture of Zhengzhou back to their home town. “International Photographic Art Festival is a carrier of cultural phenomenon as well as vivid presentation of interactive effect between culture and economy. The long-term hosting of such international photographic art festival in Zheng Zhou will definitely bring enormous economic benefit by spurring the development of such industries as tourism, catering, accommodation, transportation and entertainment”. Some experts believe that such an event of photography with professional, academic, international and systematic characteristics will convenienty foster another international cultural brand of Zhengzhou conveniently and become another gateway of Zheng Zhou to the world.
“In the globalized development nowadays, Chinese photographic art is confronted with multiple challenges and opportunities between tradition and modernity, Orient and Occident, society and individuality.” As far as Xu Daqing can see, this photographic art festival has substantially proven that photographic art can transcend race and nationality and make a breakthrough by means of lens language over exchange barriers so that civilizations of both Orient and Occident meet together at such vital source of Chinese civilization as Zhengzhou and spread to every corner of the world.
“Still Instant” Hashes the Eyes
“Taking art as stage and photography as performers, we would like to enable common people to share cultural fruits to the utmost.” As far as Wang Yao, President of CPA, is concerned, this photographic festival and exhibition has become a celebration for the public and a 5-function platform for the people, that is, to enjoy photographic art, to showcase photographic creation, to tell Chinese stories, to exchange for reference among photographers both at home and abroad, and to achieve academic exchange and discussion.
As a matter of fact, this 5-function platform was indeed established in this event. In every and each venue of photo exhibition, it was commonly seen that ordinary citizens held up cameras to take pictures while appreciating the exhibition. “At present, photography is quite popular among citizen and digital technology has became a common hobby in every household.” Han Lan, an ordinary viewer told us. She likes taking pictures when she takes her children out and attends family gathering and other events. From time to time, she will take a look at her own pictures and post them up in her WeChat column, both of which make “photography” a most popular artistic creation among the common people.
The total number of viewers and the extensive coverage of profession, age and locality were extremely surprising. A sample survey of viewers specially held by sponsors indicated that there came even some foreigners who work in China and some children learning to paint. The viewers from Beijing, Shanghai, Hebei, Fujian, Zhejiang, Gansu, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Shandong accounted for over 30 percent of the total counting photographers associations, amateur groups and societies from more than 20 provinces have attended this event as well.
As staff of organizing committee introduced, this event achieved a strong feedback among people. On May 27 and 28 alone, the average total of viewers per day at the main venue, Shengda Art Museum, exceeded 9000 and the average number at other dates had amounted to 7000 or so. Plus three sub-venues, namely CBD Square of Zhengdong Zone, Henan Art Center and Relic Site Square of Shang Dynasty, the total number of viewers within the 8 days of this event was over 300000. Moreover, every theme lecture given by photographic masters from various countries was invariably filled to the full capacity. Three hundred tickets sold out called in five to six hundred audiences.
“Along with urban development, Zhengzhou will witness a giant group of photography amateurs, abundant resources and increasing enthusiasm for participation and the need for promoting photographic skills. A significant characteristic of this international photographic art festival at Zhengzhou lies in that special lectures and world photography forum were designed so that mass photography amateurs and local photographers could be involved in exchanges and discussions about photographic technique with top masters from both at home and abroad.” As Xu Daqing put it, this event was a welfare for people’s benefit. Such a top international festival would bring citizens into a genuine enjoyment of art so as to enrich their spiritual life and heighten their artistic appreciation. Gradually, people will accept and then support photographic art, and take an active part in artistic creation. With the overall quality of common people improved, the spiritual civilization construction at Zhengzhou will witness a great leap.
Wang Yanjie made a targeted trip from Zhoukou city to Zhengzhou with his prepared itinerary for his exhibition tour. He commuted from Shengda Art Museum to Henan Art Center and then to CBD Square of Zhengdong Zone, just lest he would miss any excellent pictures. He carefully observed giant photo of different countries one after another and repeatedly pondered over those touching moments. “This exhibition and festival is indeed a grand banquet for photographic fans like me.” He exclaimed.
Contemporary Business Card for Ancient City
“In the world of photography, there are so many scenes that bring to viewers the touching, pleasure, sadness, shock, thinking and expectation. Photography not only enriches our daily life, but also fulfills our spiritual pursuit and aspiration.” Just as Wang Ke, an ordinary citizen of Zhengzhou expressed, many people were still fascinated in the photographic art when this festival and exhibition was about to conclude. In this case, sponsors deliberately extended some of the exhibition till the end of June.
Similarly, this event is preserved at Zhengzhou as well. As the 'Agreement of Corporative Holding of China International Photographic Art Festival and Exhibition' officially signed by CPA and Zhengzhou People’s Municipal Government stipulates, the international photographic art festival will take place every two years at Zhengzhou into the future. This means that such a grand and high-end international event of photography will meet Zhengzhou every two years and its following influence is inestimable in a short time.
“Central China is like a rich mine of photography and Henan is a significant province of photography. As the capital of Henan Province, Zhengzhou is active showcasing and disseminating and events and works of local photography through various medias so as to expand influence and create a sound and sustainable development basis among the people.” He Ning, President of Zhengzhou Municipal Photographers Association (ZMPA) said. So far, there are many active photographic organizations such as 'Zheng People’s Vision', 'Zhengzhou Enterprise Culture Photo Commission', 'Senior Citizen Photo Association' and 'Train Photography Association'. 9 Photographic Creation Bases have been established at Huancui Valley of Xingyang, Fuxi Grand Valley, Immortals’ Cave, Fraternal Sky River, Sedan-top Mountain of Hui County, Kang Million Mansion of Gongyi, Former Residence of Poet Du Fu, Longevity Hill and Upper Street Five-Cloud Hill, in order to enhance members and photographic fans’ sense of belonging and pride and upgrade the collective solidarity. In corporation with the Zhengzhou Municipal Zoo, Henan Branch of China Development Research Institute, Huancui Valley of Xingyang, Immortals’ Cave of Xinyi, Fuxi Grand Valley, Kang Million Mansion of Gongyi and Longevity Hill, the ZMPA hosted over ten large-scale photography competitions and collections such as “Charming Zhengzhou”, “Oriental Cherry Art Festival”, “Zhengzhou Peach Blossom Festival”, “Landscape Photography Competition of Sedan-top Mountain” and “Focus on Ancient Village”. Every month, ZMPA will organize jury comments, comparison and lectures, all of which have become brand events attracting thousands of works.
“In different periods, ZMPA has different priority tasks. Photographers from Zhengzhou were also seen in ‘2nd Zhengzhou Good Manners Photography Exhibition’ and ‘Commemorative Series of the 70th Anniversary of World Anti-Fascism War and Chinese People’s Anti-Japanese War’.” He Ning told us that this year, ZMPA would continue with the establishment of its Greation Base and organize the third session of Good Manners exhibition and “Poetic Life in Whole Zhengzhou” Poetry, Photo and Painting event so as to realize the function and influence of photography in the people’s life.
“The charm of photography exists in the true moment, the story behind the picture and afterward thinking.” Tu Dou, an amateur of photography said. A mortal photographer will grow old and pass away some day, but his or her significant works will never decease. The story behind the picture may keep constant influence upon several generations, which is the merit of photography and the ultimate achievement that numerous photographers pursue. Along with the retrospect of this international photographic art festival as well as future expectation, at Zhengzhou, an Oriental city at the edge of the world, more stories about photography are to take place soon.