Photographers to pursue Silk Road grandeur

By Deng Zhangyu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-06-23 07:30:28

Ye says people living on the yellow landscape are fond of eating chunks of meat and drinking in bowls, nurtured by the "big" vistas and culture. He suggests that photographers should take buses or trains instead of planes to have a better view of the magnificent land consisting of deserts, the Yellow River and glorious grottoes.

Lu Jie, communications director for Canon China, says that culture and traditional craftsmen are the main focus of the project.

Last year, a team of photographers shot shadow plays and Qinqiang, also known as Shaanxi Opera, popular in China's northwestern provinces. They went to visit experienced opera singers in villages and invited a local Shaanxi opera team to perform outside the Daming Palace in Xi'an.

One member of the opera team, 78-year-old Wang Zhengzhong, was in the hospital when the photographers went there. But he insisted on performing for them because he was worried he had few chances left to do so.

"We have to be quick on documenting intangible heritage. Traditional craftsmen and folk arts are on the verge of extinction at a fast speed," says Lu.

The photographers included professionals and amateurs interested in the culture of the Silk Road. Last year, an American who learned Chinese in Beijing applied for the project and got the chance to capture traditional craftsmen little-known by the public. There was also a young Chinese in his early 20s, who took gorgeous photos and won photography competitions later.

"It's interesting to see how people from the West present Chinese culture and also to see how members of the young generation think about their traditions," adds Lu.

Lu says the project welcomes a diversity of people to take part in the project to show the beauties on Silk Road from their own perspectives. After the photo shooting, there will be forums to discuss the culture and exhibitions to display these images to the public.

The project will go to Ningxia Hui and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions next year.

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