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China through its own eyes

Updated: 2023-10-28 12:30 ( China Daily )
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Traditional architecture in Jiangsu province feature among the pictures from a nationwide camera relay that lasted for nearly 300 days. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Playful national camera relay results in flood of personal and evocative images, Yang Feiyue reports. 

A brand-new camera, itself worth a considerable amount of money, has managed to return to its owner with a much higher value after taking part in a national relay.

The camera left Beijing in late October last year, and traveled over 42,200 kilometers across more than 30 provinces. During the course of its journey, it passed through the hands of 34 people, who were all originally strangers, and recorded moments from their daily lives in a series of approximately 2,000 photos. After nearly 300 days and nights, in August it returned to Li Chenyang, who kicked off the relay.

"Similar relay games have existed for a long time, but I had never heard of anyone using a camera as a baton," says the Beijing resident, who works as an internet influencer on the popular video-sharing platform, Bilibili.

The idea instantly appealed to him and he started making preparations.

"I felt I'd get a sense of achievement if I could pull it off, having different people capture their style and ideas through pictures taken with the same camera," he says.

He asked candidates to shoot whatever they felt most strongly about, and there was no limit in terms of subject.

Li dug into his own pocket to purchase the camera, which cost 60,000 yuan ($8,218).

"I made sure it wasn't complicated to use, so even someone who has only taken photos with a smartphone would quickly get the hang of it, and be able to photograph the moments they desired," Li explains.

Then, he launched an appeal for interested candidates.

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