Photography, a universal language that is silent, but can be understood by anyone. So says American photographer Roger Ballen at the opening ceremony of this year’s Pingyao International Photography festival. Although it has opened during China’s traditional Mid-Autumn Day holiday, the exhibition still attracts crowds of people.
“Images to Life” is the theme of this year’s festival, and more than 12,000 works from thirty two countries and regions are on display. Many works by Chinese photographers are attracting wide attention. Experts say new technology has played an important role in China’s photography development in recent years.
Robert Pledge, Director of Contact Press Images, New York, said, “China has jumped a few steps ahead of the process by getting very much involved in the new technology and new trends that are going on.”
Besides conventional photography, a cell phone photo exhibition is also on display.
Zhao Jijun, photographer, said, “I took this picture with this cell phone while I was in a car.”
As various new kinds of internet media are thriving, it seems that everyone these days is a photographer, recording their lives by posting pictures online. But experts say to become a real photographer, it takes more than that.
Robert Pledge said, “Today, in China, like in the rest of the world, everybody is a photographer, everybody has a smart phone or some phone, or some camera or something. People spend their time sending pictures in Instagram or whatever they call to each other immediately. but there is still very few people produce exceptional work that is really thoughtful and has a long-term meaning and become part of the art history…so they are two completely different levels.”
During this week-long festival, various kinds of art activities will also be held, including public classes and lectures on photography, slide show evening parties, master dialogue and etc. The Asia-Pacific Photo Forum will also hold a round table conference for the first time.