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Documentary photography stars in the Distinctly show

Brasher sisters, Southampton, May 1974. Left, Lyn; right, Stella. From the series Now & Then Portraits from the Free Photographic Omnibus © Daniel Meadows

Gathering work by 12 documentary photographers shot over the last six decades, the exhibition at Pingyao International Photography Festival takes a cool look at life in Britain - and it's coming to Liverpool's LOOK festival next year

Founded in 1997 the Pingyao International Photography Festival is China’s most prestigious photo festival, featuring images from more than 50 countries each year in indoor and outdoor venues across the UNESCO-listed ancient city. This year it includes a huge exhibition called Distinctly, which is curated by Open Eye Gallery’s Tracy Marshall and which will travel to Merseyside in 2019 as one of the main exhibitions of LOOK International Photo Biennial.

Featuring work by 12 documentary photographers – Martin Parr, Chris Killip, Daniel Meadows, John Myers, Markéta Luskačová, Tish Murtha, Ken Grant, Paul Seawright, Niall McDiarmid, Robert Darch, Elaine Constantine, and Kirsty MacKay – the exhibition takes a unique approach to the depiction of Britain and its distinct landscapes, industries, social and economic changes, cultural traditions, traits and events” over the last six decades says Marshall. “The exhibition looks at the gentle, the humorous, the starkness, the beauty, and the realities experienced and captured by the photographers around their lives living and working in Britain,” she adds.

The Pingyao International Photography Festival is open from 19-25 September; LOOK International Photo Biennial returns next year.

From A Topical Times for These Times © Ken Grant

Karen and Paul, 1981. From Youth Unemployment, shot by Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha

Richard and Louise Woods, 1978. From Elswick Kids shot by Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha

GB. England. Cleckheaton. Farm auction, March, 1979. From the series Bad Weather © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

GB. England. Epsom station, April 1975. From the series Bad Weather © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

© John Myers

© John Myers

© John Myers

© John Myers

“Bootboys,” November 1974. Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Left-to-right: Brian Morgan, Martin Tebay, Paul McMillan, Phil Tickle, Mike Comish. From the series Now & Then Portraits from the Free Photographic Omnibus © Daniel Meadows

“Bootboys,” July 1995. Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Left-to-right: Brian Morgan, Martin Tebay, Paul McMillan, Phil Tickle, Mike Comish. From the series Now & Then Portraits from the Free Photographic Omnibus © Daniel Meadows

From the series London Street Musicians © Markéta Luskačová

From the series London Street Musicians © Markéta Luskačová

From the series In Flagrante © Chris Killip

From the series In Flagrante © Chris Killip

From The Fish That Swam Away© Kirsty Mackay

From Belfast © Paul Seawright

From Belfast © Paul Seawright

English Street, Carlisle – Oct 2015. From Town to Town © Niall McDiarmid

King Street, Kilmarnock – Sept 2016. From Town to Town © Niall McDiarmid

From Durlescombe © Robert Darch

From Durlescombe © Robert Darch

© Elaine Constantine