All posts tagged: China

How do you speak Nadav Kander? The man himself on mastering your creative language

British Journal of Photography caught up with Nadav Kander ahead of his appearance at The Photography Show 2017 in Birmingham. Conversation quickly turned to his recent much debated image of Donald Trump. Normally when Nadav Kander turns up to shoot a portrait, the only thing he’s thought through beforehand is the lighting. But Donald Trump was different. “I was really divided about how I should do it – how to do this TIME cover justice without putting my political views out there,” he says of his commission to photograph the US president for TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year cover. “If you photograph properly, you’re talking about a coming together of two histories. A person of 70, who’s had a life of 70 years, and a person of 54, who’s had a life of 54 years. As soon as politics comes in, you change things. It’s difficult to exclude that but you need to if you’re making a mature portrait that’s going to have any lasting effect.” What inspires him about photography has evolved with …

2017-03-10T12:21:39+00:00

Kingdom of the Girls: The alternate reality where women rule the world

That world exists, if you know where to look. Berlin-based photographer Karolin Klüppel’s pictures of rare matriarchal communities in India and China – which won the 2015 Felix Schoeller Photo Award – invite us to do exactly that. Born in 1985, Klüppel developed an interest in alternatives to patriarchy while studying photography at the School of Art and Design in Kassel, where her final project deconstructed gender through soft, fragile portraits of the male nude. On graduating in 2013 she embarked on a self-financed trip to India, where she had a residency lined up with the Vice-Versa Foundation in Goa. Initially the plan was to stay half a year in India before heading to China, to photograph the Mosuo, a matriarchal society in the Himalayas, but she ended up spending nine months in Mawlynnong, a Khasi village in the State of Meghalaya, northeast India. The photographs she shot there became the portrait series Mädchenland (Kingdom of Girls), for which she won the prestigious 2015 Felix Schoeller Photo Award. Klüppel had read about the Khasi while …

2017-02-23T16:46:32+00:00

My Winter Holiday in Beijing

Cedric Van Turtlebloom’s contemporary documentary style centres around everyday life – but not as we know it. Currently editing his second photobook, in which he takes a quizzical look at China’s burgeoning middle class and its penchant for artificial ski slopes, his visual stories are anything but conventional.

2016-09-09T22:51:30+00:00

Photographing Kung Fu in the Qufu School of Shaolin Kung Fu, China

Ameena Rojee’s collection, Hard Work, documents life at the School of Shaolin Kung Fu in Qufu, China. Rojee travelled to the school following a “split-second decision”, she says, inspired by the martial arts films she had watched growing up, and as part of a broader interest in exploring human limits and our power to break them. The images candidly depict a world poised between the romance of the old and the expediency of the new, where traditional monk’s robes float above Nike trainers, and religious icons vie with plastic bags for the viewer’s attention.                       It is a leitmotif Rojee shares with photographer Jon Tonks, who she cites as a key influence. She says the juxtaposition of ancient practices in the modern world is something that has always intrigued her, being rooted in her mixed Mauritian and Spanish heritage and UK upbringing. “I essentially grew up in a mix of old and new”, she explains. Nowhere is this more striking than in an image of …

2016-01-13T14:43:18+00:00

Keeping the flame of photojournalism alive, the Ian Parry Scholarship exhibits winning images

Launched in 1991, the Ian Parry Scholarship is an annual photographic competition for young photographers under the age of 24 or attending a full-time photographic course. Announced in July, this year’s winner Yuyang Liu, hailing from China, submitted a portfolio of images documenting the lives of people suffering with mental illness from Guangdong Province. Hosam Katan (Syria) was highly commended for his work, and Hashem Shakeri (Iran), Isadora Kosofsky (USA) and Salahuddin Ahmed (Bangladesh). An exhibition of this year’s winning and commended work, curated by Rebecca McClelland, is being exhibited this month at London’s Hoxton Gallery. The award was launched in 1991 in honour of Ian Parry, a 24-year-old photojournalist who was tragically killed whilst on assignment for The Sunday Times in December 1989 in Romania. The Scholarship comes with a £3500 grant for the production of a documentary body of work. The winner also receives a choice of equipment from Canon, has their work published in The Sunday Times Magazine, is automatically added to the final list of nominees for the Joop Swart Masterclass …

2015-12-02T17:04:09+00:00

BJP Instagram Takeover: Lisa Barnard gets the inside track at Lianzhou Foto Festival

Documentary photographer Lisa Barnard will be taking over the BJP Instagram (@bjp1854) over the next few days to report from the Chinese festival. The photographic artist and Senior Lecturer in Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales is exhibiting her project, Hyenas of the Battlefield, Machines in the Garden and will be sharing her experience at the festival. She’ll be posting images from in and around Guangzhou, her journey to Lianzhou and from the set up and events at the festival. As Barnard explains, her project is “a study into the ‘unholy alliance’ between the military, the entertainment industry and technology, and their coalescence around modern-day warfare.”     In recent years China has become an increasingly vital source of excellent contemporary photography, with photographers like Chen Xiaoyi, Jiehao Su and Chen Wei documenting how their country copes with global power shifting eastwards. As Wei told us in April, “I respond to what I see in China around me on a daily basis, both the good and the bad.” Lianzhou Foto Festival is a …

2015-11-20T12:05:00+00:00

Surveying the hidden corners of China’s barren landscapes

End of Ashes is Hua Weicheng’s third major project, but his first in colour. Originally interested in cinematography, he studied film at Beijing Broadcasting Institute and the Communication University of China, then turned to photography in 2007, and only switched to colour in 2012. “The transition from black-and-white to colour resulted from the change in my feelings about life,” he explains. “My wife loves to enjoy life; she cares about quality of life and has a strong desire for more material things, which I think is not good. For me, people should pursue the eternal spiritual world. We quarrelled a lot. In the end, I was defeated because I found women were smarter than men in grasping how the world works. I found the profound and lasting world I wanted to pursue is actually on the surface… So I think black-and-white is like men and colours are like women. That’s why I turned to colour.” Hua took the images in his free time all over China – from Chongqing, where he currently lives, to Hunan, his home town, via …

2015-09-24T12:46:09+00:00

The journalist-turned-photographer shining a light on Beijing’s underground workers

Having discovered a passion for photography as a teen, Sim Chi Yin spent nine years as an adult writing for The Straits Times, Singapore’s English daily, before returning to image making. “I’ve had to remind myself that a good text subject might not be a strong picture project,” she says of the change. “And I’ve had to deal with switching from trying to be an objective reporter to being a closely involved fly on the wall.” She seems to be making a smooth transition, though – Rat Tribe, which documents the lives of low-income workers in Beijing, was presented at Rencontres d’Arles in 2012, and her coverage of the Burmese spring was shown at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo the same year. In 2013, she was nominated for the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography for Dying to Breathe, an ongoing series on a Chinese gold miner and she is also a member of VII Photo Agency, having been part of their mentoring programme. Born in Singapore, Sim is now based in China, where taking photographs – or, …

2015-08-28T13:37:29+00:00

Found in a Beijing recycling plant: “A weird and slightly fucked up tradition.”

“It was very unusual. I’ve been to a few Chinese weddings, but I had never seen this before — neither had most of my Chinese friends.” As a collector and editor for the UK-based Archive of Modern Conflict, Thomas Sauvin’s pursuit of intriguing images often takes him to odd places, but when he discovered a trove of forgotten images depicting a bygone wedding ritual, even he was surprised. “I thought negatives might be an interesting trail because it’s something people tend to neglect. I got in touch with a seller specialising in recycling trash that contained silver nitrate. I bought 35mm negatives by the kilo, without knowing what I would do with them.” Confronted with this vast stack of images, Sauvin started to look for unifying qualities within the images. He found a picture of Chinese newlyweds smoking a handmade wedding bong, a gesture – apparently – of good luck for newlyweds. Struck by the incongruity, he revisited his growing cache of negatives. “I thought it was interesting because it’s related to more youthful practice in Europe. …

2015-07-28T19:29:16+00:00

Sanne de Wilde – The Dwarf Empire/Snow White

Belgian photographer Sanne de Wilde focuses on people on the visual outskirts of society. Her Snow White pictures, which show extremely blonde children, their pale palette range highlighting the otherworldly appearance of her subjects, gained her plenty of international attention straight from her Master’s degree in fine arts photography in 2012. But it was her next series, The Dwarf Empire, that really caught people’s imaginations. The Dwarf Empire is about a home for “77 little people” – little people who earn their keep by performing a song and dance routine twice a day in a theme park that combines entertainment and social care.  Founded by “a tall, rich man who was determined to do something good for the little people”, The Dwarf Empire is a place that perfectly fits the 21st century spirit of Chinese capitalism. In her surprisingly light images, de Wilde mixes pictures of the park attractions with interiors. She goes into the kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms of The Dwarf Empire and, in this sense, the series also acts as a study of the world of Chinese interiors. In the …

2017-07-18T15:31:21+00:00

BJP Staff