Lishui boasts superior ecological environment. [Photo by Ye Xinbo/Lishui Daily]
The 2022 FIAP World Photographers Conference opened in Lishui city in East China’s Zhejiang province on Nov 17 – gathering the world’s top photographers, high-end photography products and advanced photography technologies.
Lishui’s ties with photography began more than 100 years ago. In the late 19th century, Zhang Liyou, a native of Lishui’s Songyang county, studied in Japan and bought a set of photographic equipment. After returning home, he opened a photo studio in Songyang.
The earliest extant photograph of Lishui was taken in 1907 by the photo studio.
The earliest extant photograph of Lishui. [Photo/Lishui Daily]
In the late 1970s, eight young people who were passionate about photography, including Wu Pinhe and Chu Xiaoqing, set up a photography club, turning their focus from taking photographic records to artistic creativity.
In June 1980, Chu Xiaoqing won the fifth Asian Cultural Center Award organized by UNESCO – the first time a Lishui photographer won an award in an international competition.
The celebrated photo by Chu Xiaoqing that won him the fifth Asian Cultural Center Award. [Photo by Chu Xiaoqing/Lishui Daily]
In 1983, Lishui photographers held a group exhibition in Beijing, showcasing Lishui’s scenery and culture. Since then, a ‘photography craze’ has sprung up in Lishui. Various photography events, exhibitions, training sessions and other activities began to be held frequently in the area.
According to statistics, Lishui has 257 national-level photographers, ranking it first among prefecture-level cities in China according to the proportion of the population base. What’s more, they’ve won more than 500 awards in important authoritative exhibitions at home and abroad.
The photo On the river by Russian photographer Vladimir Proshin. [Photo by Vladimir Proshin/Lishui Daily]
With the prosperous photography sector on the rise and with the local government support, a number of photography themed parks, hotels and homestays have emerged in Lishui and businesses related to photography have developed rapidly.
In line with the arrival of the digital age, Lishui has also launched the construction of the international digital image center – integrating the art of photography, industry, history and culture, the local landscape, as well as leisure and entertainment.
The city is now well on its way towards becoming an international photography highland. As former FIAP vice-president Jacques Denis once said, “The world of photography is rich because of Lishui and Lishui is wonderful because of the world of photography.”
The opening ceremony of the 2021 Lishui Photography Festival. [Photo/Lishui Daily]