With the theme “Life of Photography, World of Dream” and the aim of “Dialogue and Exchange,” the 14th China Pingyao International Photography Festival (PIP) has provided an opportunity for domestic and foreign photographers to widely have cultural and academic exchanges under the premise of openness and tolerance.
In 2014, exhibitions at the festival were divided into 5 major parts and 19 units. There would be 20,000 images shot by more than 2,100 photographers from 32 countries and districts.
Photographers and critics in China and abroad have highly praised the quality of the works at the festival. For the international exhibitions, 10 directors of international photography festivals and famous curators were invited to curate work, which not only showed the regional features of various countries but also greatly promoted the level of internationalization and professionalization for the PIP festival. In especial, “Viewfinders: Contemporary Baltic and Nordic Photography” was one of the best-reviewed exhibitions by virtue of its various genres of photography and its background of eastern and western history and cultures. Peru female photographer Cecilia Paredes’s work “Background Stories” revealed the efforts and arduousness of slipping into different cultures in a distinctive form. Various photographic works have corresponded to the aim of “Dialogue and Exchange,” and probed into “contemporary photography,” in accordance with 13-year adherence of the PIP festival to its goal.
For the domestic exhibitions, the PIP festival continued to invite many outstanding Chinese curators to curate work, to bring new blood into the curators, and to enhance exchanges between curators and photographers, which could help professional and amateur photographers to find the right niche for themselves at the festival.
In 2014, the PIP festival would continue to improve its jury committee system. As the depth and width of judging panel was further enhanced, the judging process, based on past experience, would be more standardized and systematic to ensure the equity and justice.
The university exhibition has been held for ten years. There was a total of more than 18,000 images by 4,500 students from colleges and universities. As a platform of internationally cultural exchanges, dozens of domestic and foreign universities are attracted to participate in this exhibition each year which has been named “the most dynamic part of exhibition” by curators and professors. It is the only large-scale photo exhibition of college students in the world that has attracted a lot of attention from international universities. Susan Dooley, an American professor, has curated student work from the US at the PIP festival in previous five years, including “Breaking Boundaries V,” an exhibition of student portfolios from the United States. In 2014, British Dr. Sian Bonnell has specially curated student work from twelve famous colleges of the UK at the PIP festival. In addition, many teachers and students of colleges and universities directly participating in this exhibition included: Parsons?The New School for Design, Australia National University, Columbia College, Chicago, University of Washington, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of South Australia, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and International?Center?of?Photography?School.
While the activity of “Public & Dialogue” debuted at the 14th PIP festival, domestic and foreign curators were invited to dialogue on this platform in Pingyao. After years of effort, the festival has not only provided a platform for photographers in China and abroad to communicate with each other, but also gradually become an important place of exchanges between photographers from all over the world. At the festival, photographers around the world were invited to hold the activity which could range from curatorial theory and skill to photography education with the attention paid by photographers. At the Open Class in September, world-renowned photographers and educators, such as, Zhong Jianming, Sian Bonnell, James Ramer, Cecilia Paredes, Hou Jun, and Glenna?Jennings, have given lectures to 1,500 audiences in Pingayo. At the festival, there were 3 lectures on photography ranging from photographic theory and skills to best edit from portfolios, 3 high-end forums on photography given by 42 photographers, artists and curators, and 3 nights of slide when 7 slideshows of different organizations and individuals were played with a total duration of about 6 hours.
In 2014, there are media reports on the festival by nearly 300 journalists from over 130 media, including more than 70 network media and 60 traditional media, such as Sina, NetEase, Shanxi Evening News, China Photo Press and People’s Photography. Meanwhile, the Art Committee of the PIP festival also used official website, MicroBlog and WeChat for publicity, and provided timely, comprehensive, and effective reports on the festival, which has received exhibitors’ acclaim.
The curtain of the14th PIP festival has fallen. We firmly believe that, with the joint efforts of leaders at all levels, media and photographers and artists around the world, China Pingyao International Photography Festival, the Oscar of the most international influence among photographers throughout the world, will certainly have a better future.