Lishui Photography Festival
November 15–19, 2017
The 8th edition of the Lishui Photography Festival and the 2nd edition of the International Photography Seminar will take place from November 15 to 19, 2017 in some twenty venues in the city of Lishui, in the coastal province of Zhejiang, in the south-east of China. Lishui becomes the epicenter of the international photography scene during this five-day event, and attracts thousands of Chinese and international photographers, professionals and amateurs alike, who come here to exhibit their work, to visit, create and exchange with fellow photographers.
Created in 2004 by the Lishui City Council and the China Photographers Association, the Lishui Photography Festival became a biennial event from its second edition, in 2005, and has continued to grow over the years. It has become one of the most important rendezvous on the Chinese photography calendar, bringing together a growing public of enthusiastic photographers, both professional and amateur, with each edition.
The last edition in 2015, attracted 120,000 visitors over the course of its five days thanks to a rich and varied program of 339 exhibitions, showcasing 6,582 works by 1,934 photographers from 52 countries and different regions of China.
The history of Lishui and photography
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, at the instigation of several older, local photographers, Lishui made a name for itself in terms of photography. Named “the Chinese City of Photography” in 1999, by the China Photographers Association, the Lishui City Council laid the groundwork for an ambitious cultural policy, with a focus on photography, which would contribute to the city’s growing reputation as a cultural and touristic center.
8th Lishui Photography Festival and 2nd International Photography Seminar
By organizing a festival of photography, the Lishui City Council aims to reinforce Lishui’s reputation as a “city of photography” and to increase its appeal at an international level.
Benefiting from a panel of experts, made up of ten Chinese photography specialists, the 2017 edition of the Lishui Photography Festival will be more ambitious than ever. With a theme that is highly relevant to today’s modern society—Images in the Era of Hypermedia—the 2017 edition is proof that the festival continues to innovate and showcase emerging talents. The festival will examine the different strands of contemporary creation.
In addition to traditional photography, the 2017 edition will focus on techniques and contemporary practices making use of VR, video, multimedia installations, performance, etc., thereby broadening the debate on the characteristics of “hypermedia,” i.e., virtual reality, interactive devices and photography today.
Designed as a unique platform in China, the Lishui Photography Festival seeks to bring together all of the actors from the photography community: photographers, exhibition curators, editors, collectors, suppliers of photography equipment, etc. This year’s ambitious program includes about forty exhibitions, an international seminar, screenings, debates, conferences, portfolio evaluations, workshops and a photography supplies fair, as well as an exhibition and auction of vintage cameras from the 19th and 20th centuries, an auction of photographic artworks and a photo books fair.
The curators invited this year include James Ramer (artist, professor, exhibition curator and currently director of the Faculty of Photography at Parsons the New School for Design in New York), Shiqiang Gao (professor at the Fine Arts Academy of China in Hangzhou) and Yan Deng (artist and currently a professor at the School of Art at Tsinghua University in Beijing).
The exhibition Where does the Future Get Made, organized by James Ramer, will present the creations of some twenty artist-photographers from all different cultural backgrounds, including the US, China, Europe and the Middle East. If Art Can Start A New Again, organized by Yan Deng will examine the new artistic forms generated by the development of new technology and the ultra-rapid evolution of the ways in which we consume images.
The Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, will be this year’s guest-of-honor with the exhibition reGeneration, an international, multi-disciplinary project launched in 2015, exploring the emerging photography scene.
This year, in addition to the usual festival venues (former petrol pump factory, former car repair workshop, Museum of Photography, Photography Industrial Park, etc.), a number of new venues will also host events: a park, gym, arts academy, cinema, etc.