Foreign photographers to capture the essence of Beijing

By Wendy Lu
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 28, 2014
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Beyhan Ozdemir, a photographer from Turkey, says his Beijing-related photos include that for a teahouse, restaurants, traditional Beijing drinks and shoe-making, at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Vision Beijing international photography event held at the Summer Palace in Beijing on Monday. [Photo by Chen Boyuan /].
On Monday afternoon, 10 photographers from several foreign countries gathered at the Summer Palace in Beijing for the 15th annual inaugural ceremony of the World Photographers' View of Beijing.

This year, photographers from Belarus, Canada, Egypt, Thailand, Turkey, France and the United States were chosen to partake in the event, which is sponsored by Beijing municipal government and the Beijing Association for Cultural Exchanges.

The event lasts for seven days and gives some of the world's most well-respected visual artists the chance to capture the beauty and essence of Beijing in their photographs. More than 100 photographers have participated in the event, since it was launched in 1999.

Other attendees of the ceremony included officials from Beijing municipality and foreign embassies in China.

Wang Hui, director of the Information Office of Beijing Municipality, said Beijing has become increasingly popular and more loved by the public. The photographers' event helps to create a connection between Beijing and those who wish to learn more about the city.

During her speech at the ceremony, French photographer Laurence Vidal said the event is a unique opportunity for participants to encapsulate various facets of Beijing in their photos, as well as make new friends from China and other countries.

"As photographers, we are witnesses of the city and always on the move, " said Vidal, this year's only female photographer. "I am totally convinced that this unique idea of the World Photographers' View of Beijing will present an important cultural link between China and the world. "

During the week-long event, all the photographers get to pick their own assignments and Beijing landmarks that they would like to visit.

Joe McNally, a freelance photographer from the United States, has been involved with the event for five or six years.

"I've been very fortunate to explore different aspects of Beijing every time I've been here," he said, adding that his assignments have varied from year to year. "I’ve been able to meet masters of certain crafts – opera, corporate making, and a famous chef."

McNally said Beijing is one of his favorite cities because of its vibrant energy, visual appeal and distinctiveness from home. This year, he hopes to capture certain elements of the city's culture and traditions in his photographs.

For Beyhan Ozdemir, a photographer from Turkey, this will be his second time participating in the event.

"I've shot [photos including] a teahouse, restaurants, traditional Beijing drinks, and [someone] making shoes," said Ozdemir, assistant professor in the fine arts photography department at 9 September University [Dokuz Eylül University] and president of the Izmir Photography Association.

Once the event is over, the participants get to choose which photographs they like best, Wang Hui said. The pieces will be made into posters for the municipal government website and featured at a city image promotion exhibition.

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