Travel Journal #China 2017 –
For 15 days, follow the daily life and travels of Benoît Baume, the founder of Fisheye in China discovering the photography of the Middle Kingdom. Discover, this fifth episode, devoted to Lianzhou.
We have been in Lianzhou for a few days now. With a festival that is presenting it’s 13th edition – with 60 exhibitors–, and will be marked with it’s opening of the first public Chinese museum dedicated to Photography, news here is rich. We have seen some beauties, and some less so, but undoubtably, what is happening here is a first. The museum will be opened Saturday the 2nd of December 2017. Outstanding by it’s scale, this labyrinth in structure has very few equivalents, or at least not in France. Fitted with an operating budget of 260 000 euros per year, it’s vocation is to welcome three cycles of contemporary photography exhibitors annually. It will be co-leaded the the founder of the festival, Duan Yuting, and by François Cheval, who watched over the museum Nicéphore Niépce de Chalon-sur-Saône for twenty years, until the end of 2016. But what is unlikely, is the arrival of such a building at Lianzhou, the “small town” of 500 000 residents, lost in the Chinese countryside near four hours drive from Canton. Tomorrow, we will speak to you about exhibitions and beautiful encounters made here.
The museum of Photography in Lianzhou, the night before it’s official opening. Containing more than 3 600 m2 inside, the museum possesses numerous open-air spaces creating a communion with the inhabitants of the town, for who, most have never been in a contemporary art museum © Fisheye
2nd of December, the official opening of the museum, the local representatives of the communist party do a speech. The museum only cost a total of 1,8 million euros due to reusing an old building, a sweet factory while work and material is either local or recycled © Fisheye
The photographer Albert Watson was not short on making time for his interviews. He was returning to China for the first time after 38 years. He was presenting unpublished photos from China in 1979 © Fisheye
The official opening and the astounding show at the main square of Lianzhou which bought together tens of thousands of it’s inhabitants. The festival and museum are very well located © Fisheye
The second day of the exhibition Zhang Hai’er Lianzhou museum, was marked by the withdrawal of a photo of a young girl with a saddened gaze, taken down by the authorities. This also happened during Mathieu Pernots exhibition at Xiamen (during the festival Jimei x Arles, last week) for a photo of a young boy held by his feet by his father © Fisheye
One of the works by Zhuang Hui suffered a “modification” by the authorities, rather like on Facebook or Instagram when posting a naked photograph © Fisheye