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Chairman Mao's photographer wins life achievement award in Pingyao International Photography Festival

China Daily | Fri,2016-09-23

The awards ceremony of the 2016 Pingyao International Photography Festival (PIP) was held in the ancient Chinese city of Pingyao, Northwest China's Shanxi province, on Wednesday, with more than 50 photographers from both China and abroad taking home prizes.

Hou Bo, 92, won the life achievement award, a high-profile prize at the ceremony. She was late Chairman Mao Zedong's official photographer.

From 1949 to 1961, Hou worked as the official photographer for Mao and leaders of the Communist Party of China. Of some 700 published photo portraits of the Chairman, more than 400 were taken by Hou.

Hou was absent from the ceremony, given her old age, but donated her masterpiece photo to the PIP organizing committee. The widely-spread image captures the moment Mao and the new leaders announced the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct 1, 1949.

"Life in Corners" puts human-nature relations under spotlight

This year's awards consisted of eight categories including natural scenery, social lifestyle and art concept.

Hou Bo's masterpiece photo of Mao and the new leaders announcing the founding of the People's Republic of China is donated to the organizing committee of the 2016 Pingyao InternationalPhotography Festival (PIP) on Sept 21, 2016. Photo:

Hou Bo's masterpiece photo of Mao and the new leaders announcing the founding of the People'Republic of China is donated to the organizing committee of the 2016 Pingyao InternationalPhotography Festival (PIPon Sept 21, 2016. Photo:

The highly anticipated "excellent photographer" trophy went to Chinese natural ecology photographer Gu Ying, together with an award of 100,000 yuan ($15,000). Gu's photo series Life in Corners reflects on the relations between humans and animals and calls for people to respect nature and animals.

Two international photojournalists won honors at the festival, including Switzerland's Niels Ackermann in the category of social life and Germany's Claudia Faehrenkemper in art concept.

Ackermann's work, The Children of Chernobyl Have Grown Up, tells the stories of the youth of Ukraine's Slavutych - the city borne from the aftermath of the catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

Faehrenkemper's Armor series deals with representative suits of armor, which were made especially for emperors, kings and great generals from the 15th to the 17th centuries and are found in important armor collections worldwide.

The week-long PIP kicked off in Pingyao on Monday, showcasing more than 500 artworks created by more than 2,200 photographers and organizations from 33 countries and regions.

The annual festival began in 2001 and has entered its 16th year, becoming one of the most important photography events and biggest image trading markets in China.


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