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Photography Exhibition Explores China’s 40 Years of Reform and Opening-up

Pub Date:18-09-04 08:38 Source:Global Times

A national photo exhibition focusing on the historical changes the nation has undergone over the past four decades of reform and opening-up, China: 40 Years Through the Lens, kicked off at the National Museum of China on Thursday.

The exhibition records the huge changes that took place in people's daily lives and the great economic, political and cultural achievements the country has made since the implementation of the policy in the late 1970s.

Best of the best

In 1978, then Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping put forward the historic reform and opening-up policy. Adopted during the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CPC in 1978, the policy brought about huge changes that helped the Chinese nation embark on a new road toward rejuvenation.

Photographers showing at the exhibition used their lens to capture the lives of ordinary people during this time of change, displaying important moments such as the birth of the reform movement in Xiaogang village in East China's Anhui Province, the Wenchuan Earthquake and the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province.

The participating photographers also shared their views about their work.

"Photography reflects more than China's historical and social changes, it is also about how people have changed and the profound changes that the human spirit has undergone," photographer Yu Haibo told the China Photo Press at the exhibition.

Realizing the importance of the exhibition, the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles and the Chinese Photographers Association (CPA), the organizers of the event, set up a team of expert photography curators and held special seminars to discuss the exhibition's theme, content and mode of presentation.

Selection began in April, with the curation team pouring over more than 30,000 photos to select the best of the best when it came to reflecting the changes that have taken place in China over the past four decades.

Word concerning the exhibition has already started to spread on social media. The hashtag "40 Years Through the Lens" has received more than 899,000 views on Sina Weibo and numerous Chinese netizens have expressed their desire to see the show for themselves.

Window into the past

A total of 216 works are on display at the exhibition, covering everything from small personal vignettes to major historical events.

For example, one photo shows a class of students at Tsinghua University. The photo was taken in 1979, just two years after China resumed its national college entrance examinations after a 10-year suspension. Seventy percent of those featured in the photo were teachers and educated youth who were sent to work in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76).

In another photo, a girl bids farewell to her father, a soldier, through a bus's broken window at a bus stop outside of a People's Liberation Army camp in January of 1987.

Another photo - taken in a village in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, in 1991 - records a yawning mother as she supervises her child doing his homework. Nearby an introduction explains that in December of 2017 the Central Economic Working Conference listed "relieving the extracurricular burden" on primary and secondary school students as a priority issue.

Photos at the exhibition also demonstrate the development of transportation, such as one 1998 work that captures a mule cart, a bicycle, a truck and an airplane together in one scene at the Kunming Wujiaba International Airport in Kunming, Yunnan Province.

The exhibition is scheduled to end on September 12. It is estimated that more than 300,000 people will visit the exhibition.


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