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Les Rencontres d'Arles photo festival heads to Jimei in Xiamen

By Yuan Shenggao (China Daily) Updated:2017-12-01

Les Rencontres d'Arles in France - equivalent to the Cannes International Film Festival in the photography world - has come to join hands with Jimei district in Xiamen, Fujian province for the third time.

The 2017 Jimei Arles International Photography Festival, which opened on Nov 25 and will run to Jan 3 next year, provides an opportunity for photography buffs to enjoy the works of more than 250 artists from around the world.

The festival involves more than 40 sub-exhibitions, including four solo shows of Audrey Tautou and Mathieu Pernot from France, Joel Meyerowitz from the United States and Wang Wusheng from China.

This year is the 48th anniversary of the photography gala. Since 2015, when the Jimei Arles photography fest was first held, it has attracted more than 100,000 fans to take in 100 exhibitions.

The local authorities said that the photography festival helps Jimei district to promote international cultural exchanges and to create an excellent business environment.

They said the two earlier sessions of Jimei Arles International Photography Festival were of great significance for the district to demonstrate its cultural appeal and upgrade its urban cultural tastes.

The festival has also boosted the integration and development of Eastern and Western cultures, and enabled people at home and abroad to have a deeper knowledge of Jimei district.  

The district's ethos, consisting of "one spirit and three cultures", is playing a more important role in boosting its development as a major industrial district, a cultural and educational hub, and a new town in Xiamen.

The one spirit refers to the spirit of renowned overseas Chinese businessman and philanthropist Tan Kah Kee (1874-1961), also known as Chen Jiageng, who was born in Jimei district.

The "three cultures" refer to the cultures of overseas Chinese, southern Fujian and village schools.

At the opening ceremony of this year's event, Feng Li, a photographer from Chengdu, Sichuan province, was announced the winner of the Arles Discovery Award. Feng will hold his personal show at the next year's Arles International Photography Festival.

This year's festival has a Madame Figaro award for female photographers to highlight the achievement of Chinese women in the industry. Guo Yingguang was announced as the winner.

A raft of diverse activities are being held during the photography gala, including a photography book fair, image seminar, art performances and "Arles' carnival night".

Local show planners will organize several photography and art exhibitions to showcase the urban and cultural elements of Jimei and Xiamen.

The two major display venues of the 2017 Jimei Arles International Photography Festival are the Jimei New Town Public Square Exhibition Hall and the Three Shadows Photography Art Center in the district. It also has another 10 facilities in other areas of Xiamen.

The event this year is co-organized by the Beijing Three Shadows Film and Television Culture Communication Co and Xiamen Tianxia Jimei Media Co, under the guidance of the Xiamen Federation of Literary and Art Circles and Jimei Federation of Literary and Art Circles.

Three banks sponsored the photography gala. They are Xiamen Bank, Xiamen Rural Commercial Bank and the Xiamen Branch of Industrial Bank.

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