The Discovery Award at the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival was announced on Sunday after much animated discussion between judges. Chinese artist Lei Lei won the award worth 200,000 yuan ($28,751) with his photographic work Weekend.
The artist said his work was derived from the archives collected by his father. He added that, as a director specializing in animations and videos, he was a little surprised when the award was conferred on him.
In this era of the internet, everyone has a cellphone and social media accounts. The power of photography has been delegated to common people, Lei said.
Everyone can become an image worker. Everyone can talk about photography and process images, he added.
"I don't want my audience to discuss about the theme of the work too much, or about my memories or my story. Instead, the audience can fill the spaces with their own unique memories and emotions when looking at the images," Lei added.
Lei said he believes that what is more important to an artist is that he or she should work together with the audience - giving the audience the right to decide what the work is trying to convey.
Lei was born in 1985 in Jiangxi province. He is now a teacher at the California Institute of the Art in Los Angeles. The award-winning works will also be displayed at next year's Arles photo festival in France.
Jean-Maurice Ripert, France's ambassador to China, said the photo festival not only showcases the excellence of contemporary Chinese photography, but also brings worldwide high-level photo works to China.
The event will be held in three pavilions in Xiamen.
"I hope the festival can be held in more places in the city in the future," Ripert said.
(China Daily 11/30/2018 page10)
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