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'Olympics of photography' opens in Shandong

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-08-09

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More than 300 photographers from 42 different countries and regions gathered in Jinan, capital of East China's Shandong province on Aug 8 for the opening ceremony of the 5th FIAP Photo Meeting.

Often nicknamed the "Olympics of photography", the FIAP Photo Meeting is one of the flagship events in world photography, hosted by the FIAP (International Federation of Photographic Art), a global photography body.

This year is the first time the world-renowned event has been hosted in China.

'Olympics of photography' opens in Shandong

More than 300 photographers and thousands of guests participate in the opening ceremony of the 5th FIAP Photo Meeting on Aug 8. The meeting will last for a week. [Photo/ dzwww.com]

The 2017 edition of the meeting is supported by UNESCO China, and jointly hosted by the FIAP, Shandong Tourism Development Committee, Shandong Provincial Department of Culture, and the Shandong International Culture Exchange Center.

"This is the first-ever FIAP Photo Meeting in China, and Shandong is very honored to be the venue," said Ji Xiangqi, vice governor of Shandong province, at the opening ceremony.

The week-long meeting will feature a packed program of events, including international conferences, photography exhibitions and academic exchanges.

Shandong will also take advantage of the meeting to promote its tourism industry. Special tours combining sightseeing, cultural experiences and photography activities will be organized in eight cities across the province, including Qingdao, Zibo, Tai'an, Weifang and Zaozhuang.

Shandong Art Museum has launched several high-profile photography exhibitions to run alongside the event, including the unmissable Photo & Video Exhibition of People, Landscapes and World Heritage Sites on the "Belt and Road", Image Art Exhibition of China's Intangible Cultural Heritage and Group Exhibition of Global Outstanding Photographers' Classic Works.

'Olympics of photography' opens in Shandong

The president of the FIAP, Riccardo Busi delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the 5th FIAP Photo Meeting in Jinan, East China's Shandong province on Aug 8, 2017. [Photo/ dzwww.com]

The president of the FIAP, Riccardo Busi appeared hugely impressed by the preparations made by the organizers in Shandong, saying that the 2017 meeting had a scale and status that was "unprecedented" in the world of photography.

According to Ji, Shandong was a natural choice to host the first Chinese FIAP Photo Meeting due to the province's unique heritage as a center for photography in China.

"It is universally recognized that the pinhole imaging principle was discovered by Mozi, a Chinese philosopher born in Lu State - today's Shandong province - during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC)," said the vice governor.

"So this event will help commemorate the ancient philosopher and highlight modern photographic art," he added.

Hosting the event in Shandong will also offer the visiting photographers a unique opportunity to capture the cradle of traditional Chinese culture, according to the president of the China Art Photography Society, Yang Yuanxing.

'Olympics of photography' opens in Shandong

Photographers pose for a photo at the opening ceremony of the 5th FIAP Photo Meeting in Jinan, East China's Shandong province on Aug 8, 2017. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Holding the meeting in the birthplace of two of China's greatest thinkers, Confucius and Mencius, is "a milestone for global photography that will exert an extensive and far-reaching influence both at home and abroad," said Yang.

The FIAP Photo Meeting has previously been held in Italy, Greece, Indonesia and Cuba and has become a vital platform for displaying regional culture and promoting international exchanges.

This year's event is being attended by 330 well-known photographers from countries including the United States, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands, Kuwait, New Zealand, South Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, Poland and Argentina.

The photographers will tour eight cities in Shandong during their trip, in a bid to capture the "essence" of the host province.

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