Happenings: Pingyao International Photography Festival

This week, Conveyor Editors Sylvia Hardy, Maria Sprowls and Alison Chen landed in Beijing. They caught a connecting flight to Taiyuan and drove to the ancient city of Pingyao for the Pingyao International Photography Festival. 

Since arriving last week, we have made our way around the ancient city mostly by bicycle. On Tuesday, September 21, 2011 we celebrated the opening of the Pingyao festival. The week started rainy and gray, but, on the morning of the festival, blue skies broke open and filled with fireworks, confetti and hang gliders. The festival’s exhibiting photographers paraded down a red carpet towards the city gate as Mongolian music, drums rolls and voices in song illuminated their procession. Most of us had never experienced such an exuberant celebration in the name of photography. The festival exhibits over 20,000 photographic works in the same town. They bridge art with fashion, bring together emerging and well-known artists, and build a space where East meets West.

To further define the festival, we asked some of the artists participating in the exhibitions to share their thoughts on the city of Pingyao and it’s International Photography festival. Below are some of their images and thoughts: 

“The festival is a celebration of art. Our prints were crafted, printed and framed in a building on site, all funded by the Shanxi province.”

“It is an amazing production, as we witness frames being constructed and walls being built at amazing speeds  — exhibitions are constructed out of air.”

A beautiful example of the human spirit.”

Stay tuned for more from the Pingyao International Photography festival!

Project Series: Maria Sprowls

In the series Found Women, artist Maria Sprowls traces the ethereal social bonds that women maintain.  Combining found photographs circa the early 20th century with feminine hued stitching, a second portrait emerges; one in which the fading image remains vibrant.

The distance or absence of a human body may make the space between each one of us appear devoid of content or physicality; however, Maria sees this space as a dwelling for memories of the past and the desire for the present. In this world, the sensitive and strong emotions of companionship and bonding become a delicate archipelago.