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A photographer and his China Story

Updated: 2011-03-22 08:53
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A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>



China Story  Photographer 
A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>

"I want people to know that I see a beautiful China with an important future."

In the searching eyes of Zhao Hui, there is nothing ordinary in the ordinary.

In fact, the ordinary has become his specialty as the renowned photographer has devoted himself to snapping the smiling and beautiful faces of everyday Chinese. 

Like many of his generation, Zhao remembers hardship and poverty. He grew up in a household in Jiangsu province that never spoke of cameras, not to mention satisfying his desires and dreams of photography.

After graduating from Nanjing Normal University in 1985, Zhao worked as a physics teacher for two years.

But his life changed course when he moved to New York with $60 in his pocket in 1987. On his second day in the United States, Zhao fed himself by delivering Chinese food on a bicycle.

A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>

But he insisted on studying photography and became a student at the photography department of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

After graduation, Zhao decided to stay in the US and through persistent phone calls badgered US photographer Peter Levy into a five-minute interview in 1988.

Though skeptical, Levy started Zhao on fixing cameras and lights and later on photography. Zhao spent four years with Levy as his first assistant and studio manager.

He immersed himself in the experience, and in photographing people, fashion, lifestyle and scenery.

Despite big names on his client list such as Sony, Pepsi and Kodak, he realized his focus should not be on fashion and commercial photography.

In search of his roots, Zhao returned to China in 1994. Born out of a desire to show the beautiful side of his homeland and to see photos of his countrymen smiling, Zhao accepted the government's invitation to launch the China Story project in 1997 and set out to capture his country on film.  [Full story]

A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>China Story is an absorbing photographic celebration of China, and yet it’s more than that. It is an artist’s attempt to tell the rich and fascinating story of a complex, much misunderstood country.

The evolution of the China Story project has been a long and interesting one. Born in China, project founder Steve Zhao moved to New York in 1987, where he worked as a successful commercial photographer.

In 1996, he began a series of periodic returns to his homeland with a specific objective in mind – to communicate his story, more important, that of China, both to his country of birth and to the outside world.

The time Zhao spent in New York opened his eyes not only to the way that China is perceived in the West, but also to how China often sees itself. Bearing this in mind, he set out to abandon the negative factors that divide and are ultimately self-defeating, and to document the positive side of China - its people, its history and its potential - to look to the future with optimism and hope.

China Story is a work in progress that was originally launched in 1996 under the sponsorship of Kodak and Nikon. The exhibit itself is a collection of over 100 pictures that breathe new life into centuries of old traditions such as Chinese Opera and kungfu. It also presents a series of remarkable portraits of Chinese people that capture their spirit. The photographs are a combination of extremely high technical ability and aesthetic intensity rarely seen before.

A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>

Arts and culture

A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>
A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>
Click here for more photos from China Story    

About Steve Zhao  News

Head Photographer for China National Tourism Administration, building national tourism photo bank.

Work experience:
A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>1985-1987 Physics Teacher, Jiangsu, China.
A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>1988-1992 First Assistant and Studio Manager for Peter Levy Studio, New York.
A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>1992-1993 Consulted with Minolta US on color and exposure meter products.
A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>1993-1995 Freelance photographer, New York .
A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>1996-1999 Lecturer for Nikon (HK), Agfa (HK), Kodak (China).
A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>2000-2003 Working with China Culture Ministry on Steve Zhao's China Story Global Photo Exhibition.  

A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>B.S. degree in Physics Nanjing Normal University
1985 Photograph Dept. A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>Fashion Institute of Technology New York.1988

Click here to read more about Steve Zhao


Photo exhibit tells "China Story" in Brussels

A two-week China-themed photo exhibit opened on Feb 24, 2011 at the Euoprean Commission headquarters, with European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso and visiting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin being the first viewers.

The exhibition, dubbed the "China Story," features a collection of 64 photos by Chinese photographer Zhao Hui, who is also known as Steve Zhao.

"These photos are alive, moving, and extremely human," said James Moran, director of Asia of the EEAS at the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>


A photographer and his <EM>China Story</EM>