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. His vision is an intensely personal one, and one that is deeply patriotic. At the same time, it is a vision that looks outward, to further global understanding.
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.