Lu Guang (photographer)
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Life and work
Lu was born in 1961 in the city of Yongkang in the Zhejiang province of China. He grew up under Mao Zedong’s policies in the People’s Republic of China. At the age of fifteen, following Mao's death, China underwent economic change with the introduction of Western industrialization.
At age nineteen, in 1980, he encountered photography while working in a silk factory in Yongkang. In 1987, he ran his own photo studio for six years up until 1993. Later, he studied photography at the Fine Arts Academy of Tsinghua University (Beijing) from 1993 to 1995 and has since worked as a freelance photographer. During his years of study at Tsinghua University, Lu encountered Xie Hairong, another Chinese photographer whom he gained inspiration to become a photojournalist.
Lu’s work covers a wide range of consequences due to China’s rapid industrialization. A reoccurring theme is that of 'cancer villages' in certain affected provinces, the negative environmental conditions (such as water pollution) causing these cancer villages and other related health issues, and the effect of industrialization on Chinese countrysides and its people. Lu has stated that his choice of subject in his photography is done to raise awareness in both China and on a global scale.
The Shanxi province is the setting for a photograph within the series capturing severe birth defects present in the children living there, the province is also one of the most polluted areas in China. Beyond the Yellow River, he also documented pollution in the Yangtze River, the Qiantang River, leaking sewage from the industrial districts. Heavy sewage and air pollution in Anyang City of Henan province is shown negatively affecting the lives of villagers.
Lu Guang's photographies have been published in the National Geographic, The Guardian and by Greenpeace. He lives and work in Beijing. Because of his reporting on social issues, Lu has had attempts to stop his work.
- 2004: First prize, World Press Photo for a story about Henan province peasants who had been infected with HIV after selling their blood.
- 2008: Henri Nannen Prize for photojournalism from Gruner + Jahr.
- 2009: $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his project Pollution in China.
- 2010: Photography grant from National Geographic to support a project documenting pollution in China and its impact on people's lives.
- 2013: Prince Claus Award.
- 2015: third World Press Photo award for his project Development and Pollution in China.
- "Photographer Lu Guang’s", Shanghaiist. Accessed on 29 January 2014.
- Edward Wong, "Pollution Rising, Chinese Fear for Soil and Food", The New York Times, 30 December 2013, sec. World / Asia Pacific.
- "Lu Guang", "Sunday Salon". Accessed on 8 February 2014
- Dunlap, David; Estrin, James (2009-10-14). "Showcase: Infernal Landscapes". Lens blog. New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
- Hattam, Jennifer. "A Chinese Photographer's 'Infernal Landscapes'". Treehugger.com. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
- W. Eugene Smith Fund (14 October 2009). "2009 Grant Recipient from W. Eugene Smith Fund". Press release. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
Notes and references
- (in French) "Un des leurs", Greenpeace Member magazine 4/2017, Greenpeace Switzerland, pages 21-25.
- Guang, Lu. An Interview With Award-Winning Photographer Lu Guang. World Press Photo Website, 6 May 2011. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2014-02-10..
- "Lu Guang", World Press Photo (page visited on 29 December 2017).
- "2009: Lu Gang", W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund. Accessed 26 August 2017.
- "Lu Guang Portfolio", National Geographic (magazine). Accessed 15 August 2014.
- "Lu Gang: speech by ambassador Jacobi", Prince Claus Fund (page visited on 29 December 2017).
- "Development and Pollution", World Press Photo, 2015 (page visited on 29 December 2017).