In October 2006, FotoFest International partnered with Hewlett Packard China and a team of Chinese photographers and businessmen to sponsor an event bringing together 278 contemporary Chinese photographers and 35 influential professionals from the professional and art photography world in Europe, North America, China and Australia – Meeting Place FotoFest Beijing 2006 (MPFB2006).
MBFB2006 was an unprecedented event in China. It was designed to open up new opportunities for contemporary Chinese photography in North America, Europe and Australia. It was the first time a large number of contemporary photographers in China were able to show their work to such a broad-based group of important international curators, commercial gallery owners, photography festival directors, editors, representatives of photo agencies, educators, and director/curators of artist spaces.
The Chinese organizers were GAO Lei, photographer and founder of Q-Image, Beijing; Jimmy Chu, founder of Phoppies.com, Hong Kong; and Rebecca Li, Senior Marketing Communication Specialist from the Imaging & Printing Group, China Hewlett Packard. Additional support was provided by the Chinese Photography Magazine.
MPFB was modeled on FotoFest’s well-known portfolio program, the biennial international Meeting Place in Houston, Texas. After the July 2006 national press conference announced MPFB2006 in China, a website was set up in Beijing to promote the event and web-blogs throughout China talked about it. An international pre-screening process took place because over 1,000 Chinese photographers applied to register for the Beijing event – more than three times what the MPFB2006 was originally set up to handle.
Photographers came to Beijing from all over China. Some were long-time professionals and others were recent graduates of Chinese art and film schools. For four days, the international reviewers met with Chinese photographers on a one-to-one basis, looked at their work and shared professional knowledge. The range of photography presented was remarkably broad, from classical black and white documentary to conceptual color works.
This website gallery is an extension of the MPFB event in Beijing -- a collaboration with photo-eye in Santa Fe to bring some of these works and the photographers to an even larger international audience. The 36 photographers shown in this gallery were selected by the international reviewers as being some of the most interesting artist/photographers they encountered at the Meeting Place Beijing.
The web gallery has been set up by photo-eye working in partnership with FotoFest and Chinese organizers GAO Lei and Jimmy Chu.