Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Know Your Chinese 'Shoppers

Here's the scene: you're invited to a cocktail party, and as always all anyone wants to talk about is naughty Chinese photographers who win awards and are then stripped of those awards for having Photoshopped their pictures. You have a vague memory of this, you read something about it somewhere, but there are so many that you can't quite remember....

To help you avoid this disastrous social setback, I've prepared a short guide:
Photographer: Zhang Liang
Social Issue: bird flu
Animal Photoshopped: pigeons
Won: gold award, China International Press Photo Contest, 2005
Story: Watch the birdy
Statement: "I would like to apologise to the public."

Photographer: Liu Weiqiang
Social Issue: antelope protection
Animal Photoshopped: antelopes
Won: "10 most impressive news photos of 2006"
Story: Editor quits, paper apologizes
Statement: "I spent two weeks there waiting for the antelopes and train to appear together, but they never did."

Photographer: Zhou Zhenglong
Social Issue: existence of wild South China tigers
Animal Photoshopped: tiger (allegedly)
Won: 20,000 yuan (US$2,666)
Story: Photo of 'extinct' tiger sparks controversy
Statement: "Zhou Zhenglong risked his life in taking these photos, so they are very precious."

Photographer: Ye Weitang
Social Issue: fire is bad
Animal Photoshopped: pig
Won: golden award, China International Photographic Arts Exposition, 2007
Story: Award Winner Was Faked
Statement: "...with so many other altered photographs winning awards, it would be a disaster to rescind all those awards."

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