Mr. YANG Shaoming in my eyes – Mr. Yang’s photographic talk in Cambridge

On a mid-autumn Sunday, I finally met Mr. Yang. Although he is such a prestigious guest with legendary life experiences, it surprised me that Mr. Yang talked to us in such a humble and humorous manner, which immediately drove our tension away.

Mr. Yang first visited the Mathematics Department, a world-class centre put together by the world-renowned physicist Prof. Stephen Hawking. Then he inspected the auditorium of the Department carefully where he was to give a speech – he would like to make sure that his first photographic talk in Cambridge went smoothly. At 2.00 pm, Yangshaoming walked into the auditorium again to give a talk titled ‘Traditions and Innovation Through 60 Years’. During the talk, Mr. Yang shared his personal career experience with the Cambridge students. His photo artworks, together with his vivid explanations, represented his great commitment to his career and huge joy towards the rapid development of China’s economy and culture. During the talk, Mr. Yang’s speech was interrupted by loud applause many times.

Mr. Yang Shaoming is one of China’s most distinguished and well known photographers. During his career Mr. Yang has witnessed and photographed many of the momentous events in the past 60 years of China. Mr. Yang has photographed all of China’s Presidents since the founding of the P.R.C. in 1949. He was also the personal photographer of Deng Xiaoping for 12 years. This was also the period when Deng Xiaoping was the most influential leader in China laying the foundation for the “Opening-up Policy”. This policy has transformed China through the past 30 years with the economy increasing at an average annual rate of 10%. Mr. Yang Shaoming is the vice president of Chinese Photography Academic Society, and was awarded honorary fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 2006.

During Mr. Yang’s speech, his smiling face, vivid words and artistic style has impressed the enthusiastic audience. This success of the talk also owed credit to Mr SA Wen’s English interpretation – a well-known News presenter from the Phoenix TV station in Hongkong.

After the talk, Mr. Yang presented his photo albums and DVDs as gifts to Cambridge students. He also wrote an inscription for our CEEDS Society “The Future Belongs to You” as his best wish to our Cambridge students. After the talk, accompanied by some students, Mr. Yang took part in the most traditional Cambridge activity – Punting. This resembled the experience of the Chinese poet Xu Zhimo, who wrote the famous piece titled ‘Farewell again to Cambridge’. Seeing the blue waves in the River Cam and historical buildings alongside, Mr. Yang seemed to be rather impressed by this trip in Cambridge.

Jun Kong

September 28, 2009



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