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Award puts photographer's career into focus

By FANG AIQING and SUN RUISHENG | China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-10 08:51

A photo Zhuang Ling took of his mother, wife and daughter in 1971. The 8-year-old girl in the picture is now in her 50s and a mother herself. The photo was shown at Zhuang's recent solo exhibition. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In 1979, he photographed his dying father lying in a hospital bed attached to an intravenous drip.

From Zhuang Ling's perspective, the exhibition was a presentation of his view toward family bonds and the moral ethics taught by his father and, most importantly, it embodied traditional Chinese culture through personal photography.

"My father had wide social connections. He was a close friend of the artists Tai Jingnong and Zhang Daqian. Renowned photographer Lang Jingshan was a frequent visitor to our home. They had a profound effect on me and laid a very good humanistic foundation for my future photographic career."

Zhuang Ling's lens captured them all.

Photography buff Zhang Di says, Zhuang not only recorded the late masters' images and temperament, but left a rare archive for future generations.

One of the exhibits, comprising nine separate photos, named Looking at the Mountains, expressed Zhuang's current state of mind and view toward life.

Zhuang came to Pingyao for the first time in 2000 and returned in 2001, when he was invited to attend the first Pingyao International Photography Festival.

Zhuang along with his wife, Chen Xiasheng, who has been researching and promoting Chinese knots, also donated a portrait of Zhuang's mother, Chen and their daughter-three generations of women-that Zhuang took in the 1970s.

The couple's home is located on a mountain in suburban Taipei, where they can see the distant glittering downtown and a cascade of green hills from the balcony, says Na, who visited them in August to discuss the exhibition.

"At that time, it seemed like I was looking at a picture of two octogenarians sitting on this balcony, reading and looking at the mountains. They are witnessing the changing scenery in the distance and also, from time to time, looking back at the historical moments they've been through," he says.

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