I had the pleasure this past week of being on assignment in Beijing, China. Not bad for a Glasgow, Scotland based editorial photographer. But as Asia used to be “my patch”, and jumping on a plane to go to work isn’t unusual, then it was a welcome trip, and nice to be back in the region.
Whilst there I was shooting for an assignment images of the great city of Beijing, but what made the trip even more enjoyable was that along with my Document Scotland photography collective colleagues Colin McPherson and Sophie Gerrard, I was invited by the prestigious Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, in Beijing, to give a presentation on both Scottish documentary photography and to show my own work from recent series with Rangers FC.
It wasn’t a huge audience, as the talk had to take place mid week and in an afternoon due to schedules, so even Beijingers have to attend work, but the talk was a lively one, with plenty of questions for Sophie about her work covering the environmental destruction during the building of Donald Trump’s golf course in Menie, Scotland, and for me there were a few questions from football loving fans in the audience.
We had taken some copies of our Document Scotland self-published newspapers, both issues 1 and 2, and they were eagerly snapped up by the audience, which was a relief as their enthusiasm made our luggage lighter…
It’s always pleasurable to show one’s work to an engaged audience, especially when that audience is not the usual one, so this opportunity given to us by Three Shadows centre was really much appreciated. It’s a beautiful gallery and art centre, I’ll attach a few photos of it below to give you some idea, if you’re in Beijing it’s worth the trip to Cao Chang district to go visit it.
After our talk there was plenty of time for sitting around chatting with friends new and old, in the beautiful courtyard gardens of the art centre, which was designed by Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei, as well as time used to peruse the extensive library of photobooks the centre owns, and which now, nicely, holds a copy of my Roma Portraits book. All in all a great afternoon, and a superb way to finish what had been a fascinating but hectic and tiring assignment week in Beijing.