Cap­tur­ing feel­ings on film year af­ter year

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE - By TAN YINGZI in Chongqing tany­ingzi@chi­

Liao Hongni burst tears dur­ing the shoot.

“The hap­pi­est mo­ment of this year was be­com­ing a mother,” she told pho­tog­ra­pher Li Guangbo this month.

It was Liao’s sec­ond time par­tic­i­pat­ing in Li’s an­nual pho­tog­ra­phy pro­jec t, Record­ing Your Emo­tions.

The 22-year-old shut­ter­bug has snapped pic­tures of more than 2,000 peo­ple ages 3 to 70 and held two ex­hi­bi­tions since he launched the free pub­lic pro­gram in Chongqing mu­nic­i­pal­ity two years ago.

He cap­tures a range of feel­ings, from joy to rage, ex­cite­ment to melan­choly, and jeal­ousy to con­fu­sion.

“Ur­ban­ites are busy try­ing to make it in life and for­get to ex­am­ine their in­ner feel­ings,” says Li.

“So, I want to give them a chance dur­ing the last month of the year.”

Liao was 24 and about to marry when she first par­tic­i­pated.

“I skipped the 2015 shoot be­cause I was preg­nant,” she says.

“But I’ve de­cided to do this ev­ery year to record my life.”

Li has par­tic­i­pants sit on a stool in a spot­light and asks about their hap­pi­est and sad­dest de­vel­op­ments of the year, and their hopes for the com­ing year.

Some cry. Some fall si­lent. Some smile. A few crack jokes. “Many shed tears,” says Li. “Some­times I feel more like a ther­a­pist than a pho­tog­ra­pher ... It’s quite chal­leng­ing . I hear many touch­ing sto­ries but must re­main dis­pas­sion­ate to com­plete my mis­sion.”

Li de­vel­oped the idea when ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a se­ries of life changes in 2014.

The self-taught pho­tog­ra­pher had earned a rep­u­ta­tion for his com­mer­cial shoots dur­ing col­lege.

But he de­cided to pur­sue art upon grad­u­a­tion.

“I wanted to record that year in some way,” he re­calls.

“And I thought others may, too ... Peo­ple of­ten feel pan­icked and con­fused i n De­cem­ber. I wanted to cap­ture their feel­ings.”

His col­lec­tion won t he Award for Cul­ti­va­tion of New Tal­ent at the 2016 China Pingyao In­ter­na­tional Pho­tog­ra­phy Fes­ti­val in Septem­ber.

He plans to con­tinue with his project for at least five years.

He wants to pub­lish an al­bum next year.

“We feel the power of time when we view these im­ages,” he says.

We feel the power of time when we view these im­ages.”


Li Guangbo (left) records the emo­tions of or­di­nary peo­ple in his pho­tog­ra­phy project. Li Guangbo, pho­tog­ra­pher

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