28 January 2014
Exhibition offers insight into county’s Chinese community
A photography exhibition charting the lives of ethnically Chinese people living in Lancashire has opened at the Museum of Lancashire in Preston.
Organised by the UCLan Confucius Institute in partnership with Lancashire Cultural Services, Chinese Lives in Lancashire brings together work from a year-long project that invited people of Chinese heritage who live in the county to have their portrait taken for an exhibition.
The aim of the project is to celebrate the Chinese dimension of Lancashire’s diverse community and over 150 people volunteered to take part.
Speaking at the exhibition launch Feixia Yu, Director of the UCLan Confucius institute, commented: “This project has really captured the imagination of the Chinese community in Lancashire.
“It attracted a large number of participants from British born Chinese to ethnically Chinese people from mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and other regions. They all come from a broad socio-demographic background from across the county; some of them are new arrivals in Lancashire while others have lived here for over 60 years.”
“Lancashire attracts a large number of Chinese visitors, many of whom come to study here, and it’s been fascinating to have an insight into the lives of so many people.”
Kim J Vermeulen, a UCLan MA Photography graduate who has worked professionally for 10 years, shot some of the portraits. She said: “It was an honour to work on the project and learn more about the Chinese people living in our community.
“Portraits offer a privileged glance into the lives of the sitters and I hope the people who visit the exhibition get as much from viewing the photographs as I did taking them.”
Chairman of Lancashire County Council Councillor Michael Devaney also spoke at the exhibition launch. He commented: “Lancashire attracts a large number of Chinese visitors, many of whom come to study here, and it’s been fascinating to have an insight into the lives of so many people. This exhibition is an excellent way to illustrate Chinese contribution to our society.”
The UCLan Confucius Institute project is partially funded by Arts Council England with the support of Lancashire Cultural Services. The exhibition will tour the county until the end of November and some of the participants will appear in a book with additional images taken of them in their work places. All three photographers; Kim J Vermeulen, Nicola Brophy and Ray Lee are UCLan alumni.
The exhibition at the Museum of Lancashire runs until the 27 April.