Lianzhou International Photo Festival & EMGdotART Foundation

Section 1 – Introduction


Lianzhou International Photo Festival was founded in the year of 2005. It is a large-scale international photography festival approved by the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China, and was identified as one of the key cultural projects in the 11th and 12th five-year planning of the province of Guangdong. The annual exhibition mainly focuses on contemporary photography comprised of various forms including contemporary art, video, installation and other creative media, in an ongoing attempt to foster interdisciplinary interaction between photography and other academic subjects.

A large number of internationally acclaimed photographers, artists and scholars come together at the city of Lianzhou each year to participate in numerous exhibitions and seminars, as well as award selections, slide shows, portfolio reviews, press conferences, discussion forums, art fairs and other activities. The festival has also partnered with the Ministry of Culture of France and many other international art institutions in the past, with the aim to develop a genuine international photography festival with high professional quality and solid academic standards.


Today, the annual festival has become one of the most important art events in the Chinese art and photography community, with its unique and commendable professional standard serving as a benchmark for Chinese contemporary photography. Building upon this foundation, the establishment of the Lianzhou Photography Museum was commenced three years ago, and it will finally be opening its doors at the end of 2017.


Throughout the past twelve years, Lianzhou International Photo Festival has introduced a large number of world-renowned photography artists and their representative works to a wide range of audiences in China. In addition, the festival has also provided valuable opportunities for local Chinese photographers to exhibit their works on a global platform, which has benefited them tremendously under this cross-cultural exchange process. With the concept of cultural sharing in mind, the annual festival will continue to promote and encourage exchanges of ideas and works between artists and curators at home and their foreign counterparts, in order to further the positive interaction between Chinese contemporary art and the rest of the world.  We are aware that this is a common goal between the festival and the EMGdotART Foundation to create an international platform of art and cultural communication that serves as an exchange medium between Chinese and Western art, architecture, design and culture, and to promote the development of cultural and creative industries through the sharing of global cultural resources.


Section 2 – Details of Partnership with EMGdotART Foundation


1) About the Punctum Photography Award


The Punctum Photography Award is the annual grand prize awarded at the Lianzhou International Photo Festival each year. It’s one of the major awards of Chinese contemporary photography that is set up to recognize, promote and reward up-and-coming artists of outstanding potentials with a thorough consideration of the depth of the content and the creative use of the photographic language in their works. The receiver of the Punctum award would receive a cash price of 50,000 CNY to finance their future creative projects. The jury of the Punctum award typically consists of five to seven Chinese and foreign experts, curators, creative directors of art organizations and critics. A total of five nominees are selected from all participating artists of the annual festival and two of them are to be voted as the final winners, with one receiving the grand prize and the other one given the Jury Special Prize.


2) Establishment of the EMG Foundation Award


With Mostra di Architettura di Venezia  and the Venice Biennale as its support, the EMGdotART Foundation has strongly advocated the promotion and distribution of Chinese cultural art on the global stage, as part of a close connection and exchange between Chinese and western contemporary art. The establishment of a new EMG Foundation Award would help to serve as a confirmation of the significance and achievement of the award winners and to promote their works to wider audiences, so that both domestic and foreign audiences would gain a better understanding and appreciation of Chinese contemporary photography. The EMG Foundation award, together with the current Punctum award and the Jury Special Prize, will provide an excellent opportunity to further the dialogue between Chinese and international contemporary art, as well as raising the awareness and recognition of the medium on the international level.


The EMG Foundation Award shall consist of a cash prize of 50,000 CNY provided by the EMGdotART Foundation, to be given to the winner selected from all participating artists of the festival.


3) List of Awards

  • Punctum Award x 1, cash prize of 50,000 CNY
  • Special Jury Prize x 1, no cash prize awarded
  • EMG Foundation Award x 1, no cash prize awarded


Section 3 – Partnering Projects and Division of Responsibilities


I. Activities During the Festival


1) The official opening ceremony is one of the most important activities at Lianzhou International Photo Festival each year. With professional planning and execution, photos of the curatorial team and selected works of all participating artists are displayed and introduced on a giant 28 meters long LED screen up on the stage. Under professional lighting and sound set-ups, Chinese and foreign media along with experts and scholars in culture, photography and art join together to lift the curtain for another new edition of the festival. At the ceremony, the chairman of the EMGdotART Foundation along with the director of the EMG Art Gallery in Guangzhou will be invited to walk up the stage and announce the establishment of the "EMG Foundation Award".


Official Opening Ceremony

Time (Tentative): 20:00-21:30, December 2, 2017

Location: Lianzhou Cultural Square


2) A professional PR team will be invited to assist in the design and implementation of the award ceremony. With the use of additional sound and lighting effects, the award ceremony and the three slide shows scheduled at the location will be carried out in the most striking and professional fashion possible. A musical concert will also be arranged following the award ceremony. A detailed introduction of the EMGdotART Foundation will be made at the ceremony, while the chairman of the EMGdotART Foundation along with the director of the EMG Art Gallery in Guangzhou will be invited to present the EMG Foundation Award as well as to give a speech about the foundation.


Award Ceremony

Time (Tentative): 20:00-23:00, December 4, 2017

Location: Lianzhou Photography Museum


II. Exhibition of Winning Works at Venice


The winning works of the Punctum Photography Award, the Special Jury Prize and the EMG Foundation Award will be exhibited at the EMGdotART space in Venice, as part of a special exhibition curated by Duan Yuting, Director of Lianzhou International Photo Festival and Co-Director of the Lianzhou Photography Museum, and François Cheval, ex-Director of the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon and Co-Director of the Lianzhou Photography Museum.


1) Special Exhibition of Winning Works of Lianzhou International Photo Festival

Time: TBD


2) Content of Exhibition

Winning works of the Punctum Photography Award

Winning works of the EMG Foundation Award

Winning works of the Special Jury Prize


Section 4 – Media and Distributions


Section 5 – Publication of “The Yearbook of Chinese Contemporary Photography” (Tentative Title)


I. About the Publication


Tentative Title: “The Yearbook of Chinese Contemporary Photography”


Edited by Duan Yuting. The content includes winning works of the Punctum Photography Award, the EMG Foundation Award and the Special Jury Prize. A number of Chinese and international photography critics will be invited to submit articles about the works.


II. Purpose of Publication


1) In recent years, there has been a great demand from the international community for photography publications that present a direct view of the country. The market prospect of photo books with Chinese content is extremely favorable. In addition, photo books presented at major international photo festivals, art festivals and art museums around the country have been received with great popularity. As we have one of the best creative publishing teams in the country, this is the perfect time to re-design a refreshing look for the Chinese photo book market.


2) Lianzhou International Photo Festival has always had high regards for photography related academic research and publications. “The Yearbook of Chinese Contemporary Photography” will center around the three awards presented at the annual festival with strong emphasis on the best highlights of Chinese contemporary photography and literature of the given year. At the same time, the new annual publication may serve as an addition to the research information system of contemporary photography at the EMGdotART Foundation, while providing the audiences and researchers a written record of the efforts from both sides on the establishment of the EMG Foundation Award.


III. Professional Design Studio: another design


IV. Publisher TBD

Marco Polo Award’s Rules Discussion Paper

School of Architecture, Southeast University


The International Cooperation on Education and Research Framework Agreement between Southeast University and IUAV will contain the article regarding the establishment of the Marco Polo Award. As already discussed by the parties at the previous stage, the details of the award plan are as follows, please confirm it again:

  1. The nature of the award:

    Fondazione EMGdotART will financially support the Marco Polo award; it will a special scholarship program for talent development and academic exchange between Southeast University and IUAV in the architecture field.

  2. Awards purpose:

    2.1 Promote the cultural exchange in the architecture filed between China and Italy and the talent development of both universities.

    2.2 Encourage the mutual support on the comparative studies in the fields of: (1) construction technology; (2) landscaping; (3) public space; (4) technology products.

    2.3 Promote the creation of an international cooperation mechanism between the two universities and the innovation of the "One belt one road" cultural cooperation mechanism.

  3. Awards content:

    3.1 The award will focus on the biannual International Architecture Exhibition of Venice, comparing the theme in the architectural culture of the two countries and will be related to the Collateral Event of the Biennale held at Fondazione EMGdotART.

    3.2 During the Venice International Architecture Biennale period there will be two outstanding young scholars or outstanding doctoral students (from second level doctorate) from the School of Architecture, Southeast University, and 15-20 outstanding graduate students (second level master) that will visit Venice to study, exchange and research. The contents of the study will be discussed by the Southeast University and IUAV.

    3.3 Support the participation of teachers and students of IUAV.

    3.4 Support the exhibition and academic publications of the participants' research results.

  4. Award implementation:

    4.1 The awards will be implemented on a biennial basis.

    4.2 Each cycle will begin in the month of November antecedent the Venetian International Architecture Biennale. First of all should be determined the Marco Polo Award cooperation project for the following two years; secondary, the first cycle of the Southeast University’s scholars and students that will go to Italy for the exchange with IUAV’s teachers and students. The second cycle will regard the publication of the relevant research results and the preparation of the second cycle of scholar and student exchange.

    4.3 The study research of the Southeast University’s young scholars or doctoral students at the the Venice International Architecture Biennale will last one year, from November to November. The content will include academic research on the theme of the exhibition, but also on the planning and preparation of the Collateral Event; a panel of supervisors from the Southeast University and IUAV will review the study report. Outstanding achievements will be financed by the Grand Tour in the context of Italian culture on its research subject; the results of the study will have the opportunity to show in the Collateral Event of the Venice International Architecture Biennale. The young scholars or doctoral students will be part of IUAV’s exchanging students. "Marco Polo Award" will provide the young scholars or doctoral students a return international flight ticket, accommodation in Venice, IUAV university fees, and the study costs of the research period.

    4.4 Southeast University graduate students will spend 3 months semester of visiting study during the spring semester, they will be studying at IUAV, including lectures, tests, workshops, and practical practice in an Italian architect firm; their study period will also include preparations of the Collateral Event organized by Fondazione EMGdotART. After the end of this period, they will have to submit a study report (Chinese and English bilingual). Practical practice in an Italian architect firm can be recognized as a learning experience in the "professional practice (business practice)" program of the Southeast University Graduate Program and get 3 credits. Southeast University graduate students during the visit will be equally treated as regular IUAV students. "Marco Polo Award" will finance the tuition for postgraduate studies at IUAV, Fondazione EMGdotART will help arrange accommodation for students during their stay in Venice.

    4.5 IUAV will offer the relevant teacher and student exchange terms.

  5. Awards management:

    Southeast University, IUAV and Fondazione EMGdotART each will designate a professor and member of the staff as person in charge of the Marco Polo Award program. Southeast University, will appoint as person in charge the Deputy Dean of the School of Architecture: Professor Zhang Tong. Please IUAV and Fondazione EMGdotART nominate the respective persons in charge.

  6. Awards advance:

    After the International Cooperation on Education and Research Framework Agreement between Southeast University and IUAV will be drafted, and the "Marco Polo Award" rules will gradually reach a consensus, Southeast University will invite Prof. Alberto Ferlenga, Prof. Marino Folin and Mr. Victor Li to the 90th anniversary of the School of Architecture of Southeast University in late November 2017, to sign the agreement, and start the "Marco Polo Award" funding program.