Lu Guang in Amsterdam

This evening I was lucky enough to see a well-known Chinese photographer speak: Lu Guang, who is a former World Press Photo winner, and one of this year’s Prince Claus Fund’s laureates.

Lu Guang’s photography shows the environmental devastation which comes as the result of China’s rapid economic development. Confronting, dramatic, shocking – and yet, sometimes also strangely beautiful. It was an impressive evening, listening to him talk about his work, the reasons for doing this – while at the same time seeing some of his work slide past.

It’s not my pictures that are shocking. Reality is shocking.

With his photography Lu Guang is giving a voice to the people who are suffering most from the negative effects of this economic growth in China. Hopefully, his work will find a much larger audience still and he will continue to have an impact and change something.

You can listen to an interview with Lu Guang here, which showcases his work on coal mining in Inner Mongolia.

The series of photographs that won Lu Guang a World Press Photo award in 2003 on China’s AIDS villages can be viewed here.

[Update: the evening’s moderator Ardi Bouwers has also published a post on her blog, which includes some pictures. And on Facebook, the Prince Claus Fund has some pictures online.

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