Chen Li Photographs on Exhibit in Mason Hall Alumni Atrium

Posted: October 29, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Photographer Chen Li will have an exhibition of photographs called “The Lives and Faiths of Chinese Minorities” on display in the Mason Hall Alumni Atrium beginning today through Nov. 16.

An opening reception with the artist will be held on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the atrium. All are welcome.

The exhibit is sponsored by Mason’s Center for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (CAPEC); the Association for Christian Conferences Teaching and Services; and Phi Beta Delta Honor Society.

According to Cheryl Choy, associate director of CAPEC, “Our goal is to give the Mason community an opportunity to understand more about Chinese minorities in mainland China since most are only familiar with the majority Han Chinese.”

Chen Li was born in the province of Yunnan, China, where 25 out of 55 Chinese minority groups live. Her mother belongs to the Yi minority and her father is Han Chinese. Although Chen Li grew up in the city, her interest in Chinese minority groups remained strong, not only because of her heritage but also because of the cultural influence of Yunnan province.

Each minority has its own history, language, culture and religion. Deeply touched by how these peoples lead their lives, Chen Li is eager to use photography to tell others about these minorities. With the encouragement of her husband, a professor who teaches the history of photography, Chen Li works hard to capture candid images that provide a true glimpse into the lives and faith of these Chinese minorities. Chen Li, who formerly taught in an elementary school, now works for a nongovernmental organization to promote education in minority villages in Yunnan.

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