Sichuan: Recovering from Wenchuan

This largely web-focused project tells the story in a remarkable and evocative collection of photographs of the recovery of this famous Chinese province from the devastating earthquake of 2008.

China Photos, as part of the Sino Creative Practice, were guests of the Ministry of Culture Office of the People’s Government of Sichuan. We joined an international team of photographers invited to record the regeneration of the region.

It was thanks to the support and encouragement of the Cultural Office staff that we were able to witness at first hand the successful programme of rebuilding the afflicted areas of Sichuan province.

We visited the town of Wenchuan County on the third anniversary of the earthquake and took part in the memorial services to mark the terrible events. The county was at the epicenter of the earthquake and was the most severely damaged area with nearly 16,000 lives lost, and some 7,500 missing.

During this journey around Sichuan we also photographed the many different ethnic groups who live there including Han, Yi, Tibetan and Qiang; and observed their fascinating and rich culture.

Many of these photographs are part of an exhibition curated and presented by China’s cultural authorities from Sichuan. They are also featured in a special commemorative photo-book published by the Sichuan Provincial Government.

Chinese government’s cultural officials launched the exhibition in Beijing in May 2012, at the National Museum in Tiananmen Square.
The exhibition is touring internationally throughout 2012.

Our vice president and publishing director Guy Woodland – who is also our chief photographer - attended the launch ceremony where a number of his photographs were on display – see gallery. Guy was introduced to China’s Minister of Culture, Mr Cai Wu by the Vice Governor of Sichuan Province, Madam Huang Yanrong.
He also met other senior officials of the Chinese government, and leaders from the Cultural Office in Beijing.