Cities along the Silk Road are enormous treasure troves of history, culture, architecture and the arts. A photography competition held by the imaging and optical producer Canon Inc invited photographers to focus their lenses on these Silk Road jewels, offering a glimpse into the glamour of the past and the vibrancy of the present.
The project Discovering the Beauty of Silk Road (发现丝路之美 fā xiàn sī lù zhī měi ) has received about 8,000 photo submissions from the public since its launch in August. The photos capture traditional shadow plays, glazed pottery of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), Buddha sculptures, and ancient relics from the wealth of royal families, as well as the everyday lives of ordinary people.
A folk troupe of Huayin shadow play performs in front of an ancient palace. The traditional shadow play is popular among the old. It's a very old folk art popular in Shaanxi province. [Photo: China Daily]
Silk Road 丝绸之路 sī chóu zhī lù
It is one of the world's oldest and most historically important trade routes and it has greatly influenced the culture of China, Central Asia and the West. As its name suggests silk was the most prized good transported from China to the continents of Europe and Africa. The prosperous trade along the Silk Road lasted for more than 2,000 years.
On June 22, 2014, UNESCO designated a 5,000 km stretch of the Silk Road network from Central China to the Zhetsyu Region of Central Asia as a new World Heritage Site called "Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor." The corridor spans China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and includes 33 new sites and several previously designated heritage sites. Important sites in Gansu Province include Maijishan Grottoes, Bingling Temple Grottoes, Suoyang City, Yumen Pass and Xuanquanzhi.
More about the Event
The first year for the project has focused on the two ancient capitals Chang'an (now Xi'an) of the Western Han Dynasty (206BC－AD24) and Luoyang of the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD25-220). Both of which were the starting cities for the Silk Road during their dynasties.
The project continues in 2015, with photographers invited to discover the beauty in more cities along the Silk Road including those in Gansu and Qinghai provinces and the Ningxia and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions.
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