The speech of Li Kun, mayor of Yichun, at the press conference

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Photo by Huo Shuai

Distinguished guests:

The 1st Yichun International Nature & Eco Photography Week will be held during July 25-31, 2016 in Yichun, Heilongjiang Province. The achievement is the result of joint efforts, particularly that from China Photographers Association and China's photographers at large. On behalf of Yichun Municipal Government, I would like to extend sincere gratitude to China Photographers Association, China Photo Press, Global Photography and photographers and friends from press for your kind attention.

At this conference, I am happy to see so many familiar faces. Famous photographers, such as Mr. Deng Wei, Mr. Zhang Tongsheng and Mr. Yu Yuntian have had photo tours in Yichun, and all of their works throw some light on how Yichun has grown and changed. I am also honored to have Wang Yao, chairman of China Photographers Association, present at this conference. These days, Zhao Yingxin, president of China Photo Press, Gao Qin, secretary-general of China Photographers Association, as well as Liu Fusheng and Zhao Wei from Global Photography have all been concentrating on and contributing to making this event possible. Sincere thanks to you all and many other names that we may miss.

The event reflects the highlighted political responsiveness of China Photographers Association, as it is an immediate and thorough implementation of President Xi's remarks as "Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets. Heilongjiang's world of ice and snow are also invaluable assets." China Photographers Association has put its focus on ecology and seized the pulse of the time.

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Photo by Tan Chunlin

Yichun has honorable titles as "Natural Oxygen Bar", "Capital of Forest", "Home of Blueberries", "Home of Dinosaurs" and "Hometown of Korean Pine". It is China's largest forest city and a national garden city, and was rated Excellent Tourist City in 2000. These years, I've been keenly aware of how important ecology is to sustainable development and human civilization. The development of society requires more attention to ecology, and the development of human beings needs pleasant eco-environment to sustain. The modern cities of cement and skyscrapers have deprived the world of birds' twitter and fragrance of flowers. Along with frequent hazes and food safety issues, all of these problems should stir the conscience of people about ecological protection. Against this backdrop, the Photography Week corresponds to the demand of sustainable development and leads the fashion of the era.

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Photo by Wang Li

With nearly 40,000 square kilos of forests and 702 rivers in different sizes, Yichun is like a Green Pearl on Xiaoxing'anling. It is our responsibility to protect these forests and develop economy in order to benefit the people. We also hope that Yichun could be the fountainhead of ecological protection, calling attention of China and even the world. So there is a great task lying ahead for photographers—to display Yichun in beautiful ways and heighten the environmental awareness.

In my view, there are four kinds of beauty in Yichun. The first would be the beauty of original ecological environment. A local phrase goes that "Take a deep breath in Yichun and you’ll feel the intoxicating scent of forests." With forest coverage reaching 84.4%, Yichun is rich in green resources and wildlife resources, including 1390 wild plant species and about 300 wild animal species. It has the world's largest virgin forest of Korean pine trees and none of its 702 rivers is contaminated. Whenever you pay a visit there, Yichun won't let you down.

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Photo by Li Weidong

The second beauty lies in its simple and natural scenery. After billions of years of geological processes, Xiaoxing'anling has formed various shapes of landforms and accumulated ancient fossils of different years. The 72 geological landscapes, including Tangwanghe Stone Forest Scenic Area, Jiayin Dinosaur Geological Park and Hongxing Volcano Geological Park, are deemed as the most beautiful and important signs of Yichun.

Photo by Wang Li

Photo by Zhang Xiangdong

The third beauty resides with its four seasons. The name of Yichun, in Chinese, means "your spring". Every year when ice and snow start to melt, icicle flowers are blooming everywhere, along with azaleas in glorious bloom and birches stretching upward. The shy buds of larch trees stimulate love out of people's hearts. Gao Qin, secretary-general of China Photographers Association, says it feels like in Japan when spring comes to Yichun, just like Jiang Dawei's song, whose lyrics say "Beyond the erecting birches, the blue sky is crystal clear, with warm breeze gently blowing from the south; While mangnolias are blooming on the hills, alas, all of those is singing: Spring has advented in the Northland". It gives an accurate portrayal of Yichun's spring. So I would argue that those who haven't come to Yichun cannot really feel the spring or the sweet feeling. Summer in Yichun is pleasant as well. With average temperature of 22 degrees centigrade, nights are cool and comfortable throughout summertime. Autumn in Yichun is colorful, and Xiaoxing'anling is at its best in autumn when tinted leaves of trees everywhere greeting the eye and bringing the similar Nordic style. Winter is the great time for the admiration of the fascinating rime ice sights, which is always the top choice of photographers. So don't miss it for your winter travels.

Photo by Tan Jingtao

Photo by Wang Li

The fourth beauty rests with its diverse cultures. In Yichun's Jiayin county found China's first dinosaur fossil. Xiaoxing'anling used to be one of the origins of Qing Dynasty. Aside from Dragon culture, there are also Jinzu culture, Red culture, entrepreneurial culture of forest workers, traditional culture of Oroqen ethnic minority and Russian culture as well. It's worth mentioning that we have developed several cultural products, such as aloes, onyx stones and Taoshan Jade which are of great collection value and quite popular among both young and old.

Photo by Yu Xuejun

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Photo by Cao Xiaoxia

Yichun is beautiful because of its vigor and vitality. Yet, no matter how beautiful we may describe it, Yichun is pale and lifeless without appreciators. Recently, through deep communication with Mr. Zhao Yingxin, Mr. Liu Fusheng and Mr. Zhao Wei, I deeply recognized that the power of cultural transmission had become an crucial support for urban development. The power of photography is amazing, and everything can turn into greatness and perfection through the hands of photographers. With the help of photography, I hope that we can better display the beauty of Yichun, as well as boost Yichun's economic development. In order to encourage the development of cultural industry, Yichun Municipal Government has brought out the "Four Thousand Project", namely one thousand photographers take photos of Yichun; one thousand painters draw paintings of Yichun; one thousand writers write articles about Yichun; and one thousand calligraphers write in calligraphy about Yichun. This project aims at accumulating cultural products, forming a unique cultural power and affecting Yichun's social and economic development. The 1st Yichun International Nature & Eco Photography Week will be a grand ceremony of “one thousand photographers take photos of Yichun”activity. By virtue of this event, we aim to bring photographers from all over the country to Yichun, and enable the whole world to know about Yichun. Besides, we can also inspire people's respect and love for nature, and encourage people to protect ecology.

Finally, please allow me to conclude by bidding all the guests a hearty welcome to the 1st Yichun International Nature & Eco Photography Week. We are looking forward to seeing you in Yichun. Thank you.



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