Photo exhibition in Jakarta highlights Asia’s transformation

The five-day event, which runs through Oct 22, features 111 photos selected out of more than 1,200 submissions in a pan-Asia open call that has attracted photographers from 36 countries and regions.


Visitors view some of the 111 photos on display at an exhibition jointly curated by China Daily and the Asia News Network at the Kota Kasablanka mall in Jakarta on Oct 18, 2023. PHOTO: CHINA DAILY

October 23, 2023

JAKARTA – A photo exhibition in Jakarta captures people’s daily lives and profound changes across Asia in the past three years, telling stories about resilience, adaptability and indomitability that shape the vibrant continent.

Jointly curated by China Daily and Asia News Network (ANN), a regional news coalition of 22 media organizations, a photo exhibition themed “Changing Asia – Working Together for a Shared Future” kicked off Wednesday at a stylish shopping mall in the southern part of Indonesia’s capital city.

The five-day event, which runs through Oct 22, features 111 photos selected out of more than 1,200 submissions in a pan-Asia open call that has attracted photographers from 36 countries and regions. The batch of photos chronicled a variety of meaningful scenes, from significant occasions to ordinary life moments, offering viewers a more tangible perspective on Asia’s transformation.

READ MORE: Indonesia’s Widodo inaugurates Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the exhibition on Wednesday, Zhou Li, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia Pacific, said “Changing Asia” provides a stage that illuminates the exceptional photographers from all corners of Asia, applauding their skills and the narratives they weave through their lenses.

“This is not merely an exhibition, but a testament to the expanding reach and influence of our initiative. It is a visual narrative of our shared journey, emphasizing the fortitude and adaptability of our people amidst global adversities,” Zhou added.

Zhou Kan, Charge d’Affaires ad Interim and Minister of the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia, also attended the ceremony. He said the exhibition opened on a very important day as leaders and representatives from over 150 countries were gathering in Beijing for the ongoing Belt and Road Summit, witnessing the achievement of the initiatives.

He also mentioned that Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo have just jointly announced the commercial operation of the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway. “This is a very important fruit of the bilateral cooperation between China and Indonesia and also reflects the high-level cooperation between the two sides.”

Daniel Johan, member of the Indonesian House of Representatives, praised the role China plays in Asia’s development, saying that China is the center and the strength of growth in Asia.

“I hope that in the future, Asia will become the center of the world, and there will be peace, equality, growth, and cooperation,” Johan said during his speech.

Geng Hailing, Counsellor for Press and Public Diplomacy, Mission of the People’s Republic of China to ASEAN also attended the opening ceremony, along with scores of guests including representatives from local enterprises and media organizations, as well as key opinion leaders from Hong Kong.

When commenting on the event, CEO of Indonesian media Kumparan Hugo Diba said he believed that photography is still very important nowadays as it can capture the right moment and tell the complex of stories. “The exhibition promotes the power of photography and tells the story of the changing Asia, the diversity of the culture, the society,” Diba said, “That’s why the event is very special and good.”

The photo exhibition has drawn huge attention from local residents. Benito Copulalan, an Indonesian writer, told China Daily that he’s happy to see so many photos. “In Jakarta, sometimes it has government-to-government events, and then business-to-business events. But creative events are something rare. I think we need more events like this.”

READ MORE: Li: Jakarta-Bandung railway successful cooperation example

A photo capturing a dying bird in a lake impressed Sutadi Ng the most. “The photo is creating awareness in the community that we need to co-exist with animals. It’s more like giving us an insight. Because without this photo, we don’t know what is going on in the world, to the animals. Because animals cannot speak,” the company manager said.

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