The Dongting Lake People

PhotographerAmy Luo
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

A chance encounter with a fisherman in February 2017 in China’s second largest Dongting Lake has brought me into the inner word of an enclosed community of around 10,000 people who seek a living by fishing in the enormous lake. Largely unknown to the outside world, it is essentially a subordinated, impoverished and battered community. Faced with circumstances such as lake shrinkage, pollution, and ageing, their traditional way of life is rapidly falling apart. My subsequent visits also revealed a vast spiritual world nurtured by folklore and myths and guided by a strong sense of community and shared rituals.

Story

A chance encounter with a fisherman in February 2017 in China’s second largest Dongting Lake has brought me into the inner word of an enclosed community of around 10,000 people who seek a living by fishing in the enormous lake. Largely unknown to the outside world, it is essentially a subordinated, impoverished and battered community. Faced with circumstances such as lake shrinkage, pollution, and ageing, their traditional way of life is rapidly falling apart. My subsequent visits also revealed a vast spiritual world nurtured by folklore and myths and guided by a strong sense of community and shared rituals.

About Photographer

Born and raised in southern China, Amy Luo obtained her Master's degree in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh and went on to further her research at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Since her graduation, Luo has been engaged with feature film projects, documentaries as well as news reportages both in China and abroad. In 2015, Luo graduated from the General Studies program at the International Centre of Photography (ICP) in New York. She was the recipient of the 2015 Rita K. Hillman Award for Excellence, ICP. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally including in the American Photography. Luo has been cited with a number of awards for her series “Dreams” including being placed as a finalist for fine art photography in the first edition of the Magnum Photography Awards in 2016 and as a winner for the 2017 LensCulture Exposure Awards. Luo currently divides her time between New York City and Beijing working both in film production and also as a freelance photographer.