Together under a new normality ©

Photo by Sarah Zheng

What does family mean to you? 

Whether we live in Manchester or Chengdu, family is central to the human condition.

Images of family remind us that whatever our national differences, British and Chinese people are first and foremost human beings worthy of dignity of respect.

The 2nd annual International Photo Competition run by the Manchester China Institute (MCI) and Creative Manchester at The University of Manchester, centred around the theme ‘What does Family Mean to You’. The most accomplished entries ultimately were exhibited in a Sichuan art gallery, in the provincial capital of Chengdu. This exhibit in IPF Gallery displayed the top 30 smartphone photos (15 from the UK, 15 from China) for the month of June, taken from a pool of several hundred submissions. Five expert judges selected these images based on 1) how well they captured the essence of family, their 2) creativity, and 3) composition. From these 30, the five judges further selected two winners: one from the UK (£1,000 prize), and the other from China (RMB 8,888 prize). A third £500 prize, the People’s Choice Award, was be awarded to the photographer whose photograph received the most votes online. 

The award for the Best UK Submission went to Sarah Zheng, whose photograph ‘Together under the New Normality’ presented an amusing snapshot of her family’s lockdown life. The award for the Best China Submission went to Xing Luo, whose photograph ‘The Days We Cannot Go Out’ moved the judges with its emotive conveyance of a young boy’s 40th day indoors during the pandemic. The People’s Choice Award went to Yourong Li, whose image ‘Hand in Hand’ encapsulated the love shared by the photographer’s grandparents. 

The competition will resume in 2021 under a different theme, and we hope it continues to build bridges between the UK and China and showcases wonderful talent from both nations. 

Manchester China Institute 

Manchester China Institute (MCI) was established in 2017 with the aim of promoting greater understanding of China and globalisation in the modern world. MCI acts as a focal point at the University of Manchester for people interested in UK-China relations and China in general, providing a venue where ideas and projects can be shared and developed. 

MCI brings together experts from across the University of Manchester, enabling multidisciplinary collaborations spanning the arts, humanities, sciences, and health. 

Our vision is to create a truly multidisciplinary institute studying China today, with a focus on globalisation and international affairs. The Institute's mission will be to better understand China's expanding role in a rapidly globalising world, and to promote mutual understanding between the UK and China. We're able to embark on this thanks to the foresight and generosity of our beneficiary, Dr Lee Kai Hung. 

Creative Manchester 

Established in 2018, Creative Manchester is developing fast, connecting The University of Manchester, its School of Arts Languages and Cultures and its cultural institutions to the creative and cultural economy. 

Art, music, drama, history and literature enrich our lives and benefit our community, and in Manchester’s fast-growing creative economy, there is a world of opportunity for all. Creative Manchester is a partner for education, funding, inclusion and promotion, offering stakeholders at every level the chance to partner and to get involved in Manchester’s arts and culture. 

Based at The University of Manchester’s School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, Creative Manchester is uniquely positioned to support the creative industries if they are seeking academic support, student interns, partnership opportunities with world-class venues, a platform within our University community, and funding opportunities.