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Art Event to Show Big Names

A photographic exhibition depicting eminent world figures will be held in the China National Art Museum from April 7 to 15.

Said to be unprecedented in the history of international photography, the pictures, about 80 in number, focus on Nobel Prize winners and other leading figures from around the world.

Deng Wei, 42, the photographer who has portrayed the personalities and life details of these great people through his lens, began to travel the world from 1990 in a bid to realize his dream of photographing eminent world figures of his time.

As the project was undertaken in his own name and at his own expense, Deng has had a tough time between 1990 and 1997. In order to raise money for his photographs and traveling expenses, Deng worked as a servant, porter, tutor and odd-job man during his years abroad.

"Look at these photos. How did an ordinary man manage to take photos of so many great figures? It is a mission beyond the ability of most of us," said Zhang Yimou, the well-known film director and a former classmate of Deng from the Beijing Film Academy.

It is difficult to catch the souls and personalities of these people within 10 or 15 minutes, said Deng. He always read as much as he could about his subject, consulting books and relevant materials in libraries.

And his persistence, devotion and outstanding skills were gradually recognized by the veteran politicians and Nobel Prize winners whom Deng asked to take pictures of. Photos of around 100 great people have been compiled into the book "A Diary of Deng Wei: A Photographic Record of Eminent World Figures."

(China Daily 04/06/2001)

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