China in the Eyes of Polish Photographers
Thanks to the cooperation established between the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), Chinese and Polish photographers had the opportunity to participate in residency programmes in Poland and China, which resulted in creating a series of works portraying the two countries through the eyes of the artists participating in the project.
After the residencies of the Chinese photographers in Poland in 2015, the summer of 2016 saw two Polish artists, Patryk Karbowski and Agnieszka Rayss, go for a residency to China. During the project, they were able to visit such cities as Beijing, Lanzhou and Dunhuang, and capture their atmosphere in the photos. The works of Rayss and Karbowski show human relationships, urban space and objects placed in it, as well as the monumentality of Chinese architecture in relation to human being.
Agnieszka Rayss is co-founder and president of the Sputnik Photos International Association of Photojournalists, art historian and doctoral student at the University of Arts in Poznań. She is the author of the documentary series Earth Bleeds Water (dedicated to geothermal energy in Iceland), I Reminisce and Cry for Life (portrays of women – veterans of the Second World War in Belarus) and co-author of the Lost Territories project carried out by the Sputnik Photos in the former Soviet republics.
Agnieszka Rayss is a two-time winner of the Picture of the Year International award, a two-time finalist in the Hasselblad Masters Award and a winner of many other awards at home and abroad. She took part in several individual and group exhibitions, including the Prague Biennale, the Noorderlicht Photofestival, the Fotofestiwal in Łódź and the Triennial of Photography Hamburg.
She is interested in how post-communist countries try to copy western trends, as well as in topics related to ecology and history. In 2010 she published the album American Dream depicting the Americanisation and the triumph of pop culture in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Her book This Is Where the End of Cities Begins published in 2016 shows the usually neglected and unnoticed urban areas.
Patryk Karbowski, born in 1989, graduated from the Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź. He is mainly interested in the documentary photography which he uses to describe social phenomena, present in the reality surrounding him. His works have been awarded many times (e.g. finalist of the Magnum Expression Award, Photolucida Critical Mass, Lucie Foundation Emerging Scholarship and New York Photo Festival) and exhibited at various festivals in Poland and abroad (Fotofestiwal in Łódź, Encontros da Imagem Braga, Kolga Tbilisi Photo). Currently he also works as a lecturer at the Academy of Photography in Warsaw.