About us

Duan Yuting


Founder and director of Lianzhou Foto Festival, co-founder and co-director of the Lianzhou Museum of Photography. Dedicated in curatorship, spreading and promotion of China's contemporary photography and management of art projects. Nominator for The Hasselblad Award in Photography and Prix Pictet, and the author of Ten Years of Contemporary Photography in China 2005-2014.

2001 to 2003, taking a 3-year Chinese Master Course as a member chosen by World Press Photo; 2005, initiator and curator of Lianzhou Foto Festival as artistic director and has been chosen as Top Ten Character of China Photography of the Year 2005; November, 2006, invited judge for FOTOBILD, Berlin, Germany; January, 2007, invited curator for Chinese Work in PHOTOQUAL, Paris Photo Biennale; 2007, member of review panel for Rhubarb-Rhubarb, Birmingham, UK; 2007, member of review panel for FOTOBILD, Berlin, Germany; April 2008, member of jury of the 1st Salonika Photo Biennale 2008, Greece. May 2008, Reviewer for FOTOBILD Berlin. May 2009, Reviewer for China Photography Awards; Sep 2009 & Sep 2010, Judger for Southern Pocket Film Festival. June 2010 Viewer for 50JPG, Geneva; July 2010, Jury for Photography Talent Award, France. Nominator of 2011 Prix Pictet Photography Prize; Curator in 2012 Moscow Photo Biennale; Nominator for the Hasselblad Award 2012; Reviewer for European New Photography Forum 2014; Reviewer for Houston Photography Biennial 2014; Reviewer for the Festival of Light Argentina 2014; Reviewer for Young Art Taipei 2015, Taiwan; Reviewer for Houston Photography Biennial 2016; Curator for Kyotographie 2016; Curator for Photo Biennale Denmark “Cities and Memory” exhibition, 2016. Jury of the LensCulture Exposure Awards, 2017; Reviewer for Kyotographie 2017;Nominator for Houston Photography Biennial Discovery Exhibition 2017.

François Cheval


François Cheval was born in 1954 and has a background in history and ethnology. He has served as a museum curator since 1982. From 1996 to 2016, he headed the musee Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône. There, François Cheval strives to rid photography of its old presumptions and to resent photographic originality through new forms of museology and revitalized discourse. As a continuation of projects developed outside museums, he continued his activities as artistic director (founder of the BMW residence, HSBC Prize for Photography) and curator of exhibitions (MuCEM for Marseille-Provence 2013, Pavillon Populaire de Montpellier, PhotoEspaña, Rencontres d'Arles, etc). He is the chief curator of the 2017 edition of Mérignac Photographic Festival. François Cheval is the co-founder and co-director of the Lianzhou Museum of Photography, the first public museum dedicated to contemporary photography in China.


In 2005, we founded an international photography festival in Lianzhou. After thirteen years, Lianzhou has become an important model for Chinese contemporary photography. We learned from others and set our own rules to create a distinctive Chinese photography festival. Here, Chinese photography has found an experimental and open platform for exchange, and we have built an independent means of engaging with photography from elsewhere in the world.

From the early years of the photography festival, scholars, experts and curators from the photography, art and intellectual communities advocated the establishment of a photography archive in Lianzhou. The original intention was that, in addition to presenting photographs at the festival, we should make the archive available to photography researchers, because China did not have its own photography museums and it lacked the basic conditions for this kind of academic research.

In the summer of 2013, then-director of the musée Nicéphore Niépce, François Cheval, and I arranged for a Lianzhou government delegation to visit the musée Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône, France. On this visit, the leaders of the Lianzhou Municipal Government finally decided to establish a museum for Chinese contemporary photography in Lianzhou.

In 2014, at the momentous tenth edition of Lianzhou Foto festival, we first announced the formal launch of the photography museum project. We found architectural designers with both local experience and international perspectives; incorporating traits of the local cultural geography, they provided an architectural plan for the museum that combined a local spirit with modern ideas.

In the three years of construction from 2015 to 2017, the Lianzhou Museum of Photography broke ground and developed. In a small mountain city on the fringes of the developed Pearl River Delta, we had to overcome difficulties that we never could have imagined in creating a modern museum. Eventually, on Lianzhou’s oldest extant street, Zhongshan Nan Road, we managed to build a photography museum that is very contemporary in both architecture and academic background. In the words of a city planner, this choice was a catalyst for developing the neighborhood and the old city, which sparked the revitalization of the old center of Lianzhou, and will in turn drive the development of the entire city. After the photography festival, photography may help Lianzhou once again, giving a considerable boost to its economic and urban development.

In the future, we will exhibit, collect and research Chinese and international photography at the Lianzhou Museum of Photography, while also developing a range of international cultural exchanges. Of course, the museum must confront the world from an academic perspective, but it is first and foremost part of Lianzhou’s cultural landscape. We are building a cultural space for Lianzhou residents, who will be the primary visitors to the museum. We are certain that photography will take root and flourish in this beautiful city.