Born in Louyang, China in 1973, Yanan Li fell in love with analog Hasselblad cameras while studying film at university in Beijing, inspiring dreams of moving to Sweden one day. Over 40 years later, Yanan finds himself working as the official photographer for Stiftelsen Silviahemmet – founded and chaired by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden – as well as for the Nobel Committee for The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the Stockholm County and several of the Swedish capital’s notable points of interest. We got the chance to sit down with Yanan and hear his unique story about how he got where he is today in Sweden, which all started with a Hasselblad.
“I take pictures night and day, in winter frost and summer heat, from the royal family’s celebrations to Nobel Prize meetings behind closed doors, from castles to street life. I am so happy with the development of Hasselblad cameras over the years which allows me photograph in all of these environments.”
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Yanan Li | From China to Sweden with a Hasselblad
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Liberally scattered with inspiring landscapes and iconic monuments, China’s rich cultural heritage provides a matchless backdrop to this classic journey. Taking in some of the most famous treasures of the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties, including eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, we’ll journey across a land steeped in over 2,500 years of history.
Beginning in Beijing, our adventure takes us from the vast expanse of Tiananmen Square to the crumbling ramparts of the Great Wall, as we enjoy the sights and sounds of China’s bustling capital. From here we head for Xi’an, to stand before the imposing majesty of the Terracotta Warriors, before moving on to rural Anhui province to hike in the spectacular Yellow Mountains (Huangshan) and explore the historic village of Hongcun.
After an introduction to Hangzhou’s tea culture, we’ll travel on to captivating Suzhou, famous for its classical gardens and silk weaving. Journey’s end then sees us in Shanghai, one of the most cosmopolitan cities anywhere in Asia, where we will have time to wander along its famous waterfront and enjoy the treasures of its exceptional museum before we head home.
VaVa, one of China’s up-and-coming female rappers, found a national audience as a runner-up on China’s The Rap of China hip-hop competition. But she’s more than just a reality TV star. Her lyrics expose a difficult childhood and the struggles she’s gone through to make it to where she is today.
And she’s candid about the thin line Chinese rappers walk today as they try to create a unique brand of hip-hop in China while trying to avoid government censorship. Photographs by Ronald Leong
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China’s Rap Queen
VaVa speaks out on government censorship and the rise of Chinese hip-hop.
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