In pictures: Photography contest turns lens on life in China

CNN  — 

A village shadow puppet show, a shepherd grazing livestock and a pair of young acrobats performing handstands are among the scenes depicted in a photography competition shining a light on life in China.

Now in its second year, the annual Global SinoPhoto Awards – which is run in association with the Lau China Institute of King’s College London – attracted almost 2,000 entries from both professional and amateur photographers.

Participants were invited to submit images that “express, interpret and share their view of Chinese culture” across four categories: “Home,” “Environment,” “Work & Play” and “Water.” The finalists, which were announced this week, included photographers not only from China, but also the United Kingdom, Poland and Ukraine.

Chinese photographer Li Huaifeng’s image “The Dancing Dreams of a Mountain Girl,” which captures a young girl twirling in front of her grandmother, won the “Work & Play” category and was also named the competition’s overall winner. A judging panel that included artist Yao Lu and architect Patrik Schumacher described the picture as “a moment of joy” and “an almost otherworldly vision of the child in the sun’s rays.”

The three other category winners were Yang Tongyu’s image of man pushing his fishing boat through the algae-covered sea, Huang Jianjun’s photo from beneath a bridge in the coastal city of Yueqing and Huang Qingjun’s depiction of an elderly couple standing outside their home with their possessions on display. A further 12 finalists were named “highly commended.”

In a press statement, the awards’ founder Yintong Betser said: “The entries represent a diverse snapshot of Chinese culture, enriched through the creative and innovative lenses of our talented entrants.”

The winning and highly commended images will go on display next month at the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath, UK.

Scroll through the gallery above to see some of this year’s winners and finalists.