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Monday, 29 January, 2001, 12:33 GMT
Chinese show breaks nude taboo
China has staged its first official exhibition of nude photographs, attracting thousands of visitors.

Nude photography was extremely controversial when it emerged as an art form in China in the 1980s.


Far from being shocked, Chinese audiences have calmly received the country's first nude photo show

Xinhua news agency
But the director of the China Art Photographic Association said the exhibition suggested the taboo over nudity in art was finally being erased.

The show, featuring 107 images, is said to have attracted 1,000 people a day since opening in the southern city of Guangzhou on 11 January.

Reports said more than 200 books of the pictures had also been sold every day.

"Nude photography is no longer taboo in people's mind," said She Shan, General Secretary of the Fujian Photographic Art Society, a co-sponsor of the show.

Guts

Guangzhou, one of China's most freewheeling and modern cities, was chosen as the venue because of its comparitively relaxed attitude to nudity, the official Xinhua news agency said.


The art demands that both photographers and models have a lot of guts

Photographer Huang Xusheng
It pointed out that many photo shops in the city offered services for people who wanted nude pictures of themselves.

To avoid any difficulties, the organisers spent two years planning the event and vetted thousands of entries submitted by more than 600 photographers.

They also hired legal consultants and signed special contracts with the photographers and their subjects.

"The art demands that both photographers and models have a lot of guts," said Huang Xusheng, whose photograph was chosen by judges as the best in the show.

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