Tomasz Gudzowaty April 14, 2010Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
Wuqiao Circus School, China 2008
Tomasz Gudzowaty (b.1971, Poland) obtained a degree in law at the University of Warsaw. For the last few years he has been focusing on developing a style for shooting sports photography. He is particularly interested in non-commercial sports, and also those that are not present in the media, sports that are exotic, atypical or somehow outside the mainstream. His photos have been published in Max Magazine, L’Equipe, The Guardian, Newsweek, Forbes, Time and Photo and he is also the author of several albums. He is a multiple winner of the most important photography contests, among others the World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year, NPPA Best of Photojournalism. He works with Focus Fotoagentur in Hamburg and Warsaw’s Yours Gallery.
About the Photograph:
“The Wuqiao district in Hebei province is considered the cradle of Chinese acrobatic art. The tradition, dating back to the 5th century AD, is a way of life for the locals, but for some it’s also their main source of income. There are more than a hundred circus troupes and acrobatic schools here, with about 20,000 of Wuqiao’s 270,000 inhabitants working or studying there. Parents send their children to these schools for the rigor and responsibility associated with this kind of education. The day begins at 5:30 a.m. with morning training just before breakfast. Students warm up by walking on their hands and standing on their head before moving on to more difficult postures. Each motion of an acrobat has to be repeated hundreds of times. Acrobats who finish four years of education can join local circus groups, but only the best will be accepted into the prestigious Wuqiao Circus School where graduates prepare for very promising careers.”