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Ferit Kuyas July 1, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.

“Chinese Smokers” Chongqing, China 2005

Ferit Kuyas (b. 1955, Turkey) studied architecture and law in Switzerland and graduated in jurisprudence from the University of Zurich in 1982. Working mainly on personal projects, he published several books. After visiting Shanghai for commissioned work, Ferit’s travels brought him often back to China. His most recent body of work is City of Ambition with large cityscape’s from the megalopolis Chongqing, China published in October 2009. Ferit’s photographs have been shown in museums, galleries and festivals in Europe, America and Asia. His work is represented in private, corporate and public collections in the United States, England, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Turkey. He received a number of awards, among them the Kodak Photobook-Award, the Guatephoto Award and the Hasselblad Masters.

About the Photograph:

“In 2005 I started photographing the City of Ambition project. I used a 4×5 camera on a tripod. Sometimes there was waiting involved when making a photograph. I often walked around and looked for interesting artifacts on the ground. Doing this I discovered Chinese cigarette packages. They were everywhere and looked very beautiful. I found them in all conditions: mint, crushed, withered, etc. One day after lunch I found an interesting pack on the road in front of the restaurant Tang Sifu (Soup Master) in Chongching.  The man in the photo interfered by saying: ‘Don’t photograph that one, it is dirty. Photograph my fresh pack of cigarettes.’ I told him that I would love to but only if I could portray him together with his pack of cigarettes. At first he didn’t want to but I convinced him saying that I would position him in front of the characters of Sifu, which has a very positive meaning in Chinese. The picture you selected is the initial photograph of what later became the Chinese Smokers series.”