Lu Guang’s (盧廣) photographs exposed the everyday realities of people on the margins of Chinese society: coal miners, drug addicts, HIV patients. Now, the award-winning photographer is at the center of his own stark story.
Lu was taken away by state security agents three weeks ago for unknown reasons, his wife, Xu Xiaoli (徐小莉), told reporters late on Tuesday.
Lu was traveling in Xinjiang on Nov. 3 when she lost contact with him, Xu said.
He had connected with photographers one week before in Urumqi and was scheduled to meet a friend in Sichuan Province on Nov. 5, but he never showed up, she said.
A friend of Xu helped her inquire about her husband’s whereabouts in his home province of Zhejiang, where authorities said that Lu and a fellow photographer had been taken away by Xinjiang state security.
They did not give any further details, the friend told Xu.
“I know that he wouldn’t have done anything illegal,” Xu, 45, said in a telephone interview from New York City, where she is studying art design and raising their child.
Xinjiang’s propaganda department did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.
When asked about Lu during a regular briefing yesterday, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang (耿爽) said he was not aware of the situation.
Lu won first prize in the World Press Photo contest for a series on poor Chinese villagers who became infected with HIV after selling their own blood to eke out a living.
His photos tackle gritty subjects, such as pollution and industrial environmental destruction — issues traditionally avoided by the Chinese press because they risk punishment for exposing societal problems that the government might consider sensitive.
However, Lu never had problems with the police before, Xu said, adding that she was not aware of any photography projects he had planned for his Xinjiang trip.
“He has a strong sense of social responsibility,” she said. “He believed, after confronting the faces of the destitute, that there were things that people should know. At the very least, he believed that [his photos] might motivate them to help others, to trigger change and make things better.”
Lu’s profile on the World Press Photo Web site says he is the recipient of numerous other photography honors, including Germany’s Henri Nannen Prize in Photography and a National Geographic Photography Grant.
Lu was the first photographer from China to be invited by the US Department of State as a visiting academic, it said.
Xu said she believes it was Lu’s first visit to Xinjiang.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
THAI CASE UPDATE: Twenty-nine close contacts of the worker have been tested with two types of tests, including 18 dorm mates, with 28 negative results so far Five imported cases of COVID-19, four from the Philippines and one from Hong Kong, were reported yesterday, bringing the total confirmed cases in Taiwan to 467, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The four returning from the Philippines were on the same flight, and the local health department has identified 15 people who had direct contact with them — including 10 passengers in the two rows in front or behind them, who have been put under 14-day home isolation, and five crew members, who will practice 14-day self-health management, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang