Living in the 21st century, our world is brimming with images and contemporary art, and our notion of beauty is more or less dominated by a dazzling business called fashion photography. With top international fashion magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle vigorously developing their Chinese versions in recent years, there emerged a group of Chinese fashion designers and photographers who brought their distinctive Chinese aesthetics to the fashion world.
There’s a much-told story in the fashion world of how China’s first supermodel Lu Yan and fashion photographer Feng Hai set off each other’s career with the iconic ‘lilies and girl with freckles’ photo. Hai was the person who discovered Yan’s beauty. He is also the regular photographer of the internationally famous Chinese actress Gong Li. Apart from his fashion career, Feng Hai also explored the art world with his experimental projects like Peony Pavilion, inspired by the Kunqu Opera with the same name, and Mask, a black and white photography project that reminds viewers of the ancient Greek civilization.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Some hail her as “China’s Annie Leibovitz,” while others say she’s “China’s Mika Ninagawa,” but photographer Chen Man is increasingly gaining a foothold in the fashion world as just herself. The 36-year-old Beijing native is China’s most popular fashion photographer. People she photographs range from the top-notch Chinese celebrities to China’s ethnic minorities. Her works usually combine modern fashion and traditional Chinese elements, and involve heavy use of post-production techniques. Man recently said in a New York Times interview that her interest in people has existed since she was a 3-year-old: “I was always painting. I always stared at people.”
Yin Chao studied Automotive Engineering at university, but his talent in art made him unstoppable in the fashion world. He’s the regular photographer for Chinese celebrities like Chen Kun and Wu Xiubo. Compared with other fashion photographers, Chao specializes in shooting movie posters, and has created posters for films like Chen Kaige’s The Promise (2005), Wang Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster (2013), and Peter Chan’s Dearest (2014). Chao was recently into the Chinese tea culture and Zen, and hopefully we can see more of his works to come with his new interest blended in.
Having studied in the UK for seven years, Xu Chuang is the representative of Chinese fashion photographers from whose works you may see the influence of both oriental and western cultures. Chuang is more recognized for his rendering of men than women. Though he’s in the fashion photography business, he said his dream was to become a Magnum documentary photographer – and his dream was sort of realized by documenting actress Yao Chen, the first UNHCR National Goodwill Ambassador from China, in her trips to refugee camps.
It’s easy to tell Sun Jun’s works from others – his works are usually characterized by elements from the traditional Chinese paintings. But if you think it’s easy to recreate his works with Photoshop, you are being too optimistic. Having begun to learn Chinese painting since the age of 7 and graduated from the China Academy of Art, Jun already has the knowledge of Chinese art deeply rooted in his blood.
Though relatively inexperienced compared with some of the other photographers noted here, Bao Yanzhou is recognizable by a distinct Japanese style in his fashion photography. Yanzhou studied photography for four years in Tokyo, and is now based in Shanghai. Before going to Japan, he worked as a photo retoucher for Chen Man’s studio.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.