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47 Famous Chinese Photographers You Should Know

Unveil the brilliance of China's most famous photographers. Journey through compelling visuals, poignant narratives, and the rich tapestry of Chinese culture.

The world of photography is vast and rich with talent from every corner of the globe.

Yet, some regions remain less explored in mainstream media.

Enter China: a land of profound history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes.

It’s no wonder this nation has produced some of the most captivating photographers of our time.

Ready to embark on a visual journey? Let’s dive into the world of famous Chinese photographers whose work you absolutely need to see.

47 Famous Chinese Photographers To Follow in 2023

Luo Yang


Luo Yang is a contemporary Chinese photographer known for her intimate and often provocative portraits that challenge societal norms and explore themes of youth, identity, and femininity.

Her work often captures the raw and unfiltered emotions of her subjects, creating a sense of vulnerability and authenticity.

One of her notable series is “Girls,” which features powerful portraits of young women, showcasing their strength and individuality amidst cultural and societal pressures.

Chen Man

Chen Man is a groundbreaking Chinese fashion photographer whose work blends traditional aesthetics with modern concepts.

Her striking and visually captivating images have graced the covers of numerous fashion magazines and have redefined the visual language of contemporary Chinese photography.

She often infuses her photographs with vibrant colors, bold compositions, and a unique blend of Chinese cultural elements and global fashion influences.

Ren Hang

Ren Hang was a daring and influential Chinese photographer known for his provocative and explicit imagery that challenged societal taboos and norms.

His work often explored themes of sexuality, gender identity, and the human body, creating a powerful and controversial impact.

Ren Hang’s distinctive style combined surreal and dreamlike settings with his subjects, leaving a lasting impression on the world of contemporary photography.

Yang Yongliang

Yang Yongliang is a contemporary Chinese artist and photographer renowned for his intricate digital montages that fuse traditional Chinese landscape painting with modern urban imagery.

His visually stunning compositions often depict futuristic cityscapes that are both awe-inspiring and thought-provoking.

Through his work, Yang reflects on the rapid urbanization and cultural shifts taking place in China.

Chen Wei


Chen Wei is a Chinese photographer known for his immersive and visually captivating scenes that evoke a sense of nostalgia and melancholy.

His elaborate and meticulously staged sets often explore themes of urban isolation, memory, and personal narratives.

Chen Wei’s evocative work blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction, inviting viewers to contemplate the complex emotions embedded within his images.

Chi Peng

Chi Peng is a contemporary Chinese photographer recognized for his imaginative and visually captivating artworks that challenge conventions and explore cultural identities.

His photographs often feature surreal and fantastical elements, weaving together narratives that touch upon personal experiences, societal issues, and historical contexts.

Chi Peng’s thought-provoking compositions invite viewers to delve into the complexities of contemporary Chinese culture.

Li Wei

Li Wei is a Chinese photographer known for his gravity-defying and visually astonishing self-portraits.

Through a combination of physical acrobatics, camera angles, and post-production techniques, he creates surreal and illusionary scenes that challenge the viewer’s perception of reality.

Li Wei’s playful yet thought-provoking images explore themes of identity, existence, and the boundaries of the photographic medium.

Wang Qingsong

Wang Qingsong is a contemporary Chinese photographer renowned for his large-scale, elaborate, and often satirical photographs that critique consumerism, globalization, and societal changes in China.

His visually intricate compositions feature elaborate sets and large groups of people, often referencing historical and cultural iconography while providing insightful commentary on contemporary Chinese society.

Wang Wusheng

Wang Wusheng is a Chinese photographer celebrated for his serene and poetic black-and-white landscapes that capture the ethereal beauty of traditional Chinese ink paintings.

His evocative images often depict misty mountains, tranquil rivers, and ancient architecture, conveying a sense of tranquility and harmony with nature.

Wang Wusheng’s work embodies the spiritual connection between humanity and the natural world.

Hong Lei

Hong Lei is a Chinese photographer known for his evocative and meticulously crafted hand-colored photographs that blend traditional Chinese aesthetics with contemporary sensibilities.

His work often references classical Chinese literature, historical figures, and cultural symbols, creating a dialogue between the past and present.

Hong Lei’s intricate compositions invite viewers to explore the rich cultural heritage of China through a modern artistic lens.

Zhang Huan


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A post shared by Zhang Huan 张洹 (@zhanghuanstudio)

Zhang Huan is a multidisciplinary Chinese artist whose work spans photography, performance art, and sculpture.

While primarily known for his provocative and boundary-pushing performances, his early photography series documented these performances and captured moments of intense physical and emotional expression.

Zhang Huan’s powerful imagery often explores themes of spirituality, identity, and the human experience.

Fu-dong Yang

Fu-dong Yang is a Chinese photographer and filmmaker known for his poetic and visually mesmerizing imagery that blurs the lines between reality and dreams.

His photographs often explore themes of memory, nostalgia, and the passage of time, creating a dreamlike atmosphere that invites viewers to contemplate the complexities of human existence.

Yang’s evocative work reflects his deep introspection and philosophical musings.

Liu Bolin

Liu Bolin, also known as the “Invisible Man,” is a Chinese artist and photographer recognized for his captivating series of photographs in which he camouflages himself within various environments.

Through meticulous body painting and positioning, Liu Bolin blends into his surroundings, highlighting themes of visibility, identity, and social commentary.

His thought-provoking images serve as a metaphor for the individual’s relationship with society and the struggle for self-expression.

Fan Ho

Fan Ho was a celebrated Chinese photographer and filmmaker known for his captivating street photography that captured the vibrant and dynamic scenes of Hong Kong in the 1950s and 1960s.

His black-and-white images showcase intricate compositions, dramatic lighting, and a keen sense of observation.

Fan Ho’s work offers a nostalgic glimpse into the past while revealing the beauty and poetry of everyday life.

Lu Guang

Lu Guang was a Chinese photographer and photojournalist acclaimed for his powerful documentary work that shed light on pressing social and environmental issues in China.

His evocative photographs addressed topics such as pollution, industrialization, and the human cost of rapid development.

Lu Guang’s compelling images serve as a visual testament to the challenges faced by marginalized communities and the urgent need for social change.

Yijun Liao

Yijun Liao is a Chinese photographer recognized for her insightful and witty portraits that challenge traditional gender dynamics and societal expectations.

Through her photographs, she playfully explores the dynamics of power, love, and vulnerability within relationships.

Yijun Liao’s work offers a fresh and thought-provoking perspective on the complexities of contemporary romance and the shifting roles of men and women.

Hou Bo

Hou Bo is a Chinese photographer known for his compelling and introspective images that delve into the emotional landscapes of his subjects.

His evocative portraits often convey a sense of isolation, introspection, and vulnerability, inviting viewers to connect with the underlying emotions within each frame.

Hou Bo’s work captures the universal human experience and serves as a visual exploration of the human psyche.

Weng Fen

Weng Fen is a Chinese photographer acclaimed for his poignant and contemplative landscapes that explore themes of urbanization, migration, and the impact of modernization on the environment.

His work often depicts vast expanses of land juxtaposed with signs of human intervention, sparking discussions about the delicate balance between nature and urban development.

Weng Fen’s photographs serve as a visual meditation on the changing landscapes of China and the complex relationship between humanity and the natural world.

Li Zhensheng


Li Zhensheng was a Chinese photojournalist renowned for his documentation of the Cultural Revolution in China.

His powerful and often harrowing images captured the tumultuous and tragic events of that era, providing a historical record of the human suffering and political upheaval.

Li Zhensheng’s photographs serve as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of bearing witness to history.

Lang Jingshan

Lang Jingshan was a pioneering Chinese photographer known for his innovative techniques in combining traditional Chinese art with modern photography.

Often referred to as the “father of Chinese art photography,” Lang Jingshan’s work merged the aesthetics of traditional Chinese painting with photographic methods, creating ethereal and poetic images that captured the essence of Chinese culture and artistic heritage.

Feng Li

Feng Li is a contemporary Chinese photographer recognized for his surreal and often absurd street photography that captures the eccentricities of everyday life.

His images are characterized by unexpected juxtapositions, humorous moments, and a keen eye for the absurdity within the mundane.

Feng Li’s work offers a unique perspective on modern urban existence, inviting viewers to find beauty and humor in the chaos of city life.

Ronghui Chen

Ronghui Chen is a Chinese photographer whose documentary work explores the social and cultural changes occurring in China.

His thoughtful and empathetic images often focus on marginalized communities and individuals, shedding light on their stories and struggles.

Ronghui Chen’s photography provides a nuanced and compassionate view of the human experience, prompting reflection on the complexities of contemporary society.

Liu Xucang

A Chinese magazine cover

Liangyou magazine, Liu Xuzhen (刘旭沧), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Liu Xucang was a Chinese photographer known for his pioneering efforts in the field of photojournalism in China.

As one of the earliest practitioners of documentary photography, he captured pivotal moments in Chinese history, including the early days of the Chinese Communist Party.

Liu Xucang’s photographs offer a glimpse into the revolutionary fervor and social transformations of his time.

Lü Houmin

Lü Houmin is a Chinese photographer celebrated for his captivating portraits that showcase the diverse cultural identities and traditions within China.

His images often depict individuals from various ethnic groups, capturing their unique attire, rituals, and expressions.

Lü Houmin’s work contributes to a greater understanding and appreciation of the rich tapestry of cultures that make up China’s social fabric.

Tong Cheong

Tong Cheong was a Chinese photographer known for his remarkable portraits and street scenes captured during the early 20th century.

His images provide a visual record of everyday life in China during a period of profound change, capturing the essence of the people, their traditions, and the evolving urban landscapes.

Hong Cheong

Hong Cheong was a Chinese photographer whose work primarily focused on capturing the landscapes and architecture of China during the late Qing dynasty and early Republic era.

His photographs offer a glimpse into the historical evolution of Chinese cities and landmarks, preserving the visual history of a nation in transition.

Lai Afong

Lai Afong was a pioneering Chinese photographer during the 19th century, renowned for his contributions to early photography in China.

His studio produced a wide range of images, including portraits, landscapes, and cultural scenes.

Lai Afong’s work provides valuable insights into the aesthetics and practices of early Chinese photography.

Wang Fuchun

Wang Fuchun is a Chinese photographer known for his intimate and humanistic depictions of everyday life.

His series “Chinese People” captures the essence of rural and urban life in China, showcasing moments of joy, struggle, and resilience.

Wang Fuchun’s photographs offer a heartfelt portrayal of the diverse experiences and emotions of the Chinese people.

Cang Xin


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Cang Xin is a contemporary Chinese artist and photographer known for his performance-based works that explore spirituality, identity, and the connection between humans and nature.

Through his thought-provoking photographs and performances, Cang Xin delves into philosophical and existential questions, challenging the boundaries of the self and the universe.

Miao Xiaochun

Miao Xiaochun is a Chinese artist and photographer acclaimed for his innovative use of digital technology to reinterpret traditional Chinese art forms.

His series “The Last Judgment in Cyberspace” reimagines classical European paintings within a virtual realm, blending Western and Eastern artistic traditions.

Miao Xiaochun’s work offers a compelling commentary on the intersections of culture, technology, and art history.

Zhou Chengzhou

Zhou Chengzhou is a Chinese photographer known for his evocative and poetic landscapes that capture the beauty and serenity of the natural world.

His photographs often focus on the sublime aspects of nature, inviting viewers to contemplate the transcendental qualities of the environment and the profound connection between humanity and the cosmos.

Tchan Fou-li

Tchan Fou-li was a Chinese photographer recognized for his contributions to early Chinese photography during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

His studio produced a wide range of images, including portraits, landscapes, and scenes of daily life.

Tchan Fou-li’s work offers a valuable glimpse into the visual culture of his time.

Zheng Guogu


Zheng Guogu is a contemporary Chinese artist and photographer recognized for his interdisciplinary approach that spans photography, installation, and multimedia art.

His work often reflects on cultural heritage, spirituality, and the dynamic relationship between tradition and modernity.

Zheng Guogu’s diverse body of work challenges conventions and invites viewers to explore the intersections of art, culture, and identity.

Zhao Xiaoding

Zhao Xiaoding is a Chinese photographer celebrated for his captivating images that capture the beauty of traditional Chinese architecture, landscapes, and cultural heritage.

His photographs showcase intricate details, vibrant colors, and a deep appreciation for the craftsmanship and history that define China’s architectural and artistic legacy.

O Zhang

O Zhang is a Chinese photographer known for her thought-provoking and introspective portraits that explore identity, cultural assimilation, and the complexities of migration.

Her series “The Good Earth” focuses on Chinese immigrants in the United States, offering a nuanced perspective on the pursuit of the American Dream and the challenges of integration.

Zhang Jingna

Zhang Jingna is a Chinese-Singaporean photographer acclaimed for her striking fashion and portrait photography.

Her visually captivating images often feature ethereal and dreamlike aesthetics, creating a sense of elegance and allure.

Zhang Jingna’s work has graced the pages of prestigious fashion magazines and has contributed to redefining the standards of beauty and style.

Ma Liuming

Ma Liuming is a Chinese performance artist and photographer known for his groundbreaking and provocative works that challenge societal norms and conventions.

His series “Fen-Ma Liuming” features self-portraits that explore themes of gender identity, sexuality, and the body, often in ways that subvert expectations and challenge preconceived notions.

Through his powerful and sometimes controversial imagery, Ma Liuming has contributed to discussions about identity, freedom of expression, and the boundaries of art.

Feng Xuemin

Feng Xuemin is a Chinese photographer celebrated for his stunning landscapes that capture the diverse and breathtaking beauty of China’s natural environments.

His photographs often highlight the grandeur of mountains, rivers, and forests, inviting viewers to connect with the awe-inspiring landscapes that have played a significant role in Chinese culture and philosophy.

Zhuang Xueben

Cover of Liangyou magazine 158th issue, 1940. Photography for the issue is Embroidery by Zhuang Xueben Xikang Travel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Cover of Liangyou magazine 158th issue, 1940. Photography for the issue is Embroidery by Zhuang Xueben Xikang Travel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Zhuang Xueben was a pioneering Chinese photographer who made significant contributions to the documentation of early 20th-century China.

His images provide a glimpse into the social, cultural, and political landscapes of his time, offering valuable historical insights into a period of profound transformation and upheaval.

Luo Dan

Luo Dan is a contemporary Chinese photographer celebrated for his evocative black-and-white images that explore the intersections of nature, culture, and spirituality.

His work often focuses on remote and rural communities, capturing the intimate relationship between humans and their natural surroundings.

Luo Dan’s photography offers a poetic meditation on the harmonious coexistence of people and the environment.

Zhang Kechun

Zhang Kechun is a Chinese photographer known for his contemplative and visually stunning landscapes that reflect the changing face of China’s urban and rural areas.

His series “The Yellow River” captures the beauty and complexity of the river’s landscapes, addressing issues of environmental degradation, urbanization, and cultural heritage.

Hui Zhuang

Hui Zhuang is a Chinese photographer acclaimed for her sensitive and intimate portraits that capture the emotions, personalities, and stories of her subjects.

Her photographs often convey a sense of connection and empathy, inviting viewers to engage with the human experiences and narratives that shape the world around us.

Zhang Xiao

Zhang Xiao is a contemporary Chinese photographer recognized for his visually captivating images that explore themes of urbanization, cultural identity, and the human condition.

His work often features vibrant and dynamic street scenes, capturing moments of beauty, chaos, and introspection within the rapidly changing landscapes of modern China.

Xiao Zhuang

Xiao Zhuang is a Chinese photographer known for his striking and often surreal compositions that challenge conventional perceptions of reality.

His photographs play with scale, perspective, and visual manipulation, creating visually intriguing and thought-provoking imagery that blurs the boundaries between the ordinary and the extraordinary.

Huang Xin

Huang Xin is a Chinese photographer celebrated for his poetic and emotionally resonant images that reflect on the passage of time, memory, and personal experiences.

His work often explores the subtleties of human emotions, inviting viewers to contemplate the transient nature of life and the enduring power of moments captured through the lens.

Zhu Lan Qing


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A post shared by Zhu Lanqing (@zhulanqing)

Zhu Lan Qing is a Chinese photographer known for her introspective and emotionally charged portraits that capture the essence of her subjects.

Her images often evoke a sense of vulnerability and authenticity, revealing the human stories that lie beneath the surface.

Zhu Lan Qing’s photography invites viewers to connect with the universal emotions that unite us all.

Niu Weiyu

Niu Weiyu is a Chinese photographer celebrated for his dynamic and visually captivating images that explore themes of urbanization, architecture, and the evolving landscapes of contemporary China.

His work often focuses on the interplay between man-made structures and the natural environment, offering a glimpse into the intricate relationship between humanity and the cities we inhabit.

What are some common styles adopted by Chinese photographers?

Chinese photographers have embraced a diverse range of styles and approaches, often influenced by their cultural heritage, societal changes, and individual artistic visions.

Here are some common styles and themes that have been adopted by Chinese photographers:

  1. Documentary and Photojournalism: Many Chinese photographers have engaged in documentary and photojournalistic work, capturing real-life moments, stories, and social issues. This style often involves a candid and unobtrusive approach, aiming to depict authentic narratives and shed light on important social, political, and cultural topics.
  2. Cultural Heritage and Tradition: Chinese photographers frequently explore their country’s rich cultural heritage and traditions. This can involve capturing rituals, festivals, traditional performances, and customs that showcase the deep-rooted cultural practices that have been passed down through generations.
  3. Landscape Photography: China’s vast and diverse landscapes have inspired numerous photographers to focus on capturing the natural beauty of the country. From majestic mountains to serene rivers, photographers often seek to convey the spiritual connection between humanity and nature.
  4. Portraiture: Portraiture is a common style that allows photographers to delve into the personal stories and emotions of their subjects. Whether capturing the faces of individuals from diverse backgrounds or exploring the nuances of human expression, portraiture serves as a powerful means of storytelling.
  5. Urban and Street Photography: With China’s rapid urbanization, photographers often document the dynamics of city life, street scenes, and the interactions between people and their urban environments. This style can reflect the energy, diversity, and complexities of modern Chinese society.
  6. Conceptual and Contemporary Art: Many Chinese photographers have embraced conceptual and contemporary art approaches, utilizing symbolism, metaphors, and visual experimentation to convey deeper meanings and engage viewers in thought-provoking narratives.
  7. Cultural Critique and Social Commentary: In response to societal changes and challenges, some photographers adopt a style that involves critiquing cultural norms, social issues, and political realities. These photographers use their work to raise questions and prompt discussions about contemporary Chinese society.
  8. Nostalgia and Memory: Photographers often explore themes of nostalgia and memory, reflecting on the past and its connection to the present. This style can evoke feelings of sentimentality and contemplation, inviting viewers to reflect on the passage of time and personal histories.
  9. Fashion Photography: With the rise of the fashion industry in China, many photographers have ventured into fashion photography. This style combines artistic expression with commercial aesthetics, often blending cultural influences with contemporary trends.
  10. Experimental and Digital Manipulation: Some Chinese photographers push the boundaries of the medium by experimenting with digital manipulation, mixed media, and innovative techniques. This allows them to create visually arresting and thought-provoking images that challenge traditional notions of photography.
  11. Candid Street Portraits: This style involves capturing genuine and unposed moments of people in public spaces. These candid street portraits offer a candid glimpse into the lives and personalities of individuals from various walks of life.
  12. Dreamlike and Surreal Imagery: Certain photographers create dreamlike and surreal images that blur the line between reality and imagination. These visual narratives often explore subconscious emotions, cultural symbolism, and universal human experiences.These styles reflect the diverse creative expressions of Chinese photographers, showcasing their ability to capture the complexities of culture, society, and human experience through the lens of their cameras.
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Shotkit Writer, Product Tester & Instagram Manager

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.

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