LAN ZHIGUI 

Lan Zhigui (1932 - 2016, Baxian, Sichuan) was one of the most important figures in the history of Chinese photography. He was the first gold medalist in an international photography competition in new China. From the early 1950's to the early 1970's, he was considered a master of photography with twenty years of dedication to film the classic image of Tibet. Lan Zhigui went to Tibet at the age of 19 as a reporter for the Number Eighteen Army and spent 20 years in Tibet to record the history of Ethnic Tibetans by photographing. He photographed the People's Liberation Army's entry into Tibet, the construction of the Xikang-Tibet highway, appeasing of the armed rebellion, democratic reform, the establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region, and a series of important historical events. Lan Zhigui first encountered photography when he was a young apprentice in a photo studio. When he finished his apprenticeship in one of the three famous photos studio, i.e. Royal Palace photo studio in 1948, Chongqing, he attended an art training course for half a year, where he learned from the publications of many famous works in the history of Western art. This helped him in shaping his future art theories. In November 1949, he participated in the People's Liberation Army. In 1951, 19-year-old Lan Zhigui entered Tibet with the PLA 18th army, served as a photographer, then became one of the first photographers who shot photographs in Tibet in the era of new China. Since then, Lan Zhigui stayed in Tibet for twenty years, witnessed and recorded all the important events from the early 1950s to the early 1970s. He filmed the Tibetan folklore, Tibetan religion, Tibetan culture. His masterpiece Merry Festivals in Lhasa won the first international gold medal for China. He also took lots of pictures on ethnic minorities, e.g. the Lhoba people, Mishmi people, Menba people.