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Image Credit: Peng Xiangjie

“Peng Xiangjie’s photographs are taken by a Mamiya from the 70s and printed by the artist himself in the darkroom. Through the various shades of black and white, he’s looking for a space to give to a world that is slowly disappearing.” 

Giulia Pra Floriani, Curator


We have just started a special series of weekly book giveaways – timely for those of us around Australia facing imminent lockdown thanks to a Covid-19 breakout.

What better way to isolate than with a book of inspiring photographs?  So, first up, we are delighted to offer this excellent tome by Peng Xiangjie, a documentary photographer who focuses on a non-mainstream subject matter associated with subcultures within China.

Xiangjie has been working with photography since 1991. His photographs have been presented in prestigious festivals and galleries including, Pingyao International Photography Festival, Visa pour l’image: International Festival of Photojournalism, Monash Gallery of Art (MGA) – Victoria, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre–Beijing, and of course, Head On Photo Festival.  

For Head On in 2018, he exhibited Cosplay, photographs from the series The second dimension taken in various cities all around China (Xi’an, Chengdu, Chongqing, Luoyang, Jinan and Kunming) to document a widespread phenomenon among the young generations’ subculture: Cosplay festivals.

His work has been published in notable magazines such as Chinese Photography, Popular Photography, FOCUS, National Geographic, and Marie Claire. In addition, he has successively served as a Document China Photo Agency photographer and as an academic and art consultant of the Barn Contemporary Imaging Museum.

So we are excited to be able to give away one of his beautiful photo books that includes images from Wandering Tent, a photographic project he undertook of Chinese circus people from 1992 – 2002. Peng explains that the series is a testament to women and men living marginal lives as nomads, travelling in big groups, performing, singing, dancing, and in acts as circus acrobats. While working on the project, Xiangjie became aware of the rapidly changing face of Chinese society – especially in light of consumerism and popular Western culture that are undermining traditional Chinese ways. Peng hopes these photographs will raise awareness of this neglected part of their society.

All you have to do is follow, like and tag a friend on our Instagram, and you’ll go into the draw.

Picture of a book
Image: Book by Peng Xiangji


Head On Foundation (est. 2008) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting photographers' work at all career stages. We encourage excellence and innovation, make photography accessible to all, and raise awareness of important issues through the medium. The Foundation's main activities are Head On Photo Festival and Head On Awards (Portrait, Landscape, and Student photographic prizes) and an annual program of collaborative projects. Head On Foundation is a bridge between Australian and international photography markets. The festival has toured in the US, China, India, Europe, and New Zealand, introducing the global arts community to the wealth of photographic talent Australia possesses.

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage