Chinese student wants to photograph all of Australia’s major cultural festivals and events

A Chinese nationwide has fallen in love with Australia a lot that he has set himself the purpose of photographing and documenting greater than 200 events and cultural festivals.

Tyr Liang, 29, moved to Adelaide in 2014 to research mechanical engineering and discover the distant components of Australia. 

“I love travelling and before I got into photography I collected postcards,” he stated.

“But a lot of remote places in Australia either didn’t have postcards or the postcard quality was bad, so I decided to buy a camera and do it myself.”

Mr Liang stated he initially began with 50 events that he needed to photograph however that checklist had now expanded.

“I am currently on a project to document Australian events and festivals. So far, I have selected 200 out of over 3,000 events and festivals across Australia,” he stated.

“The first event I covered was South Australia’s history festival, it’s a one-month event and a few hundred smaller events and they open a lot of historical places for people to inspect.

“It’s a incredible occasion and I’ve documented the occasion for the previous 4 years now.

Camels racing with jockeys aboard across the red dirt in the NT
Uluru Camel Cup 2021, at Yulara within the Northern Territory.(Supplied: Jiayuan Liang and Xplorer Studio)

The smallest occasion that Mr Liang photographed was the English Ale pageant, which was an annual occasion held yearly in South Australia.

“It’s a pagan ritual type event that happens in the Adelaide Hills where a bonfire is built with a wicker man. It’s been going for over 40 years,” Mr Liang stated.

While all events had their positives, Mr Liang stated if he had to select one occasion as his favorite it will be Dark Mofo in Hobart.

“It’s just so different and creative, it’s a dark-themed event with many smaller events,” he stated.

“It attracts artists from all over the world and Hobart is a very special place to be during that time.”

A man starting a bonfire with a large wicker man looking down on him
The Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest is a celebration of the area’s apple-picking historical past.(Supplied: Jiayuan Liang and Xplorer Studio)

Since arriving in Australia, Mr Liang estimated he had photographed greater than 200 events and festivals all the way in which from Tasmania up to the Torres Strait Islands.

“It’s the largest cultural gathering of Torres Strait islanders. Many of the communities send their best dancing groups.

“It’s in all probability the most effective alternative to see dancing teams from so many distant islands and communities.

“It was really hard getting from Adelaide to the Torres Strait islands to photograph that festival, but I made it.”

A man playing a guitar that is on fire in front of a giant speaker stack
White Night 2019 — Melbourne’s largest arts pageant.(Supplied: Jiayuan Liang and Xplorer Studio)

For most of his journeys, Mr Liang paid for the privilege to doc the cultural festivals out of his personal pocket.

“The significance of my project is that, due to COVID, many events and festivals that have been running for years now, have an uncertain future,” he stated.

“Because many of the events are run by volunteers and lack marketing, not many high-quality photographs exist.

Mr Liang said he saw himself as a photo archaeologist.

“It’s essential to doc these cultural events for future references. I name it fashionable materials archaeology,” he said.

“We doc the modern previous and once we take a photograph it turns into half of historical past and it is archived for future generations.

Several indigenous dancers, dancing in front of a large tree
Laura Quinkan Dance Festival 2021, one of Australia’s largest Indigenous cultural gatherings.(Supplied: Jiayuan Liang and Xplorer Studio)

“These events and festivals show the unique culture of local and regional communities, some of them are even of national significance.

“I really feel they’ve a cultural significance for endangered ethnic teams, particularly throughout at this time’s radically altering world.”

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