Photographer pays homage to Chinese beauty

The qipao dress, a classic Chinese garment, is at the heart of a photographer’s obsession involving more than 40,000 women around the world. Their images will appear on a scroll 10 kilometers long in a project called “Global Qipao Image Scroll.” 

Lin Tong is not a professional model. But on this day, Lin and dozens of other women in a cramped Sydney studio paid hundreds of dollars to model a look, with a message.

For Lin, it is money well spent. “It's a fabulous way to present the beauty of Chinese women,” said Lin.

Beauty is at the heart of this traveling project, which made a stop in Australia. For creator Liu Bing, the Global Qipao Image Scroll project started with a question.

“Asian ladies, they have an inner beauty which is unique, and when I look at a qipao they have a soft unique Asian side, how can I bring the two together?" said Liu.

The answer was an idea to photograph Chinese women around the world wearing the traditional qipao dress. 

“I didn’t expect the feedback I’ve received from all over the world. The project today doesn’t belong to me anymore; it belongs to all of the Chinese ladies who want to show their inner beauty, who want to wear the qipao and be proud of who they are,” said Liu.

Which helps to explain why these women jumped at the chance to take part.

“We’ve perhaps forgotten what does beautiful mean to us; this is a chance for us to remember, back in the beautiful days what it means to ourselves," said Leann Lian, Organizer of Australian Qipao Festival.

By the time the project is finished, more than 40,000 women will be photographed. Those pictures will be displayed on one continuous scroll, spanning more than 10,000 meters, which will make it the longest scroll in the world.

“I’m not a creator of the qipao or a designer, I’m a messenger and the messenger to all over the world, who wants them to know about Chinese culture,” said Liu.