Chinese documentary photographer Lu Guang went missing in Xinjiang three weeks ago, family says

  • Award-winning photographer last heard from on November 3
  • Friends say Lu and colleague held by Kashgar police
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2018, 6:36pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 November, 2018, 6:45pm

Internationally renowned Chinese documentary photographer Lu Guang has gone missing while on a trip to Xinjiang, his wife said on Tuesday.

Lu’s family last heard from him while he was in the regional capital of Urumqi on the evening of November 3, Xu Xiaoli told the South China Morning Post. He visited Xinjiang to meet other photographers.

A US green card holder who usually lived in eastern China, 57-year-old Lu is a familiar name in domestic and foreign media alike. His work reflected his strong views about industrialisation and damage done to the environment.

From 1980, Lu started building a career in studio photography and later studied photography at Tsinghua University in Beijing while developing a freelance career.

Foreign minister says Xinjiang camps are terrorism prevention measures

Since 1993, he has worked in documentary photography, recording the effects of environmental pollution, poverty, Aids villages, and drug addiction in a rapidly industrialising China.

From 2004, Lu won many international awards, including the World Press Photo, the Henry Nannen Pries, the W·Eugene Smith Grant Humanitarian Photography Award, the National Geographic Photography Award, the Dutch Prince Claus Award. He has also won the highest domestic award, the China Photography Awards.

Xu said her husband flew to Urumqi on October 23 and travelled to Kashgar in southern Xinjiang on October 31 before returning to Urumqi on November 3. She said she had kept in contact with him throughout his trip.

Lu was expected to leave Urumqi on November 5 for Sichuan and meet with a friend there to visit poor children. The Sichuan friend called Xu the next day, after Lu did not arrive.

Xu attempted to contact the friend who invited Lu to Xinjiang. The friend’s wife said that Lu and his friend were taken to Kashgar by policeand she did not know why or where the men were.

Xu learned from the government of Yongkang, in Zhejiang province where Lu’s household registration is located, that Lu was detained by Kashgar police. There were no more details, officials in Yongkang said.

Police in Yongkang said they knew nothing of Lu’s detention, while Kashgar police could not be reached for comment.