2024 AAPI: Living Heritages Photo Contest Award Ceremony and Exhibition Opening

Exhibition Time: May 30 – June 14, 2024

Event Time: May 30, 2024

Location: Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library

On May 30, 2024, the award ceremony and exhibition for the 2024 AAPI Heritage Month Photography Contest, titled AAPI Living Heritages, grandly opened at the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library Friends Room. Attendees included U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, former California Assemblymember and current member of the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board Mike Eng, California Assemblymember Mike Fong’s District Director Jennifer Tang, and Monterey Park Mayor Jose Sanchez. Representatives from the Asian community in the Greater Los Angeles area, sponsors, media, and photographers gathered to witness this cultural event.

The event was organized by the Chinese Culture Development Center (CCDC) of Los Angeles, co-organized by the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles (PPAGLA), and sponsored by Point Space, Orange County Music & Dance, and Asia Pacific California Inc. The Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce and the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library served as exhibition partners, with MEIHUA magazine as the exclusive media partner. This year’s AAPI Heritage Month Photography Contest was open to Asian American photography enthusiasts nationwide, aiming to showcase the culture, life, customs, and living conditions of the Asian Pacific American community in the United States. The contest received an enthusiastic response, with nearly 200 outstanding entries covering various themes and rich content.

At the award ceremony, elected officials, sponsors, and representatives of the event organizers delivered speeches. In her speech, Judy Chu emphasized the significance of the CCDC’s previous Through the Lens: An Asian American Experience in 2021 photography exhibition and the current AAPI Heritage Month Photography Contest. She highlighted that the Asian Pacific American community still faces social issues such as hate and discrimination and urged everyone to unite, actively protect, and promote their traditional culture and heritage while defending their rights as a minority group.

Donghai Xu, Executive Director of the Chinese Culture Development Center, stated in his speech that using photography to record AAPI culture, traditions, and rich heritage can engage more people and create widespread influence. “We hope this event will serve as a catalyst, attracting various forces to join in and promote AAPI culture and traditions,” he said. Damian Dovarganes, representing the PPAGLA, remarked that the contest entries were of high quality and impressive, showcasing the unique perspectives and profound photography skills of AAPI photographers.

The judges and winning photographers interacted closely with the audience, sharing their creative experiences and stories, providing an opportunity for the audience to gain an in-depth understanding of the creative process and inspirations behind these works. The judging panel consisted of several international photography award winners, including Pulitzer Prize winners Ringo Chiu and Nick Ut, and World Press Photo winner Guorong Jia.

After careful selection by the three top photographers on the judging panel, the gold prize was awarded to Chen Qiu for the photo Father and Daughter. Qing Hu’s Being Patient and two other photos received silver prizes, while six photos, including A Crested Ibis from the East won bronze prizes. Additionally, the judges selected 10 outstanding works, and five popular vote awards were determined by online voting.

The exhibition runs from May 30 to June 14, allowing visitors to appreciate these works on the first floor of the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library. These precious images perfectly illustrate the contest’s original intent: to encourage inter-ethnic exchange and integration through the power of photography, jointly building a better life.

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