Wang Yao, born in Beijing, picked up a camera at the age of 5 and hasn’t put it down since. A photography prodigy, Yao won a national award for a photo she took at age 11. She continued to achieve throughout her adolescence and adulthood, both as a reporter and as a photographer.
At the age of 11 Wang won first prize in the National Good News Story competition in 1981, for her photo New School Uniform. Her photo A 60-year-old Dancer Returns to Perform Again won the Golden Prize at the 43rd World News Photography Contest in Holland. She has reported on numerous important occasions, including two Olympic Games and the return of Macao. Wang has been a photographer for China News Press and the director of the Hong Kong branch of China News Press since 1992 when she won the China News Awards second prize for her photo of an aircraft accident in Guilin. In 1998, she again won this prize for her photo Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa Attend the First Horse Race Day after the Return of Hong Kong. Despite her many awards and accolades, Yao is quite humble. Her philosophy, that photographers have a duty to have professional morals and report the truth, speaks volumes of how special she is. As for her talent, her photos speak for themselves.
‘Queen of Chinese Dance’
First prize story for World Press Photo. Here is Chen Ailian at 60 years old, followed for two weeks by Wang Yao to get these wonderful images. This dancer won four gold medals in an international competition. But in 1966, during the Cultural Revolution, she was forced to abandon her career and to go and live in the country. Later on she opened a private academy to promote Chinese dance. At 15 years old she made a stage comeback with the lead role in the classical dance Dreams of the Red Mansion. She was on tour going to a city a day and became exhausted. She was very passionate during her whole carrier and she kept performing till she was 60 years old.