It was love at first sight for Yongqiu Liu when she came to Sri Lanka in 2005. She had planned a short vacation but so drawn to the country was she that she decided to stay.
'Sri Lanka, My Love' is Yongqiu’s photographic tribute to the country, her images capturing people, places and festivals of the country seen with her journalistic eye. The exhibition will be held at the Galle Face Hotel on October 2, 3 and 4 and Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa will be the chief guest while Chinese ambassador Mrs Yang Xiuping will be the guest of honour.
Having worked as an editor in Beijing, Yongqiu has been attached to the Colombo office of the Xinhua news agency since March 2008. Her husband Zhanjie Chen is the Chief Correspondent of Xinhua in Colombo and it was with him that she first came to Sri Lanka.
"My son and I fell in love with Sri Lanka immediately. My seven-year-old son who was born in Beijing which is a forest of concrete was free to run barefoot on the beach and watch squirrels, monitors, butterflies and many other lovely creatures everywhere. So we decided to settle down here with his father," she says.
Giving up her job in Beijing, she started anew- learning new skills as she adapted to her new environment- driving, English and then photography. "Sri Lanka has charmed me during the past five years," she confesses, adding that every moment that made her reach for her camera had also touched her heart.
Five years is too short to understand the country, she adds.
They leave for Greece to take up their next posting in November.