PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai 2021 announces programme

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PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai 2021 announces programme
© Ma Lian. Courtesy Maypark Gallery.

SHANGHAI.- PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai announced its gallery and exhibitor line-up for its upcoming 7th edition, returning to the Shanghai Exhibition Center this September with Porsche as Presenting Partner. Over 40 exhibitors are taking part across different sections, including the newly launched Publishing, Not for Profit and SOLO. International galleries unable to travel due to ongoing restrictions are represented through new film and digital programs Screen and On View.

PHOTOFAIRS is Asia Pacific’s leading destination for discovering and collecting photo-based works. This year’s edition seeks to support and uplift artists and galleries from across China by showcasing the breadth and diversity of the local scene. Galleries from Beijing to Chengdu and Shanghai to Changsha come together at the fair to highlight the work of influential artists, such as Wang Bing, RongRong&inri, Wang Qingsong, Jiang Pengyi and Jiang Zhi alongside the work of the next generation of emerging talents including Xu Guanyu, Hu Weiyi and He Bo.

PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai 2021 is the first live edition of the fair since 2019 and marks the return of Asia Pacific’s only fair dedicated to discovering, exploring and collecting fine art photography.

Georgia Griffiths, Director of PHOTOFAIRS says: 'We are delighted to be returning to Shanghai with a renewed sense of energy and purpose. We look forward to welcoming back exhibitors, collectors and audiences and are excited to launch new sections and initiatives which champion artists and galleries from across China, making the fair a true celebration and site of discovery.'


Galleries taking part this year will show a mix of local and international talents in two strands: Main and Solo. In the Main section returning galleries include Matthew Liu Fine Arts (Shanghai) showing Yang Yongliang, Thomas Canto, Candida Höfer and Vik Muniz; see+ gallery (Beijing, Shenzhen) with Eikoh Hosoe and Issei Suda; ShanghART Gallery (Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore) with a presentation of Jiang Pengyi; and Three Shadows +3 Gallery (Beijing, Xiamen) with Mika Ninagawa and Koo Bohnchang. Also returning are ArtCN Gallery (Shanghai); Galerie XII (Paris, Los Angeles, Shanghai); Gaotai Gallery (Urumqi); M Art Center (Shanghai); and Timeless Gallery (Beijing), among others.

Galleries new to the fair this year are: Magician Space (Beijing) with a solo presentation of Shi Guowei; Maypark Gallery (Chengdu) presenting Sebastião Salgado; and WEST GALLERY (Lanzhou) exhibiting Wang Bing. Also included are Visible Gallery (Beijing) and X Contemporary Art (Changsha).

New to the fair this year is the SOLO section featuring galleries with a single artist presentation. Participating galleries include HdM GALLERY (Beijing, London) with a new series by Hu Weiyi, titled The dust now inhaled was once a house; Hüten Gallery (Shanghai) unveils brand new images by Chen Jiayi; Jason Shin (Seoul) exhibits Ina Jang’s series of works Radiator Theatre; Once Gallery (Shanghai) showcases Sun Haiting; plus V&E ART (Paris, Taipei) presents the work of French artist Thomas Devaux.

Public Programme

A new Not for Profit initiative features China’s top photographic institutions and organisations. Its aim is to highlight the important role museums play in cultivating and advancing photographic culture in China. Museums taking part include Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai); UCCA Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing, Shanghai, Qinhuangdao) and the Strategic Partnership of Chinese Photography Museums; an alliance between Three Shadows Photography Art Center (Beijing, Xiamen); Chengdu Contemporary Image Museum (Chengdu); Xie Zilong Photography Museum (Changsha); and Shanghai Center of Photography (Shanghai).

Returning to the fair is Spotlight, an exhibition highlighting a specific series or theme in the work of renowned artists whose practice bears a particular relevance and importance to contemporary photography. Past Spotlight exhibitions have featured Taryn Simon, Ren Hang, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Marina Abramović. This year Spotlight presents The Things 2020, a brand new series of photographs by Hu Jieming, a pioneer of digital media and video installation in China.

Also included in this section are the previously announced Exposure Award and Insights presentations. This year’s recipient of the Exposure Award powered by MODERN EYE is Cao Shu (Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing) for his work Roam Simulator. Set up as a video game, this interactive installation takes audiences on a journey through a desert town to explore a person’s life, personal history and memory.

Curated by He Yining Insights: Imaging Our Futures is a thematic group exhibition featuring 12 international artists whose work envisions humanity’s future in digitally constructed images. The exhibition covers a range of pertinent topics from journalism, advertising and consumerism to our relationship with nature and space exploration.


Also launching is the Publishing section presenting emerging and established photobook publishers from around the world. Accompanying this new section is a programme of talks and artist book signings. Participating publishers include: Edition Patrick Frey (Zurich); Jiazazhi (Ningbo); Mabi Company (Shanghai); Spector Books (Leipzig); Fw: Books (Amsterdam); The Eriskay Connection (Breda); Perimeter Editions (Melbourne); Imageless (Wuxi); La Maison de Z (Paris); more more artbook (Shanghai); and SEISODO (Kyoto).

Film and Digital Programme

Two new dedicated programmes, Film and Digital, connect international exhibitors with local audiences as well as reflect current trends and themes in photography.

Presented in partnership with the Centre for Experimental Film (CEF), Screen is a film program that celebrates new and experimental film-making practices or film as an artistic medium. Launching for the first time under the theme of Re., the programme presents works which investigate the effects and challenges prompted by COVID-19 as we slowly begin to move towards a post-pandemic society. Re. is both an action and a question: how can society rebound and build back better? Re. also represents restoration, reflection, revival and remodel.

Galleries taking part include bitforms gallery (New York) with Jonathan Monaghan’s Den of Wolves; Klemm’s (Berlin) with Émilie Pitoiset’s The Third Party and Adrian Sauer’s Atelier; A Thousand Plateaus Art Space (Chengdu) with Chen Qiulin’s Drown; and Vanguard Gallery (Shanghai) with Fang Di’s Hyundai.

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