NEWS: PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai embraces the edge of photography through new award and exhibitions | PHOTOFAIRS

NEWS: PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai embraces the edge of photography through new award and exhibitions

© Jiang Pengyi, Foresight No.26. Courtesy of ShanghART Gallery (Shanghai, Beijing & Singapore)

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai will open its sixth edition this September with an inspiring Public Program combining new approaches to photography and modern masterpieces with exhibitions, commissions and a new award celebrating emerging photographic talent.

PHOTOFAIRS is Asia Pacific’s leading destination for discovering and collecting photo-based works.  It is recognized for celebrating artists working at the very edges of photography, throughout history and today.  The 2019 edition will feature works by household names including Marina Abramović, Yang Fudong, Vivian Maier and Robert Mapplethorpe alongside exciting presentations by Cory Arcangel, James Casebere, Xyza Cruz Bacani, Pieter Hugo, Idris Khan, Mariko Mori and Adrian Sauer and the debut of new works by Jiang Pengyi, Wu Chi-Tsung, Lu Yang and Chen Wei.

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai with Presenting Partner Porsche will be held at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre from September 20-22, 2019.  Tickets will go on sale June 18 at

Noémie Goudal, 2019 Exposure Award Winner

Exposure Award

In March 2019 PHOTOFAIRS launched the inaugural Exposure Award powered by MODERN EYE, with the reward of a complementary stand to any gallery with a solo presentation of experimental work who had not previously shown at the fair.

From worldwide submissions judges selected a presentation Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire (Paris) of work by visual artist Noémie Goudal.  Chosen for its bold concept and visual elegance, the planned installation will bring together works from three of Goudal’s recent series.

The judging panel also commended three standout submissions by Galerie 127 (Morocco) with artist Carolle Benitah, One Way Art (Beijing) with artist Ding Shiwei and Mary Mary (New York) with artist Patricia Voulgaris.

Georgia Griffiths, PHOTOFAIRS Group Fair Director, comments: “Over the last six years, PHOTOFAIRS has worked closely with our collectors and audience to nurture and deepen the understanding of photography.  The Exposure Award is an exciting addition to the Fair as it embodies our commitment to exhibit the best in creative photography. The financial difficulties of presenting an experimental booth in a new market are inevitable.  The prize minimizes these risks to support artists, galleries and therefore our collectors, to truly explore what photography can do.”

The Exposure Award jury included Cao Dan, President of MODERN ART and Art Director of MODERN EYE, Jiyoon Lee, Curator and Founder, SUUM Projects (Seoul); Wang Jun, Collector and Founder, The Light Society (Beijing) and Christopher Phillips, Independent Curator (New York).

© Noemie Goudal. Telluris III, series Telluris 2017. Courtesy of Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire (Paris)

2019 Public Program

Running throughout the Fair, the 2019 Public Program will focus on photography’s relationship to other art forms via a series of museum-quality exhibitions, installations and events.  Highlights include:

Insights: “Fieldwork”

Following last year’s thought-provoking and critically acclaimed Insights exhibition “The Same But Also Changed”, PHOTOFAIRS has commissioned Para Site, Asia’s leading contemporary art centre, to curate Insights for 2019.

Para Site Deputy Director Claire Shea will draw from a wide network of established and emerging artists from East and South East Asia to explore photography’s role in shaping our history.  Titled “Fieldwork”, the exhibition will also study the contemporary power of the medium to re-examine those histories and shed light on points of view that were previously overlooked.

© Marina Abramović, The Lovers (Star), 1988, published in 2019. Courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery (New York & Taipei)

Spotlight: Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović’s legendary series “The Lovers” (1988) is the focus of the 2019 Spotlight exhibition. A defining moment in the history of performance art, this will be the first opportunity for audiences in Mainland China to witness the final collaborative piece Abramović produced with her former partner Ulay. The work is a heartbreaking record of the pair walking towards each other along the length of the Great Wall of China, meeting in the middle to end their relationship.

The entire set of twelve color photographs with unique drawings will be on view alongside the 2-channel video of the work. In addition, we will feature an interview between the artist and Sean Kelly, owner of Sean Kelly Gallery (New York & Taipei). Abramović has pioneered performance as a visual art form and has used photography throughout her career to document her performances.  

The Spotlight section of PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai highlights an artist of international renown who is of particular relevance and importance to contemporary photography. Past exhibitions have featured Taryn Simon, Ren Hang and Hiroshi Sugimoto.


Collectors’ Exhibition: “Taking the Leap”

This year we are showcasing the University of Salford Art Collection (UK).  Having acquired more than 700 works over the past 60 years, the Collection aims to make a lasting difference to the arts ecology in the North West of England. With a strong commitment to commissioning new work and supporting artists, the Collection also has a special focus on Chinese contemporary art, including artists such as Cao Fei, Samson Young and aaajiao.

The exhibition is selected by celebrated Hong Kong independent curator Ying Kwok, who was widely recognized for her curation of Hong Kong Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. Featuring artists from the UK and China and including a new commission and installation by leading female multimedia artist Lu Yang, the exhibition will provide inspiration to collectors and buyers interested in digital arts and new technologies.

© Luke Ching, Window (Day 2); Room 118, Titanic Hotel, Stanley Dock, Regent Road, Liverpool, 2017. Photograph Rob Battersby.

2019 Galleries

As demonstrated in the Public Program, PHOTOFAIRS is to foster dialogue between photography and other contemporary art fields. Supporting this in Fair’s Main sector are galleries including Arario Gallery (Seoul & Shanghai), Galleria Continua (San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins & Habana), Les Douches La Galerie (Paris), Flowers Gallery (London, New York & Hong Kong), Sean Kelly Gallery (New York & Taipei), Klemm’s (Berlin), Matthew Liu Fine Arts (Shanghai), Mohsen Gallery (Tehran), Pékin Fine Arts (Beijing & Hong Kong), Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (Paris, Salzburg & London) and ShanghART Gallery (Shanghai, Beijing & Singapore).

The full Public Program and participating gallery list will be announced August 2019.

© David Burdeny, Saltern Study 10, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015. Courtesy of Per Van Der Horst (The Hague & Taipei)