PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai’s fifth anniversary boosts Asia Pacific’s photography market | PHOTOFAIRS

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai’s fifth anniversary boosts Asia Pacific’s photography market



© PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai 2018

The city of Shanghai became Asia Pacific’s home for photography by welcoming our fifth anniversary edition.  Running September 20-23 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, galleries and collectors praised PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai's maturity and highlighted it as a vital platform to meet China’s growing appetite for collectable photo-based artworks. We are delighted that the Fair has cemented its position as Asia Pacific’s leading destination for collecting photography.

Our 2018 edition brought together leading Chinese and international artists, and was embraced by the city with a week of cultural events. Shanghai’s leading museums each presented significant photography exhibitions and held events around the Fair, including the HOW Museum, OCAT Shanghai, Fosun Foundation and Shanghai Centre for Photography.

The Fair gave galleries a dedicated platform to present their photographic artists in China. As Nick Buckley Wood from Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac said: “PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai is important as we do not have a physical space in Asia and the Fair enables the gallery to keep a presence in China.  We are not exclusively a photography gallery and PHOTOFAIRS allowed us to give specific focus to our photographers and gave room to show their breadth of work. We made new connections and I have seen many artwork collectors and curators at the fair who are not specifically focused on photography looking to broaden their collections.  We were also able to strengthen our relationships with Shanghai museums.”

Key collectors and curators in attendance at PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai included: Martin Barnes (Senior Curator of Photography, Victoria & Albert Museum, London), Michael Chen Chan-wan (art advisor, Sunpride Foundation, Taipei), Thomas Dukes (curator, Open Eye, Liverpool), Stephan Erfurt (CEO, C/O Berlin Foundation), Lin Han & Wanwan Lei (collectors & Co-Founders, M Woods Museum, Beijing), Dr Oliver Hartmann (Konsul, Goethe Institute), Zheng Hao (collector & Founder HOW Art Museum, Shanghai), Wang Jun (Collector & Founder, The Light Society, Beijing), Jiyoon Lee (curator & Managing Director, Suum Projects, Seoul)​, Heung Shing Liu (Founder, Shanghai Center of Photography), Isaac Leung (Chairman, Videotage, Hong Kong), Mark Lubell (Director, International Center for Photography, New York), Marleen Molenaar (collector, Hong Kong), Christopher Phillips (Independent curator, New York), Anouska Phizacklea (Director, Monash Gallery, Melbourne), Lawrence Ross (Advisory Board, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago), Andrew Ruff (collector & founder, 166 Space, Shanghai), Claire Shea (Deputy Director, Para-Site, Hong Kong), Karen Smith (Artistic Director, Shanghai Center of Photography / Director, OCAT Xi’an), Douglas So (collector & Founder, F11 Museum, Hong Kong), Lindsay Taylor (curator, University of Salford Art Collection), Jenny Jinyuan Wang (Collector & Founder, Fosun Foundation, Shanghai), Heiner Wemhöner (Collector & Founder, Saamlung | Wemhöner, Berlin), Susan Van Wyck (Curator of Photography, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne), Jay Xu (Director, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco) and Lu Xun (Collector and Founder and Director, Sifang Museum, Nanjing).

On his experience of the fair, Christopher Phillips said: “I thought the fifth edition of PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai was significant for its greater emphasis on galleries and artists from the Asia-Pacific region. For fair visitors coming from abroad, this meant a chance to see top-quality material that seldom appears in European or American fairs. There was a particularly strong presence of Japanese galleries that presented work by a wide range of established and emerging photographers. It was a concentrated display of museum-quality works that would be unlikely to be seen at any other photo fair.”

Martin Barnes adds: “PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai is a lively fair in a beautiful building in one of the world’s most dynamic cities. It is a place to immerse yourself in the cross-cultural dialogues surrounding creative photography, to discover some of the best Asian image-makers, and to make new colleagues and friends.”

Audiences enjoyed large-scale installations, moving image and new technologies, alongside works by the masters of photography.  Over 80% of the Fair’s 55 leading dealers hailed from Asia Pacific, and the support of local talent was further celebrated with a strong focus on artists from Japan and Korea across both galleries and the public program.

Georgia Griffiths, PHOTOFAIRS Group Fair Director said “Since launching in 2014, we have witnessed a widening embrace of the photographic medium in China – four major museums dedicated to photography have opened and photography exhibitions in China have increased 250%.  Photography is a dynamic and progressive medium and we believe it is key for the future of the Chinese art market, now the second largest market in the world. I am delighted that we have been able to offer both Chinese and international collectors a true site of discovery, and a genuine platform for Asia Pacific galleries to be seen on a global stage.  I now look forward to the next five years of PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai.”

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai will return to Shanghai from September 20-22, 2019 for its 6th edition. Our San Francisco edition takes place February 7-9, 2020.

See you there!