PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai 2018 announces a challenging and innovative 5-part Public Program | PHOTOFAIRS

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai 2018 announces a challenging and innovative 5-part Public Program

© HIROSHI SUGIMOTO, Duomo, Florence. Courtesy of Galleria Continua (San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins & Havana)

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai will mark its fifth anniversary with a five-part public program. This will include curated exhibition platforms of groundbreaking contemporary Asian art - Staged, Connected, Spotlight, Insights - and the fair’s Conversations series. Together these five highlights will create the Fair’s most thought-provoking and contemporary public program yet.

This year’s Public Program will include some of the world’s most acclaimed artists, featuring everything from a solo show of works never before seen in China by Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, to an artist talk by Austrian feminist titan, VALIE EXPORT.

Back again for 2018, the STAGED section aims to explore the crossovers between photography and other art forms. True to form, this year’s Staged will feature four cutting-edge works that will pop up throughout the fair as artistic interventions. This will include two new works commissioned by the fair; one by Chinese artist Cai Dongdong, and the other by Korean artist SeungWoo Back. Dongdong’s work "The Thousand-Face Door"  will take the form of a traditional Chinese doorway, covered in over 1000 1 inch photographs from between 1910 and 1990. Joined by an installation of camera equipment entitled "The Theft", the piece will reflect upon the unknown purposes behind image production, and underlying politics of violence and power. SeungWoo Back’s large-scale work at the fair entrance will remind viewers of Communist-era architecture and draws minds towards contemporary politics.

New for this year, the fair’s CONNECTED exhibition will showcase the best in video art from renowned international artists including Wolfgang Tillmans and Wim Wenders. They will be presented by institutions including HOW Art Museum, Videotage, Video Bureau and the media platform, NOWNESS.

Adding to this, the fair's SPOTLIGHT exhibition, which shines a light on the practise of a influential master of photography, will present a solo show of works never before seen in China by Japanese artist, Hiroshi Sugimoto. Gates of Paradise, a new series debuted last autumn at the Japanese Society in New York, reminds viewers of centuries of cultural mixing between East and West. Sugimoto does this through retracing the route of the Tenshō embassy; four young Japanese boys who were sent to European courts and palaces as ambassadors in the 16th century. He treats the iconic sites, including Rome’s Duomo and Florence’s Baptistery, with great sensitivity and awareness of history. His series of large-scale, silver gelatine prints suggest generations of history and cultural exchange.

After all that looking, visitors may be interested to sit down and listen to some of the world's most acclaimed photography thought-leaders and artists. The fair’s CONVERSATIONS talks programme will offer advice, observations and debate from photography world superstars including:

  • Panel talks with Zoe Zhang Liqi (Deputy Director, HOW Art Museum), Claire Shea (Deputy Director, Para-site), Thomas Dukes (Curator, Open Eye Liverpool)

  • Artist Talks by VALIE EXPORT (Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Paris & London), Cai Dongdong (One Way Art Gallery, Beijing), Hai Bo (Pace Gallery, New York, Palo Alto, London, Paris, Seoul & Beijing), SeungWoo Back (Gana Art, Seoul & SUUM Projects, Seoul) and Chen Chieh-Jen  (Long March Space, Beijing), who will offer insight into their practises.

If this all wasn’t enough, there is the exciting INSIGHTS exhibition platform, powered by Patek Philippe, that completes the 2018 public program. Curator Victor Wang  (王宗孚) will realize a reimagining of the influential 1999 exhibition “The Same But Also Changed (物是人非)”, featuring works by the original participants Chen Xiaoyun, Geng Jianyi, Hu Jieming, Liang Yue, Xiang Liqing, Yang Zhenzhong, Yang Fudong, Liu Wei and Xu Zhen, presented alongside a new generation of artists: Chen Zhe, Yang Yuanyuan, Fan Xi,  Ma Qiusha, Miao Ying and Shi Zheng.

The fair also has an amazing array of sponsors and media partners, including a large newsstand area where visitors can pick up copies of over 20 magazines.

Georgia Griffiths, Group Fair Director said: "PHOTOFAIRS's ongoing mission is to present cutting-edge artwork and this is mirrored by our public program in site-specific installations, new technology, moving image and artists' talks. I'm particularly excited about the range of practices that are on display from established artists reflecting on their work through to the new section, Connected. Visitors will have a myriad of opportunities to experience a variety of contemporary photography practices.”

At this year's fair, visitors will have plenty of cutting-edge contemporary art to get stuck into, presented by some of the best artists, galleries and curators around. Head straight to the ticket site to secure a spot.