Spotlight | PHOTOFAIRS



© HAI Bo, South series, No. 13, 2012. Courtesy of the Artist.

Spotlight | Hai Bo – The Southern

Following the launch of Spotlight in Shanghai September 2017, PHOTOFAIRS partnered with Branding Shanghai to present the distinguished Chinese artist, Hai Bo. 

Hai Bo's “The Southern” series will made its public debut in Spotlight.  Photographs in this new exhibit show the ordinary and mysterious scenes in southern China, containing elements from the past to the present, from reality to dreams. For an artist who was born in northern China and lived there for many years, Hai Bo sees the north as more of a physical place and the south more of a spiritual place. The Chinese traditional Taoism says that the world is made up of opposite elements like Ying and Yang, dynamism and statics, virtuality and reality. Hai Bo says, “I think my works, especially “The Northern “ and “The Southern” series, are closely related to the eastern spirits. If  “The Northern “ series represents a heavy reality and pessimistic emotions, then “The Southern“ series is more about fantasy and virtual mental states. Life and art are just dreams.”

Hai Bo has been immersed in capturing the landscapes of his hometown and surrounding countryside. It’s broad fields and horizons have shaped his memories. His work is full of local scenes and people, imbuing his images with visual history and nostalgic mood. As he has said “Photography is the only possible record of lost time, this fictional absurdity represents my understanding of art.”

China has experienced drastic changes over the past thirty years. The memories of hometowns fade in the face of radical change. Hai Bo captures and preserves those memories in his pristine landscape portraits of China’s countryside. These ordinary countryside people and landscapes stand in contrast to the images of China we so often see today, linking the present with the past.  This is one reason why so many people are moved and comforted by his photographs.

Hai Bo is represented by Pace Gallery (New York, Palo Alto, London, Paris, Seoul, and Beijing). His photographs have been exhibited in numerous important international exhibitions including; The 49th Venice Biennale (Italy, 2001), curated by Harald Szeemann; “Shoot the Family” (touring) (Cranbrook Art Museum, Michigan, 2006/07), curated by Ralph Rugoff; “Journeys: Mapping the Earth and Mind in Chinese Art” (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007), curated by Maxwell K. Hearn; “Photography from the New China” (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angles, 2010/11), curated by Judy Keller; “Perspectives: Hai Bo” (solo exhibition) (Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art/Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington D.C., 2010/11), curated by Carol Huh. His work has been acquired by prestigious museums and art institutions worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; International Center of Photography Museum, New York; Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art/Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington D.C.; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angles; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; The National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou; and Annie Wong Art Foundation, Hong Kong.


Presented by          

Branding Shanghai aims to connect the dots between brands, culture, and customers. It was originally established to help promote the Chinese metropolis all over the world through the integration of resources from government entities as well as business, media, educational and social organizations.

Zephyr Art is a Beijing & Shanghai based organization focusing on the promotion of Chinese culture through the lens of contemporary art.  By its advancement of Chinese artist projects on international platforms,  Zephyr aims to increase dialogue and broaden understanding of both present day and traditional Chinese Culture.                                

PHOTOFAIRS, with Branding Shanghai and Zephyr Art would like to extend many thanks to Pace Gallery Beijing for the support of this exhibition.

 PHOTOFAIRS is pleased to be included in the Happy Chinese New Year programming through the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.