Exposure Award 2021 both
© 2021 Exposure Award Onsite Installation Shot.

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. Photographs from an old family album are scattered in the space as guiding clues with players able to generate their own photographs along the way using the game’s ‘Recall’ button. Through this action Shu aims to examine and question technology’s role in shaping our sense of self, time and place. 

Partnering with MODERN EYE for the third consecutive year, PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai set up the Exposure Award to support photo-based artists truly pushing the boundaries of the photographic medium and are innovators in their technique, concept and approach. Since it’s inception in 2019, the Award has celebrated photographic artists working on the edges of the medium, helping to ensure groundbreaking work continues to be created.

2021 Winner——CAO SHU (Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing)

© Cao Shu, Roam Simulator, 2021. Courtesy of the artist

Applications were judged by an expert panel of individuals – all leading voices in their sphere of expertise within the photography industry. View this year’s judges below. We are grateful to this year’s judges, each a leading voice in the photography industry, for their time, expertise and insight. The individuals making up this year’s judging panel bring an exciting range of knowledge from wide and varied backgrounds in the medium.

Commenting about the work, Cao Dan, President of MODERN ART and a member of the Exposure Award judging panel says: “Cao Shu uses new media technology and games as a medium to explore people’s living conditions, history and memory, emotions and dreams. This plan achieves the perfect fusion of technology and art.”

Cao Dan

Cao Dan is a senior art journalist, curator and documentary film director. In the early 1990s, she worked as the Creative Director of Guangdong White Horse Advertising Co., Ltd. From 1998 to 2012, she lived in Paris and engaged with art, design and documentary. From 2012 to 2017, she acted as the publisher of two authoritative art publications: The Art Newspaper China and LEAP. At the beginning of 2018 she founded ARTEMISIA, a program committed to interdisciplinary collaborations aiming to promote the connection and interaction between the public, corporations and art. In 2019 she was appointed the President of Modern Art (Modern Media Group) and Publisher of The Art Newspaper China and LEAP.

Eve Schillo

Eve Schillo curates exhibitions for galleries dedicated to modern art and photography from America, Latin America and Japan. She’s worked on a range of displays during her tenure at LACMA, subjects include Cuban photography after the Revolution; the Pictorialist movement; the multimedia self-portraits by author and artist William S. Burroughs; plus the still and moving imagery by artists Katy Grannan and Charlie White.

Recent projects include a retrospective of Mexican photographer Mariana Yampolsky; This Is Not a Selfie; Sarah Charlesworth: Doubleworld; Larry Sultan: Here and Home; and Road Trip: Photography and the American West. Currently, her exhibition Golden Hour: California Photography from LACMA is on tour until 2022. Her long-term areas of interest include Photographic Abstraction, Latin American practitioners, time-based media, and the (as yet unbranded) New Futurists.

Lisa Springer

Lisa Springer is photography curator with wide expertise ranging from the history of photographic exhibitions to international contemporary fine art practice. She has worked in several major European museums over the past eight years and since 2019 has been Curator of Touring Photography Exhibitions at the V&A, London, where she leads the program of special displays touring to China. Springer also contributes to exhibitions at the V&A Photography Centre and works as part of a curatorial team responsible for one of the world’s most significant photography collections.

Before joining the V&A, Lisa was the Manager of the prestigious Prix Pictet Photography Award. She ran the ambitious global touring exhibitions program for four years, collaborating with 50 leading photographers and 31 international venues.

She studied Art History and Cultural Studies in Hildesheim and Paris before being awarded a coveted place on the two-year training programme for photography curators run by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation, Germany. During that time, she contributed to numerous exhibitions at the Fotomuseum (Munich), the Kupferstich Kabinett (Dresden), Museum Folkwang (Essen), plus the V&A, London. Projects included Paul Strand: Photography and Film for the 20th Century (V&A, 2016), Robert Capa: War Photographs 1943-1945 (Kupferstich Kabinett, 2015) and (Mis)Understanding Photography – Works and Manifestos (Folkwang Museum, 2015).

Lisa acts as an invited juror and portfolio reviewer at international events and has written essays for a number of exhibition catalogues, books and magazines.

Isabella Tam

Isabella Tam is the Associate Curator of M+, a visual culture museum in Hong Kong. Her major curatorial areas of expertise include the M+ Sigg Collection of Chinese contemporary art, a core collection to the museum, as well as photography in East Asia and beyond.

Tam’s curated exhibitions include the Sigg Prize 2019, the online project Mapping Sigg Collection (2019), Canton Express (2017) and M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art (2016). She has also contributed to exhibitions including Mobile M+: Inflation! (2013) and Song Dong: 36 Calendars (2012). Prior to joining M+, she served as an Assistant Curator of the Hong Kong Visual Arts Center and a Curatorial Fellow at the Whitechapel Gallery in London.