For a brief period after the camera was invented, photography was considered a rather transparent medium: a testimony and the most realistic way to refer to the outside world. But soon, it was enriched with multiple interpretations as people’s perceptions and usage of this medium evolved. Photography became more than a reflection of the object captured. The result is that nothing becomes fixed or irrefutable and it is such ambiguity that opens up new spaces for photography and the world beyond.

PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai opens its second online exhibition, The Boundary of Drifting, and puts a spotlight on 24 photographic works and 14 photographic publications in an attempt to respond to, explore, and further extend this topic. The works not only present technologies that are both iterative and intertwined, but also pay attention to the fluid, superimposed, and multifaceted expressions behind them. In addition, they champion artists’ strong intention behind the expressions to break down, confront and fight against the so-called self-evident common sense and experiences people take for granted.

Artists Franco Fontana, Niko Luoma, Lan Chung-Hsuan, Ina Jang and Sameer Tawde accurately demonstrate the connection between photography and other artistic media such as painting, collage and stage design. Guanyu Xu, Luo Yang, Larry Towell and Alexandra Rose Howland, in an attempt to break stereotyping in society, question established notions such as identity, gender, ethnicity and territory. The creative works of Celine Liu, Chen Ronghui, Yui Takada, Chris McCaw and Linda Connor experiment with forms, shaking apart the clear distinction between reality and fiction, fear and hope, order and chaos, centre and edge, the mundane and ritual, private and public, as well as individual and everything else.

We drift around the boundary, break free from it before drawing a new border. The truth is, we are fundamentally complex and heterogenous creatures.