'Taking the Leap' | PHOTOFAIRS

'Taking the Leap'

The University of Salford Art Collection (UK) initiated its art collection in the 1960s, and now contains over 700 works.  Their collection transformed in 2013 from owning primarily 20th century and contemporary British art, to introducing three main strands; Chinese Contemporary Art, About the Digital, and 'From the North'.  PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai 2019 will be their first opportunity to exhibit the collection in China. The Collectors' Exhibition is curated by Ying Kwok, an independent curator who has worked on a multitude of international exhibitions, including the 57th Venice Biennale, HK Pavilion.

'Taking the Leap' - a brave, risky or challenging move away from one's comfort zone - is the theme of this years' Collectors' Exhibition. Kwok has selected works by artists that are innovative and confident in their creative strategy and design. The theme aligns with the institutions' own leap to diversify their collection and promote a wider range of international artists.

Please see a selection of works that will be exhibited below, alongside text from Kwok...


Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead’s Corruption I & II are part of an edition of twelve photographic light boxes of corrupt video files found online – a file intended to put a virus onto the downloader’s computer, but which appears pixilated, painterly and abstract when opened in a video player. Animated by lenticular printing, these glitches, malfunctions and distortions are re-presented as aesthetic propositions, reminding us that the act of looking itself distorts our perception of reality.

Most of the artists’ work studies how live networks such as the internet impacts on our perception of the world and our surroundings.




©  Thomson & Craighead, Corruption II, 2014. Courtesy of University of Salford Art Collection

Luke Ching’s photographic artwork Window (Day 2): Room 118, Titanic Hotel, Stanley Dock, Regent Road, Liverpool, 2017 wonderfully demonstrates the leap of faith from both the artist and the collector. Created as a special commission born from a 10-day residency in Liverpool, the artist temporarily transformed a bedroom in the Titanic Hotel (a 200-year-old former warehouse at Stanley Dock) into a pin-hole camera. Ching lived in the room during the exposure, never turning on the lights. The work touches on the processes of time and questions the durability of our urban fabric and social interactions. He acknowledges that although change may be slow (or fast), it always happens.











©  Luke Ching, Window (Day 2): Room 118, Titanic Hotel, Stanley Dock, Regent Road, Liverpool, 2017. Installation photograph - Rob Battersby, 2017. Courtesy of University of Salford Art Collection

Working with digital images, Manchester-based artist Mishka Henner is among a new generation of artists redefining the role of photography. Cedar Point Oil Field, Harris County, Texas (2013 -14) is from Henner’s Oil Fields series. Reminiscent of a beautiful abstract painting, it is actually a composite of high-resolution satellite images sourced from publicly available data on the internet. His appropriative practice explores the use and value of photography and its relationship with contemporary experience, and challenges the issues of surveillance, ownership, and the environment.





© Mishka Henner, Cedar Point Oil Field, Texas, 2013-14. Courtesy of University of Salford Art Collection

Liam Young’s work Where the City Can’t See (1-4) are stills from his film under the same name, the first ever fiction movie shot entirely with laser scanning technology. Young’s work explores his overlapping interest among film, fiction, design and uses storytelling to investigate a future prototype of a city. Using hypothetical design, film and the visualisation of imaginary cities, he opens up conversations about urban existence, raising queries about the roles of architecture and technology in a modern context.





© Liam Young, Where The City Can't See (2016). Courtesy of the artist, University of Salford Art Collection