Why Shanghai? | PHOTOFAIRS

Why Shanghai?

"The photography market in Asia has seen an unprecedented burst of activity in recent years, regional institutions and private collectors, having finally recognised the significance of photography as a visual medium, are now making serious acquisitions of top-tier historic and contemporary work."
Christopher Philips, Independent Curator, New York

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai was launched in 2014 as a direct response to the increasing demand in Mainland China and the Asia-Pacific region for modern and contemporary fine art photography and moving image.  

China is one of the top three markets globally accounting for 20% of annual global turnover with Shanghai in particular being one of the largest visual arts hubs in Asia.  The market has shown increasing buoyancy over the last decade, with a steady increase in sales across commercial platforms and a rapidly developing market for the photographic medium.  

PHOTOFAIRS has witnessed a widening embrace of the photographic medium in China since 2014 – four major museums dedicated to photography have opened and photography exhibitions in China have increased by 250%.  Shanghai’s mature art scene coupled with the rapid increase in private museums and cultural institutions, and the growth of local and PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai above all facilitates the possibility for regional & international collectors to witness the work of collectable photography by emerging and established artists from the Asia-Pacific Region, the Americas and Europe.  The Fair’s boutique scale (participation is capped at 55 galleries) offers an environment that facilitates new connections and offered unrivalled exposure and opportunities for galleries to operate in the fastest growing market in the world. 

"PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai will certainly very quickly become an unavoidable stopover on the international art fairs circuit.  Thanks to the specially selected galleries and focused talks program there is less ‘déjà vu and the fair offers a great opportunity to make new discoveries from the contemporary Chinese art scene."
Jean-François Dubos, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris

What the Galleries Say


“PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai is important as we do not have a physical space in Asia and the Fair enables the gallery to keep a presence in China. We are not exclusively a photography gallery and the 2018 Shanghai edition allowed us to give specific focus to our photographers and gave room to show their breadth of work. We made new connections and I have seen many artwork collectors and curators at the Fair who are not specifically focused on photography looking to broaden their collections. We were also able to strengthen our relationships with Shanghai museums.”
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Paris & London

“PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai is a unique platform dedicated to photography in China. It proves the market value of this medium and offers a wide perspective on contemporary art collecting. The Fair provides a diverse connection between local collectors and public institutions. I am thrilled to see the growth of the Fair and want to explore more opportunities for Chinese artists we work with.”
AIKE, Shanghai

“PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai is a very focused Fair. It has proven to be a good place to connect with collectors who are interested in contemporary art from outside of China and want to add to their collections.”
KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin & London

“We saw many great works and had meaningful conversations with visitors. We made sales and are excited for the future possibilities for photography and video arts.”
Pace Gallery, New York, Beijing, London, Hong Kong, Palo Alto, Seoul & Geneva