PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai announces new details of its upcoming 7th edition

PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai announces new details of its upcoming 7th edition including the winner of the Exposure Award and the theme and participating artists in this year’s Insights section. PHOTOFAIRS is Asia Pacific’s leading destination for discovering and collecting photo-based works.

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Returning to the Shanghai Exhibition Center this September, the fair focuses on the future of photographic practices through a curated programme which champions local talents and new voices in photography. Exposure Award  Launched in 2019 the Award provides a complimentary exhibition platform to any gallery with a solo presentation of experimental work by an artist pushing the boundaries of photography.

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.

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.” Insights: Imaging Our Futures  Exploring further the break from traditional photographic frameworks is this thematic group exhibition featuring international artists whose work envisions humanity’s future in digitally constructed images.

Presenting artists and collectives include Discipula (Italy), Fernando Montiel Klint (Gallery Artbaena, Mexico), Shun Li (China), Wendy McMurdo (UK), Milan F4 (China), Michael Najjar (BANK, China), Marcel Rickli (Switzerland), Slime Engine (Madeln Gallery, China), Clement Valla (bitforms Gallery, USA), Feiyu Wang (China) and Wenxin Zhang (China). The exhibition covers a range of pertinent topics from journalism, advertising and consumerism to our relationship with nature and space exploration.

Curated by He Yining, the show aims to rethink the complex interactions between the digital and the visual while cautioning audiences about the inherent trappings of these practices. He Yining says: “Combining my research on new trends in contemporary photography and a series of public programs, I aim to explore how photographers approach image creation in a world of algorithms and CGI in order to show our imagination of the future.” Next to be announced is this year’s gallery list alongside newly launched sections and initiatives aimed at further supporting and uplifting artists and galleries from across China while providing visibility and connectivity with local audiences for international exhibitors unable to travel due to restrictions.

PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai 2021 is the first live edition of the fair since 2019 and marks the return of Asia’s only fair dedicated to discovering, exploring and collecting fine art photography. 

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