An international celebration of photography takes place in Shanghai this September. PHOTOFAIRS is now in its fourth year, and features notable names along with new talent. The event was founded in 2014 by Sandy Angus and Scott Gray, who are, respectively, Chairman and Founder of the World Photography Organisation.
Despite its relative youth, the event attracts significant global attention, garnering the participation of galleries from fourteen different countries. This year, the list includes Robert Mann Gallery, New York, who bring the work of Richard Misrach, Jeff Brouws and Paulette Tavormina to the Chinese market – which is now the largest in the art world – for the first time. Magnum Photos – London and Paris – present a collection by French artist Marc Riboud, whilst Time Space Gallery, Beijing, offers a selection of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s iconic candid street images.
The organisers are also keen to support what they consider to be an emergent generation – albeit one which has, by any measure, already acquired large amounts of exposure and respect. Urban-focused pieces by Chen Quilin, for example, who is originally from the Hubei Province, have been exhibited globally; one of her contemporaries, Chen Wei, whose photographs are also featured, has previously collaborated with top designers including Bottega Veneta and Prada. The work of these young practitioners is complemented by that of internationally famous artists such as Yang Yonliang and Zeng Fanzhi. Yonliang’s celebrated landscape images form a natural progression from his training as a painter, almost resembling engravings in their delicate intricacy. Fanzhi, whose powerful The Last Supper sold in Hong Kong for a record-breaking $23.3 million, brings a political slant to proceedings: his mediation on Tiananmen, for example, is anxiously visceral.
PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai, Shanghai Exhibition Centre: 8-10 September. Find out more: www.photofairs.org
1. Courtesy of Shang Art Gallery.