The fourth edition of Jimei x Arles photo festival will take place in Xiamen from November 23 to January 2. Co-created in 2015 by Chinese pioneer photographer RongRong (also the founder of China’s first ever photography museum Three Shadows Photography Art Centre) and Sam Stourdzé, the director of the world’s most important international photo festival, Rencontres d’Arles (France), Jimei x Arles has become an unmissable event for photo lovers in China in just three years, and attracted more than 160,000 visitors (60,000 in 2017).
Co-produced by Three Shadows Photography Art Centre and Xiamen’s Jimei District - Tianxia Jimei Media, the festival’s art direction is ensured by Bérénice Angremy and Victoria Jonathan, co-founders of art & culture agency Doors. During his first official visit to China in January 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron recognized Jimei x Arles festival as an example of Sino-French cultural cooperation.
The festival takes place in Xiamen, formerly known as Amoy, a coastal city that has been an important port for centuries. Located across the Taiwan strait, famous for the colonial-era Gulangyu island, it is a vibrant and modern city that is also the home of China’s independent fashion scene. The festival’s main sites are located in Xiamen’s new district of Jimei and a few venues in the city center.
Every year, a selection of exhibitions from Rencontres d’Arles travel to China. After Joel Meyerowitz, Toilet Paper, Mathieu Pernot, Audrey Tautou, Blank Paper, the 66 photographers from Iran - Year 38 and Paolo Woods and Gabriele Galimberti, in 2018 Jimei x Arles will exhibit:
- The Imaginary Pyramids by René Burri
- Being Human by William Wegman
- Lee McQueen – The Unfinished by Ann Ray
- H+ by Matthieu Gafsou
- A Pillar of Smoke – A Look at Turkey’s Contemporary Scene
- One exhibition from the New Discovery Award
- The 2018 Book Awards
Ever since its beginning, the festival has been a platform for new Chinese photography. Every year, ten talents are nominated for the Jimei x Arles Discovery Award. At stake is an award of 200,000 RMB (25,000 Euros) and an exhibition at the prestigious Rencontres d’Arles the following summer. After Zhu Lanqing (2015) and Céline Liu (2016), in 2017 the prize was awarded to Feng Li, with his series White Night begun 12 years ago on the streets of Chengdu. Feng Li’s works are currently shown during the 49th Rencontres d’Arles (2 July to 23 September), along with Guo Yingguang’s (The Bliss of Conformity), a nominee for the award and the winner of the first Chinese award dedicated to Chinese female photographers, the Jimei x Arles - Madame Figaro China Women Photographers Award (supported by Kering – Women in Motion).
A dozen other exhibitions will showcase the vitality of the Chinese and Asian photography scenes. After Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia, in 2018 Jimei x Arles will dedicate a section of the festival to South Korean photography.
More information: www.en.jimeiarles.com
Watch the exclusive interview of Ou Zhihang.
"The Bliss of Conformity" by Yingguang GUO
Limited edition of 800 copies, 47€
Velour cover, 287mm x 205mm x 14mm, 86 pages
Photographs in black&white and colors
The boyfriend’s parents can’t accept her age after all, and their relationship ended there. That’s how Chinese photographer Yingguang Guo (b. 1983) became single at the age of 33, a “left-over woman”, considered by the eyes of contemporary Chinese society. Burdened by all of the questions she could not find answers to, Guo went to the People’s Park in Shanghai to perform as her own “matchmaker”, holding a sign with her own accomplishments, while the parents come sniffing around to assess her suitability for their children.
In addition to being a place of relaxation, Shanghai People’s Park is also a well-known market for matchmaking that has been in existence for ten years. Hundreds of parents gather there every weekend regardless of weather, clutching succinct summaries of their children on single information sheets that contain their age, height, education, job, salary etc. all in an effort to find an “acceptable” partner for their child to marry.
By photographing daily scenes and details of personal adds at the matchmaking corner, Guo also uses photo-etching techniques to create a series of abstract images that reveal the turbulent truths of arranged marriages beneath the seemingly calm surface depicted by peaceful images of the park, such as traditional intergenerational relationships and views of marriage, as well as discrimination against the so-called “left-over women”.
This publication was spotted at "La Maison de Z", an on-going project focusing on Chinese contemporary photography and independent publications. Founded by French-Chinese artist Zhen Shi in 2015, the project allows a growing audience the discovery of the most recent works of emerging Chinese artists.
Guo signed her publication on Thursday 5th July at Cosmos Arles Books. She has also an exhibition at the Maison des Lices, which is coproduced with the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival.
Fashion Eye Shanghai - Wing Shya
Book edited by Patrick Rémy, 50€
23.5 cm x 30.5 cm
Printed on opaque coating paper
The “Louis Vuitton Fashion Eye” collection evokes a city, region or country through the eye of a fashion photographer. “Fashion Eye” establishes a dialogue between emerging talents, seasoned photographers and fashion photography legends. This volume offers a unique vision of Shanghai by Wing Shya, where he lives part time. He serves as exclusive photographer for Wong-Kar-wai (Happy Together, In the Mood for Love, Eros, 2046). At the crossroads of art, fashion and cinema, Wing Shya develops an aesthetic approach that is all about sensuality and style.
JIMEI X ARLES DISCOVERY AWARD WINNER
FENG LI - WHITE NIGHT
Feng Li works as a photographer both as a civil servant in local government and as an independent artist. Thus he must alternate between official imagery and personal photographs that are completely out of phase with the propaganda he crafts. The spectacle of today’s China, a vast, surrealistic construction site or a hypertrophied version of modernity, as it plays out every day in city and countryside, offers an inexhaustible wealth of material for such a wanderer as he. While helping to assemble a festival of illuminations in a deserted suburb of Chengdu, he was struck by the unreal atmosphere of these giant structures poised in the mist. He decided to give his work the overall title White Night. For in China, nights are not really dark: LEDs glow, karaoke bars blink, construction sites are lit up until dawn, creating a permanent twilight. In this intermediary dimension, unexpected characters abound. This is the spectral universe that Feng Li captures in the whiteness of his flashbulb.
His photographs are so many fortuitous encounters with the improbable cast supplied by reality—the reality of Chengdu, with its streets of shops, its parks, its restaurants. For Feng Li is most comfortable close to home, rather than exploring the otherness of far away. The decisive instant is not his concern; almost despite himself, a strange population assembles before his lens, like insects drawn to the light. Feng Li has an eye for the everyday. Effortlessly, he reveals the most unexpected scenes of the great spectacle of daily life. Starlets in miniskirts, old ladies in fake fur, homeless people in their wanderings: he captures singular characters who each seem in their way to play a role in the great fiction of ordinary life. Since 2005, Feng Li has trod his beat, the official photographer of a bromidic conference or moving freely through the weekend crowd, tirelessly enhancing his single, unique, abundant series, White Night.
Thomas Sauvin & Leo de Boisgisson
Exhibition curator: Thomas Sauvin.
Exhibition produced by Three Shadows.
Publication: White Night, Jiazazhi Press, 2017.
Prints by Picto, Paris.
Framing by Circad, Paris.
With support from Picto Foundation.
Visit White Night in Arles, Feng Li’s “Carte blanche” at Croisière.
THE LAST TESTAMENT
“Surely I am coming back soon.”
The New Testament’s penultimate verse prophesying Jesus Christ’s imminent return remains one of history’s defining sentences. Christians have waited two thousand years for the second coming of Jesus Christ, when he will bring about the End Times, judge mankind, and bring mankind into God’s Kingdom. Luckily, those who are eager to meet the Savior no longer have to wait: Jonas Bendiksen’s The Last Testament chronicles seven men who all claim to be the biblical Messiah returned. Some are powerful and have thousands of followers. Others are true underdogs, with only a handful of disciples. All are united in the faith that they themselves are the Chosen One and have come to save the world.
Visiting their communities in England, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Zambia, Japan, and the Philippines, Bendiksen photographed the Messiahs themselves, as well as their disciples’ daily life and rituals. Through photography, Scripture, and found materials, he explores who these individuals are, who the biblical Messiah was — and what people today yearn for him to be in the flesh.
Through Bendiksen’s personal testimonies and intimate portraits, The Last Testament investigates the boundaries of religious faith and a world in need of salvation, yearning for a new prophet. Whether escaping an angry mob in the streets with the Jesus of Kitwe, joining a Messianic birthday pilgrimage in Siberia, or witnessing the End of Days with Moses in South Africa, Bendiksen immerses himself among the disciples of each of them. He takes at face value that each is the one true Messiah returned to earth, creating a work of both apocalyptic journalism and compelling artistic imagination.
Publication: The Last Testament, GOST/ Aperture, 2017.
Prints by Jonas Bendiksen.
Framing by Circad, Paris.
Wallpapers by Atelier SHL, Arles.
Exhibition venue: Église Sainte-Anne.
The exhibition is part of MP2018, Quel Amour !
THE IMAGINARY PYRAMIDS
On his first trip to Egypt in 1958, René Burri discovered the pyramid of Saqqarah, a huge tomb in the middle of the desert. He who had grown up in the Swiss Alps was instinctively drawn to these amazing man-made wonders—mountains in the desert, but without the snow. He traveled several times to Mexico, Guatemala, and Egypt to feast his eyes, photographing pyramids, perfect figures with four equal, magical, and mysterious sides, in black and white and color. This personal reportage was never published.
Excitedly embracing their triangular shape, his photographs are full of subconscious references to pyramids, from rooftops to wigwams, modern architecture and Zen gardens. In love with their geometry, René saw them everywhere, filling his sketchbooks with drawings of them and even collecting pyramidal objects.
Back home, René made photocopies of his pictures. He would rip up newspapers, postcards, and leaflets from just about everywhere, make collages and highlight them with watercolor. At night, alone and basking in memories, he would let his imagination run wild until dawn.
Our first trip was to the Yucatan in Mexico in May 1987. A cheerful, enthusiastic René greeted me at the airport. Two surprises were in store for me: the good one was that the pyramids were in wonderful places. The bad one was finding out I’m scared of heights! I spent the time reading my guide and watching the light change at sunset at the foot of the pyramids. It was impossible to climb them. For me, this exhibition pays tribute to that trip, which I will never forget.
René was a wanderer attached to his native Switzerland and the mountains that gave him strength, rigor, and energy. He loved leaving because it made coming home to find a kind of inner peace, to contemplate and meditate, all the sweeter. René enjoyed saying that he always wanted to reach the top first to see what was on the other side. He grew up in the heart of the Alps, which blocked his view. His passion for pyramids was his way of discovering what the mountains had hidden from him for so long: the horizon.
Exhibition curators: Clotilde Blanc-Burri et Sam Stourdzé
Publication: Les Pyramides imaginaires de René Burri, éditions Textuel, 2018.
Prints by Processus, Paris.
Framing by Circad, Paris.
With support from the Swiss Confederation and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.
The Wombat box No. 35 - René Burri, Les Pyramides Imaginaires
Many great artists have a muse. Sometimes this muse is a silent partner, the object of an artist’s obsessive gaze. At other times the relationship is a deeply collaborative act. The history of photography has its own celebrated cases: Jacques-Henri Lartigue and Ren.e Perle, for example, or Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keefe.
For William Wegman, whose muses have been all of these things and more, inspiration arrived almost a half-century ago, when a Weimaraner who had joined the family showed both an aptitude and a passion for performance before the camera; in honor of one of Wegman’s most admired modern artists, he would be named Man Ray, the first in a line of highly spirited performers.
William Wegman is a renowned, versatile American artist who resists an easy classification, as he moves adroitly between painting, drawing, photography, film, video, books and performances. Although his famed Weimaraners are not featured in all these media, they reside at the core of his art. In the late 1970s, Wegman found in the large-format Polaroid print his ideal means of expression—the perfect print size, exquisite color, and an “instantaneity” which allowed for spontaneity and beneficial “accidents.” When the Polaroid chapter finally came to an end, the artist shifted to working digitally, rediscovering in this new medium what was essential to him about the Polaroid process.
Wegman’s world may revolve around his dogs, but his choices of sets, costumes and props betray a fascination with art history—cubism, color field painting, abstract expressionism, constructivism, conceptualism, and the like. The diverse fields of photography also intrigue the artist, and we find in his work landscapes, nudes, portraits, reportage, and fashion.
And yet, is it all really about dogs? Being Human suggests otherwise: these performers are us ; we are them: housewife, astronaut, lawyer, priest, farm worker, even a … dog walker! Some pose proudly and with confidence, others express doubts or vulnerabilities: it’s all about being human.
William A. Ewing
Exhibition curator: William A. Ewing.
Exhibition produced by The Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis, in collaboration with the Rencontres d’Arles.
With support from Sperone Westwater Gallery.
Publication: Être humain, .ditions Textuel, 2017
(French edition); Being Human, Thames & Hudson, 2017 (English edition).
Framing by Circad, Paris.
See the extension of the Being Human exhibition by William Wegman at the Avignon TGV station, with support from SNCF Gares & Connexions.
Exhibition venue: Palais de l’Archevéché.
(AUTO)PORTRAIT DE LA RÉVOLUTION CULTURELLE CHINOISE
This year, Photography of China is proud to have been selected to project an exclusive slideshow entitled "Wang Qiuhang: Chinese Cultural Revolution (Self)Portrait 1966-1976." It introduces a collection of portraits depicting the Chinese photographer Wang Qiuhang taken by himself and his friends during the decade of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Raised in Hangzhou in a family of high-ranking officials, Wang underwent countless difficulties throughout his life because his father was accused of being a “traitor of the Party”, sent to a labor camp and forced to kill himself. On account of his “bad family background,” Wang was denied jobs and, for years as a result, the opportunity to find a wife. Hence he explains “After having gone through total despair, I discovered another kind of love: the love of oneself.”
The video will be showcased on 6 July 2018 at the Papeteries Étienne (screen 1), then on Arles' website and later across Photography of China's platforms.
Night of the Year
Papeteries Étienne, Arles
6 July 2018
19h00 - 3h00
Each and every summer we are back in The Rencontres d'Arles (formerly known as the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d'Arles). Entitled "Back to the Future", the program this year invites us to cross space and time with a breathtaking, celestial journey across the ages. Highlights from the festival are coming in the next couple days.
Born in Hohhot, the Inner Mongolia in 1976, Li Wei has been photographing the region since 2008. We have invited him to take over Photography of China's Instagram account to share some of his works about Inner Mongolia, and some about Xinjiang.⠀
Born in Berlin in 1925, Hans (Johnny) Schneider worked in China as translator/editor for 'China Pictorial' (Spanish edition) in the 1960s. He left rare photographs of the Mao era.
Over the last ten years, the Three Shadows Photography Award has devoted itself to identifying new trends in Chinese photography, placing particular emphasis on artists and artworks with an independent spirit and potential. Through the investigation, organization, and study of Chinese contemporary photography, the Three Shadows Photography Award introduced emerging Chinese contemporary photography to a wider audience, driving the development of Chinese contemporary photography. The Three Shadows Photography Award offers a window for the world to better understand the power and diversity of contemporary photography in China.
After the exhibition “Outward Expressions, Inward Reflection” by four young photographers in April 2008, Three Shadows announced the open call for the Three Shadows Photography Award, and began the process of evaluating the entries and planning the exhibition. With the enthusiastic support of partner institutions and young photographers, the 2008-2009 judging and exhibition was well-received by photographers, and “Points of Impact” became the first Three Shadows Photography Award Exhibition. Over the course of “Points of Impact,” “Confluence,” “Myriad Visions,” “Crossover,” “Essential Impressions,” “Formless,” “Detachment,” “Immeasurable,” “Allegory,” and “Interlink,” the Three Shadows Photography Award attracted submissions from over 5,000 photographers and artists globally and helped introduce over 200 photographers and artists as finalists.
Over these ten years, we have invited to Three Shadows museum directors and curators (e.g. Simon Baker and Quentin Bajac etc.) from the art world’s most important museums (including the Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the J. Paul Getty Museumin Los Angeles etc.) and important photographers (e.g. Hilla Becher, Candida Höfer, and Thomas Ruff etc.). The majority of them came to China for the first time in association with the prize. Together, they have participated in and witnessed the births of the stars of a new generation of Chinese photographers.
To commemorate the significance of this annual tradition, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre has organized “Ten Directions: The 10th Anniversary Exhibition of the Three Shadows Photography Award.”The exhibition presents the latest work from a selection of young artists – all participants in past editions of the award. We have invited Karen Smith, Gu Zheng, Iizawa Kotaro, Tsai Meng, and other experts from China and abroad to write academic essays for the exhibition catalog. During the run of the exhibition, Three Shadows will hold a series of discussions and forums with scholars and artists to reflect upon the development of Chinese photography.
“Ten Directions: The 10th Anniversary Exhibition of Three Shadows Photography Award” presents the diverse photographic practices of young Chinese artists over the last ten years and a review and summary of the achievements of the Three Shadows Photography Award. We invite viewers to transcend the static definition of photography and consider the visions and emotions inspired by the medium. “Ten Directions”sets a scene, helping the audience understand how Chinese photographers and artists work with photos, moving forward and pushing boundaries.
Featured Artists: Sickgirl, CAI Dongdong, CHEN Xiaoyi, CHEN Zhe, CHENG Xinhao, CHU Chu, DAI Jianyong, DU Yanfang, FENG Li, HUANG Jing, HUANG Xiaoliang, JIANG Pengyi, 9mouth, LI Jun, LIANG Xiu, LIN Zhipeng (aka No. 223), LIU Zhangbolong, LU Yanpeng, LUO Yang, LUO Dan, Mu Ge, QIU, REN Hang, SHEN Linghao, SUN Yanchu, Taca SUI, WANG Lin, WANG Tuo, Yan WANG Preston, WEI Bi, XU Lijing, YANG Yuanyuan, ZHANG Jin, ZHANG Kechun, ZHANG Wenxin, ZHANG Xiao, ZHANG Zhizhou, ZHU Lanqing
Ten Directions: The 10th Anniversary Exhibition of the Three Shadows Photography Award
Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
June 9 – August 5, 2018
Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
(155A Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015)