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