SEPTEMBER 5 is a big day for photography in China, as world leaders in this field will gather in Shanghai to attend Photo Shanghai, the nation’s first art fair dedicated to photography. It’s also Shanghai’s biggest international art fair of the year. The event, running from September 5-7, aims to create the most professional and international photography art platform in the Asia-Pacific region.
Untitled by Teun Hocks, 2010-Courtesy of TORCH Gallery, Amsterdam
Photo Shanghai attracts world-leading galleries to exhibit classic works shot by famous photographers at the landmark Shanghai Exhibition Center.
Galleries such as Camera Work from Berlin, Fahey/Klein from Los Angeles, Pekin Fine Arts from Beijing, Flowers Gallery from London and A. Galerie of Paris will introduce works from Araki Nobuyoshi, Nick Brandt, Edward Burtynsky, Henri Cartier-Bresson and many other photography masters.
Lisa Kauffman by Alber Watson, Paris, 1986- Courtesy of A. Galerie, Paris
The Peter Fetterman Gallery of Santa Monica brings “The Afghan Girl,” the most famous photograph of Steve McCurry, depicting a girl living as a refugee in Pakistan.
The girl is only 17 years old then and her beautifully haunting green eyes impressed viewers as if they can feel her innocence and youth even though she had already lived a hard life. “The Afghan Girl” is called “the First World’s Third World Mona Lisa” since it is likened to Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic painting.
Versace Dress by Herb Ritts, Back View, 1990-Courtesy of Camera Work, Berlin
Photo Shanghai also gathers together a number of artists at home and abroad. One of the advisory board members is Christopher Phillips, a curator at the International Center of Photography in New York City since 2000, who has organized numerous exhibitions of historic and contemporary photography.
Photographers Roger Ballen, Birdhead and Martin Parr will give speeches at the fair.
Melvin Bubble on Seine by Sokolsky, Paris, 1963- Courtesy of Fahey Klein Gallery
Alexander Montague-Sparey, the fair’s director, said: “We are delighted to welcome photographers Roger Ballen, Birdhead and Martin Parr to the city of Shanghai on the occasion of the fair. Our talks, education, exhibitions and VIP program will provide our audience with everything they need to explore, from the more emerging to most established coMllectable fine art photography available on the market today.
It is with much excitement that we unveil the first edition of Photo Shanghai to an international audience of collectors, experts and enthusiasts.”
Nick Elephant Exploding Dust by Brandt, Amboseli, 2004- Courtesy of ATLAS Gallery, London
Various talks and other events will run alongside the fair. Highlights include a conversation on Chinese contemporary photography between Phillips and artist RongRong, who is founder and director of Three Shadows; a VIP summit and forum of private collectors exploring current opportunities in the international photography market; and a program called “Contemporary Photography in China, 2009–2014,” hosted by Wang Huangsheng, director of the CAFA Art Museum.
A leading partner is Maserati. The luxury carmaker cooperates with Photo Shanghai to set up a contest aiming to discover and support the next generation of photographers. Winners of the Neptune Photography Award will have their works displayed at the fair.
The Neptune Photography Award’s submissions were closed on July 20, and seven young photographers are competing for the final award.
The Afghan Girl (Sharbat Gula) by Steve McCurry, Pakistan, 1984- Courtesy of Peter Fetterman
“Celebrating 100 years, Maserati embodies sustainable design while sharing a beautiful story about our craftsmanship, heritage and history. Every car incorporates today elements of handcrafted luxury as it did when lovingly built by the Maserati brothers in a garage in Italy,” said Christian Gobber, managing director of Maserati Greater China.
The Darken Cities, Shanghai, by Thierry Cohen - Courtesy of Danziger Gallery, NY
“We are very pleased to join Photo Shanghai to embark on our search for ordinary people who share the same dream as the Maserati brothers, and capture their special moments of being passionate about what they can create and make a difference with their hands.”
“We are delighted to partner with Maserati to create this exciting new competition. The Neptune Photography Contest is about discovering and consequently nurturing and supporting the next generation of photographers,” said Scott Gray of Photo Shanghai.