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First Look: What To See At PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai

Sep 8, 2016 | 19:14 Thu
Shanghai Exhibition Center threw open its grand neoclassical doors today for a private preview of PHOTOFAIRS (rebranded from Photo Shanghai). Smaller in size than previous editions, the annual showcase features and sells the works of renowned photographers of today and years past. The showcase opens to the public on Saturday, although a limited number of pricey VIP tickets are available for tomorrow.

If buying’s not your bag but the appreciation of photography is, hold out to the weekend when tickets cost an eminently reasonable 100rmb.


Although more international than previous editions, Asia galleries are the mainstay of what’s on offer with really strong offerings from South Korea (Gallery Koo, C04), Hong Kong (Blindspot Gallery, C10), and of course, good ol’ Shanghai. In particular, do seek out BANK Gallery at booth D14; they’re hoping to seduce buyers with Daido Moriyama's sexy fishnet stockings, nudes by Robert Mapplethorpe, and Chen Zhe’s blurry snaps of knotted sheets and tangled limbs. Hot stuff.

A particular strength of this year’s event is the range of archival images of China on show. Check out Leica’s exhibition for Marc Riboud’s glimpses of Shanghai and Beijing from 1957 to 2002. This one’s actually pretty topical: the French photographer died at the end of August at the grand old age of 93.

A curated exhibition called Insights is new for this year and showcases international artists exploring alternative approaches to photography. That includes experimental production processes (Luo Dan, for example), lots of light boxes (Leung Chi Wo), and playful means of presentation (Timur Si-Qin). That’s explored further throughout what’s on show here, and lots of exhibitors are showing really interesting moving images, such as Wong Ping’s animated short at LEAP Mag’s pavilion, featuring sweat, lollipops and stalking.

If fashion’s your thing, make your way to Berlin’s CAMERA WORK (D01) for a kind of greatest hits of big names and equally fabulous muses: Herb Ritts’ snaps of supers like Cindy Crawford and Elle Macpherson might not be new, but they’re certainly iconic. There’s also lots of interesting takes on architectural photography.

As with previous editions, there’s a full talks program with highlights including the likes of Ren Hang in conversation with RongRong; M97 director Steven Harris on the legacy of Fan Ho; and loads more.


Tickets for PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai are available on Damai from 100rmb for two tickets. Runs from 11am-6pm Friday-Sunday.


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