The 8th Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival will kick off in Xiamen on 25 November 2022, and continue to showcase new international photography works!
Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
has been working closely with Les Rencontres d’Arles
since 2015 to found the International Photo Festival in Xiamen’s Jimei District. Jointly organised by Three Shadows Photography Art Centre and Xiamen Tianxia Jimei Media Co. Ltd., Jimei x Arles introduces excellent overseas photography works with an open and inclusive attitude, synchronising with the freshest international vision. Jimei x Arles works with various experts and institutions to explore the creative power of Chinese photography, facilitates the dissemination of excellent contemporary photography works and continues to promote them on the international stage. Since its founding, Jimei x Arles has presented more than 200 exhibitions from China and the rest of Asia, as well as a selection of excellent shows from Les Rencontres d’Arles. To date, the festival has attracted 400,000 visitors.
Since 2020, Christoph Wiesner, director of Les Rencontres d’Arles, and RongRong, Chinese contemporary photographer and co-founder of Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, have been serving as Co-Directors, with noted photography critic Gu Zheng serving as Art Director. The 8th Jimei x Arles will present thirty exhibitions, featuring works by more than one hundred artists from France, Thailand, Brazil, the United States and mainland China: Six Exhibitions from Arles selected from 2022 Les Rencontres d’Arles, ten Discovery Awards exhibitions focusing on outstanding young Chinese artist photographers, three Greetings from Thailand exhibitions, one China Pulse exhibition showing the exploration and development of Chinese higher art colleges in photography, three Crossover Photography exhibitions, one Tribute exhibition, one Collector’s Tale exhibition, two Local Action exhibitions, one Jimei x Arles Group Exhibition of the Finalists’ Proposals for Curatorial Award for Photography and Moving Image, one photography exhibition THE HORIZON, and one Jimei x Arles Photobook Exhibition.
Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival’s two major awards, Jimei x Arles Discovery Award and Curatorial Award for Photography and Moving Image will announce new winners during the opening week from November 25 to November 27. At the same time, a series of activities such as portfolio reviews, panel talks, guided tours, art fairs, performances, screenings, workshops, and study tours will welcome art lovers in Xiamen to join us for this year’s grand gathering!
Exhibitions from Arles
LONGYAN BOYS, series I, 2021. Analogue Photography © Greg Jiajie Lin
In July, Les Rencontres d’Arles opened with the theme of “Visible or Invisible, A Summer Revealed”, among which 6 selected exhibitions will be toured in China: from the “Exploring and Testifying” unit, The Land Where The Sun Was Born by the artist Julien Lombardi and Geometric Forests: Struggles On Mapuche Land by Ritual Inhabitual, curated by Sergio Valenzuela Escobedo. The Louis Roederer Discovery Award 2022, curated by Taous Dahmani, brings GH. Gal and Hiroshima by artists Gal Cipreste Marinelli and Rodrigo Masina Pinheiro, presented by Ateliê Oriente; From what she told me, and how I feel by artist Celeste Leeuwenburg, presented by Julio; and Like a River by artist Daniel Jack Lyons, presented by Ensemble. In addition, the 2022 Rencontres d’Arles Book Awards will also be exhibited as scheduled.
Jimei x Arles Discovery Award
Every year, Jimei x Arles invites 5 curators to nominate 10 talented Chinese photographers as finalists to hold solo exhibitions, and select the winner during the opening week. The winner of the Jimei x Arles Discovery Award will receive ¥100,000. As a new force in the Chinese photography circle, the winner will be invited to exhibit their works on the international stage of Les Rencontres d’Arles in France the following year.
The participating artists of this year’s Jimei x Arles Discovery Award include Zhang Xiao (Exhibition Guai Li Luan Xin ) and Li Weiyi (Exhibition Associated Image), nominated by curator Liu Gang; Chen Xiaoyi (Exhibition The Epoch of Rippling Hengduan Mountains: I am supposed to tell you some of the words I heard deep down in the sea) and Zhao Qian (Exhibition Paper, Light Dot and Conch), nominated by curator Shen Chen; Luka Yuanyuan Yang (Exhibition Make it Home) and Yuan Keru (Exhibition Realms of Memory), nominated by curator Tutu Zhu; Peng Zuqiang (Exhibition Cold Compress) and Doreen Chan (Exhibition Half Dream), nominated by curator Sun Wenjie; Tan Chui Mui (Exhibition Just Because You Pressed the Shutter?) and Xia Chengan (Exhibition Xia Chengan: Artificial Charisma), nominated by curator Wang Yiquan.
Jimei x Arles Curatorial Award for Photography and Moving Image
The Curatorial Award for Photography and Moving Image was jointly launched by Three Shadows Photography Art Centre and CHANEL in 2021. The award aims to support young creative forces in photography and moving image art: to discover and nurture outstanding young Chinese curators and researchers working with these mediums. To attract more outstanding curators to participate in the interdisciplinary research of images, this award takes a series of measures such as the open call for curatorial proposals, the voting by professional judges, and project funding.
The first Curatorial Award for Photography and Moving Image was awarded to Jiang Feiran with the project Unnamed River last year. With the support of this award, Unnamed River was officially presented to the public at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre on March 19, 2022, and was presented at ZiWu Shanghai in September 2022. Jiang Feiran will go to France and finish the academic visit plan which is awarded to the winner of the Curatorial Award for Photography and Moving Image.
This year, the proposals of the five finalists/groups will be presented in the Jimei x Arles Curatorial Award for Photography and Moving Image Finalists Exhibition, and this year’s winner will also be announced during the opening week.
Greetings from Thailand
Each year the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival focuses on the photography scene of an Asian country. After Singapore (2021), Japan (2020), India (2019), South Korea (2018), and Indonesia (2017), this year, Jimei x Arles will focus on Thailand.
God with a Thousand Eyes — Early Photography in Thailand, 1860 - 1960, curated by architectural historian and professor Pirasri Povatong, features early Thai photography collected by the National Archives of Thailand. This exhibition will present the portraits of members of the Thai royal family after the introduction of photography technology to Thailand as well as the daily life of people from other social classes. This exhibition reflects the Siamese architecture, culture and social style of a century ago.
Memorandum: Within or Without will present a solo exhibition of renowned Thai contemporary photography artist Manit Sriwanichpoom, curated by Ark Fongsmut. Manit’s creations take an in-depth look at the political climate in contemporary Thai society. His most famous series, Pink Man, features a man in a pink suit pushing a pink shopping cart, appearing inopportunely on the streets of Thailand and around the world. Created in 1997, this series reflects the prevailing consumerism in Thailand at that time, and the struggles of Asian countries when dealing with modernity.
Agree to Disagree #Skeptically is curated by Suebsang Sangwachirapiban, head of the exhibition department of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. Through the photography, video and installation works of eight Thai contemporary artists, the exhibition aims to reflect on Thailand’s existing artistic concepts and traditional cultural narratives in the post-pandemic era and Thai contemporary artists’ response to complex, contradictory and conflicting cultural phenomena. (Artists: Charit Pusiri, Dow Wasiksiri, Jeanne Penjan Lassus, Kamonlak Sukchai, Mary Pakinee, Naraphat Sakarthornsap, Piyarat Piyapongwiwat, Piyatat Hemmatat.)
Pink Man Begins Episode II Pink Man & Pink Lamp, 1997. Giclee Print, 60 cm x 40 cm. © Manit Sriwanichpoom
This year’s Tribute presents the photographic works of Zhuang Xueben (1909-1984), a phenomenal photographer who has attracted the attention of both the Chinese photographic and anthropological circles. In the most difficult and turbulent times in China, Zhuang Xueben trekked alone in the mountains of the southwest and the uninhabited land of the northwest, using photography as a medium to carry out systematic research in the fields of human geography, frontier chieftains, religious systems, folk culture, costume art and many other fields in western China. This exhibition’s curator is Zhu Jingjiang, a professor at the Minzu University of China, and academic host is noted scholar Li Mei.
Photography books have always been regarded as an important way to present the creative achievements of photographers. The arrangement of images, the rhythmic relationship between images, and the selection and use of paper all embody the meticulousness and creative thinking of photographers and editors. Excellent photography books also have extraordinary academic and research value.
This year, Jimei x Arles’s Collector’s Tale teams up with Yingshang Photography Book Archive, a prestigious organisation specialising in the collection of photography books. The exhibition was curated by Wang Zhulin, founder of Yingshang Photography Book Archive. This exhibition selected 101 Japanese photography books with great sample significance and research value collected by the Yingshang Photography Book Archive, showing the historical evolution and diversity of Japanese photography books in a panoramic manner.
This year’s Jimei x Arles China Pulse invites China Academy of Art, curators Wang Yan and Kristen Wanting Gao to plan the exhibition Spirit and Object - Photography · Video Exhibition of China Academy of Art.
The teaching and creation of photography and video art at the China Academy of Art have always been experimental and pioneering in connecting the past, creating the present, and intervening in the future. Using cross-media art as a carrier, they are committed to building visual aesthetics and image poetics between the invisible and the visible, and between integrated Eastern and Western cultures. This exhibition takes the three entangled relationships between “Spirit” and “Object” as the main clue, and takes the development of photography and video art of the China Academy of Art in the past 40 years as an opportunity to discuss the spiritual symbolism and emotional transfer that continue through the changes in image culture, from the perspectives of image analysis, the evolution of science and technology, and the viewing of photography.
This year’s Crossover Photography will exhibit the works of renowned poet Zhai Yongming, contemporary artist Zhang Enli, and noted actor, photographer and musician Huang Jue.
Zhai Yongming ’s photography exhibition Fully Immersive Script is curated by Shen Yi . Zhai Yongming’s photography, as the artist herself says, is related to her writing, but not an iconographic illustration of poetry; they reflect and refer to each other. Most of Zhai Yongming’s subjects are related to the topics she cares about: people, people’s behaviour, facial expressions, characters, and the instant impression left on her. “When I photographed them, I had a wonderful fate with them, which is my magical definition of photography. ”
Mundane objects and the traces of daily life activities are the dominant depicted subjects in Zhang Enli’s works. The muted tones and loose washes of paint intertwine with the expressive lines and curves that make the objects seem removed, as if occupying a liminal reality where only the essence of the object is portrayed on the canvas. In his works, he creates an immersive space that suspends the audience into the void of time and space by incorporating environment, history, and personal experience. Zhang Enli’s depiction of the prosaic aspects of contemporary life leads viewers to think about the proposition of existence. Gu Zheng, Art Director of Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival, will curate the exhibition of Zhang Enli’s works, showcasing his collage work Hair, along with photographic work Egg created through international cooperation and exploration in the fields of science, culture and art in 2017, when Zhang Enli took a scientific expedition ship to enter the Antarctic circle together with over 100 artists, architects, researchers, poets, writers, musicians and philosophers.
Actors are the carriers of illusions. They are always being watched. Through photography, Huang Jue poses as a detective and dives into the real world. Huang Jue’s exhibition Riddle Cube is curated by film director Bi Gan. To enter from a subjective perspective, through methods such as clue search, instant presentation, and investigation, the exhibition allows the audience to play a detective’s role to seek and grasp each moment of existence.
In August 2022, NIO and Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival jointly launched the THE HORIZON photography project, with the theme of “THE HORIZON”, to collect outstanding photography works worldwide. The selected works will be presented in a group exhibition at the 8th Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival, curated by Dutch curator Ruben Lundgren. At the same time, this project will invite one participating photographer to join the“Young Artists Program”of Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in 2023.
Photography art has the extraordinary ability to transcend regions and cultures. THE HORIZON photography project will; reshape the world’s understanding of a sustainable future from the perspective of photographers, create art while sharing multi-dimensional observations and insights, and actively contribute to the protection of the global environment and sustainable development.
NIO’s logo is inspired by the horizon. It consists of a sky that symbolises openness and the future, as well as actions and the way forward. It stands for NIO’s philosophy of pursuing a better tomorrow and blue skies, as well as creating a pleasant lifestyle for users. NIO and the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival will reaffirm their vision for a bright future and clear sky with THE HORIZON photography program.
This year, the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival joins hands with G-Lake Art Gallery again. The group exhibition Them will be co-curated by Lin Linfeng, Yan Jialin, Zeng Huang, Dong Shijie, and For Forfor. This exhibition aims to connect the new generation of artists and explore the local culture of Fujian.
To explore the cultural and artistic characteristics of Kulangsu and empower urban renewal with photography art, in June 2022, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre and Luchao Kulangsu Art Park jointly launched the Artist Residency Program. Three artists (groups) including Wu Yumo & Zhang Zeyangping, Yao Cong, and Zhang Beichen were selected for this project. With a one-month residency in Kulangsu which is listed as a “World Heritage Site” and known as a “Historic International Settlement”, they will hold a residency achievement exhibition in the Local Action section of the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival. The exhibition will be curated by Chen Min. This project received special support from HUMBLE HALL and Kulangsu World Youth Art Academy.
Jimei × Arles Photobook Exhibition
As an important medium for display and creation, photobooks have always been a creative form favoured by artist photographers. The overlapping paper surfaces form a space with infinite possibilities, allowing the image narrative to unfold between the pages. In the face of the seemingly unstoppable wave of electronisation, the photobook, with its warm texture, once again reminds us of the materiality of photography, and the comfortable experience that comes from paper and ink.
The Jimei x Arles Photobook Exhibition solicits works from Chinese artists with photobooks as the medium, aiming to demonstrate the status of development of Chinese contemporary photobooks, as well as to recommend excellent photobook creators, and establish a platform for the display and exchange of photobooks.