PHOTOFAIRS Presents Its Most International Edition in China, as Experts Voice the Importance of its Shanghai Fair in Asia

Jul 20, 2016 4:00AM

Image by James Ambrose

·  Shanghai edition is more international than ever before – 50 leading galleries from 15 countries covering 24 cities, 25% new to China

·   PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai “… has been one of the leading factors in photography’s new visibility among Asian collectors." Christopher Philips, Curator, International Center of Photography, New York

·   New curatorial initiatives launch at PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai: Connected, Insights and Platform

·    Tickets on sale now for PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai, September 9-11 at Shanghai Exhibition Centre via

·   Tweet this: #PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai leads as China's most diverse and exciting international art fair in 2016

July 20, 2016:  PHOTOFAIRS, international art fairs dedicated to photography, today announces the galleries for its third edition in Shanghai.  To coincide with the announcement, prominent art experts and collectors have voiced the importance and influence of PHOTOFAIRS in China and across Asia. 

“The photography market in Asia has seen an unprecedented burst of activity in recent years,” comments Christopher Philips, Curator, International Center of Photography, New York.  “Regional institutions and private collectors, having finally recognized the significance of photography as a visual medium, are now making serious acquisitions of top-tier historic and contemporary work. PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai, because of its energy, professionalism and commitment to the highest standards of quality, has been one of the leading factors in photography’s new visibility among Asian collectors."

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai is the most international art fair in mainland China and has quickly established itself as a key influencer of the art market within the region. The 2016 Shanghai edition will cover more regions than ever before – with South Korea, Belgium, Israel and Iran being added to the 15 countries and 24 cities represented at the fair.  Of the 50 hand-selected galleries, 25% have never before shown in China offering a highly-curated platform for collectors and curators.

As the leading commercial fair solely dedicated to photography in Asia, each participating gallery at PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai will offer unrivalled access to exciting new art from China, Asia Pacific and beyond.  The mission of PHOTOFAIRS is to chart the history of the photographic medium on an international scale. Stars of the 19th Century such as Gustave le Gray will be exhibited next to world famous photojournalists Elliott Erwitt and William Klein and 20th Century masters such as August Sander, Robert Mapplethorpe and Irving Penn.

Works by leading figures of the international contemporary photography market will also be exhibited: Mona Kuhn, Cai DongDong, Wim Wenders, Ren Hang, Vik Muniz, Shen Wei, Candida Höfer, Wang Youshen and Jiang Pengyi, among many others.  Fashion photography will also continue to be a strong theme with the work of Mario Sorrenti, Patrick Demarchelier and Jeanloup Sieff for sale. 

PHOTOFAIRS will launch the inaugural edition of Insights in Shanghai this September.  A curated exhibition of museum-quality works, Insights will offer unique pieces for private sale.  After Shanghai, Insights will move on to PHOTOFAIRS’ next edition in San Francisco in January 2017, and will continue across all future PHOTOFAIRS destinations. 

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai is supported by its Leading Partner, Mercedes-Benz, VIP Partner, American Express, Photo Partner, Leica and Vernissage Partner, Net-a-Porter, and Strategic Media Partner, Modern Media Group, each of whom is committed to the artistic medium of photography and investment in the arts.

2016 PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai galleries

The 50 leading international and local galleries participating in Shanghai will fall into three sectors: Main and the two new sectors for 2016, Connected and Platform.

Those in Main (for commercial galleries of any age) will show highly ambitious museum-quality presentations and include: BANK (Shanghai) presenting Robert Mapplethorpe and Daido Moriyama; Blindspot Gallery (Hong Kong) presenting Martin Parr, Nadav Kander and Zhang Xiao; ShanghART Gallery (Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore) presenting Yang Fudong and Yue Liang; Flowers Gallery (London, New York, Hong Kong) presenting Boomoon and Shen Wei; CAMERA WORK (Berlin) presenting Herb Ritts, Christian Tagliavini and Paolo Roversi; Beyond Gallery (Taipei) presenting Taiwanese artist Chen Shun Chu;  Mohsen Gallery (Tehran) presenting three Iranian artists - Alireza Fani, Mehdi Abdolkarimi and Mehrdad Afsari; and EMON Photo Gallery (Tokyo) presenting  Hiroshi Yamazaki and Hiroyuki Yamada.

Platform spotlights international galleries that are exhibiting in mainland China for the firs time.  Highlights of this sector include:  The Empty Gallery (Hong Kong) presenting a solo presentation of Amit Desai; Elipsis Projects (London, Istanbul) presenting Ahmet Ertung and Samuel Maenhoudt Gallery (Knokke). 

Connected, overseen by eminent Chinese curator Feng Boyi, celebrates artists working within the realm of moving-image in China.  It offers collectors the opportunity to view and buy such work for the first time in mainland China.  Highlights include: L-Art Gallery (Chengdu); Vanguard Gallery (Shanghai); and Hunsand Space (Beijing).

For full list of galleries please see below.


Experts voice importance and internationality of PHOTOFAIRS in Asia

PHOTOFAIRS was created by the World Photography Organisation in recognition of the growing interest in and demand for photography worldwide.  Its destinations in Shanghai and San Francisco provide a distinctive and considered platform for galleries from across the globe.  The fairs engage established and nurture new collectors alike and showcase photography to the international community.

Talking about the impact of PHOTOFAIRS in China, Liu Heung Shing, Founder, Shanghai Center of Photography (SCOP) comments: “The idea of collecting photography began in the U.S. in mid 1970s. For China it has just begun a few years ago in a small community. PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai serves as a window for the large pool of would-be photography collectors. This potential cannot be underestimated given the size of China and that it will be the largest economy in the next ten years. 

Photography is an increasing attractive investment, as prominent Chinese collector Jin Hongwei states: “Financially speaking, good photography -on the whole - is more accessible than blue chip paintings. It is therefore an interesting way into the art market. One of the advantages of photography is its wall presence. I find that it is therefore easier to really get carried away with it as a medium.”

Adding to this, Jiyoon Lee, Director of Seoul Art Museum, who will give a talk in Shanghai, says “I believe that PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai will offer a different perspective to the medium of photography-based work in the Asian art world.  The fair can deliver a key platform for an important new market for contemporary photo-related works.”


Insights, exploring alternative processes in photography

The Insights exhibition is a brand new curated initiative that will run across all PHOTOFAIRS destinations.  Its launch in Shanghai will offer visitors to the fair a whole new type of experience dedicated to contemporary photography.

Commissioned by PHOTOFAIRS Artistic Director Alexander Montague-Sparey and co-curated by celebrated Shanghai-based curator Biljana Ciric, Insights aims to chart the progression of major changes in photography-making processes and the move in the medium towards unique, rather than editioned, prints.

For the launch in Shanghai, Insights will present the work of 30 artists including Peter Beard, Birdhead, Geng Jianyi, Lee Kit, Helmut Newton, Shao Wenhuan and Sukho Kang – each of whom work in original and breathtaking ways.

The San Francisco edition of Insights will launch January 26, 2017 and will celebrate international contemporary photography across 150 years with a focus on West Coast photography.  Works from the 19th Century will be juxtaposed with those from the 20th and 21st Century and will feature artists such as John Chiara, Matthew Brandt and Chris McCaw.  More details will be announced in the Fall. 

PHOTOFAIRS key dates

·       Shanghai

o   Press Preview (by invitation only) – Thursday 8 September 2016

o   Collectors’ Preview  (by invitation only) and Vernissage (by invitation only &  select tickets) – Thursday 8 September 2016

o   VIP Preview  (by invitation only & select tickets) – Friday 9 September 2016

o   Public Opening – Saturday 10 – Sunday 11 September 2016

·       San Francisco

o   Press Preview (by invitation only) – Thursday 26 January 2017

o   Collectors’ Preview (by invitation only) – Thursday 26 January 2017

o   Public Opening – Friday 27 – Sunday 29 January 2017

Press accreditation

·       Please apply for accreditation online at

PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai – 2016 galleries


·       A Thousand Plateaus Art Space (Chengdu)

·       Art+ Shanghai Gallery (Shanghai)

·       Aura Gallery (Beijing, Taipei)

·       BANK (Shanghai)

·       BEETLES + HUXLEY (London)

·       Between Art Lab (Shanghai, Beijing)

·       Beyond Gallery (Taipei)

·       Blindspot Gallery (Hong Kong)

·       Bluerider ART (Taipei)

·       CAMERA WORK (Berlin)

·       Cipa Gallery (Beijing)

·       Galerie DUMONTEIL (Shanghai, Paris, New York)

·       Augusta Edwards Fine Art / Norman Parkinson Archive (London)

·       EMON Photo Gallery (Tokyo)

·       Flowers Gallery (London, New York, Hong Kong)

·       Froots Gallery (Shanghai, Tel Aviv)

·       Hive Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing)

·       HS Gallery (Shanghai)

·       In The Gallery (Copenhagen)

·       JIALI GALLERY (Beijing)

·       Gallery Koo (Seoul)

·       Matthew Liu Fine Arts (Shanghai)

·       M97 Gallery (Shanghai)

·       Magnum Photos  (London, Paris)

·       Mirko Mayer gallery / m-projects (Cologne)

·       Mohsen Gallery (Tehran)

·       NONG ART (Shanghai)

·       OFOTO & ANART Gallery (Shanghai)

·       ON/gallery (Beijing)

·       OstLicht. Gallery for Photography (Vienna)

·       Pan-View (Zhengzhou)

·       PHOTO12 GALERIE (Los Angeles, Paris)

·       see+ gallery (Beijing)

·       Galerie Adnan Sezer (Paris)

·       ShanghART Gallery (Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore)

·       Three Shadows +3 Gallery (Beijing, Xiamen)

·       Time Space Gallery (Beijing)

·       Timeless Gallery (Beijing)

·       UP Gallery (Hsinchu)

·       Stephan Witschi (Zürich)


·       Elipsis Projects (London, Istanbul)

·       The Empty Gallery (Hong Kong)

·       Gallery Irritum (Daegu)

·       Samuel Maenhoudt Gallery (Knokke, Brussels)

·       Gallery Mir (Art Brunch) (Busan)



·       1933 Contemporary (Shanghai)

·       Hunsand Space (Beijing)

·       L-Art Gallery (Chengdu)

·       Leo Gallery (Shanghai, Hong Kong)

·       Vanguard Gallery (Shanghai)