Now in its fifth year, PhotoFairs Shanghai brings together Chinese and international galleries, and gets to the heart of the lens-based medium’s subversive legacy. Expect a strong showing from Japanese photographers at this year’s fair—with works from iconic names including Nobuyoshi Araki and Hiroshi Sugimoto—and a host of pioneering, emerging female practitioners such as Chen Zhe, Fan Xi and Ma Qiusha.



Since the inaugural edition of PhotoFairs Shanghai five years ago the Chinese photography scene has rapidly expanded, with three major institutions—Shanghai Center of Photography, Lianzhou Museum of Photography, Xie Zilong Photography Museum—already launched and the Chengdu Contemporary Photography Museum set to open its doors in 2019. That, combined with some seventy exhibitions and a veritable boom in the art market, has led to the fair’s even greater draw, as it presents a balance of international and Chinese-based galleries, most of which have a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region.

This time around, the fair promises a Japanese focus, featuring masters such as Daido Moriyama and Eikoh Hosoe (See + Gallery, Beijing) and Nobuyoshi Araki (Taka Ishii Gallery), as well as a major “spotlight” show on Hiroshi Sugimoto, who will be presenting “outstanding architectural, religious-themed work”—in-keeping with his dual identity as photographer and architect. Curator Viktor Wang has also reimagined the never-fully-realized 1999 Shanghai exhibition The Same But Also Changed, which challenged the parameters of fine art and pushed the limits of the photographic medium in a way that many considered utterly subversive at the time. Original exhibitors such as such as Geng Jianyi, Yang Fudong, Hu Jieming, and Xu Zhen will take part, alongside a new generation of female practitioners including Chen Zhe, Fan Xi, Ma Qiusha and Miao Ying.

PhotoFairs Shanghai

From 21 to 23 September, various locations, Shanghai

Chen Wei, In the Waves #3, 2013. Courtesy of ShanghART Gallery, © the artist