Peer to Peer
2019.12.08 - 2020.02.09
“Peer to Peer” showcases 14 artists that have been selected by 14 influential figures in the field of photography in China and the UK. What makes “Peer to Peer” an important new platform is how, by involving experienced professional curators and institutional directors from leading arts organizations, the project makes a firm connection between one generation and the next, turning the spotlight of this moment on a diverse group of artists deserving of wider international recognition.
Where the 14 participants in the exhibition are of different ages, experience and come from diverse backgrounds, the works on display present a range of perspectives on contemporary life and the ways we see the world - from our relationship with the environment, to crypto-currency and ageing populations.
“Peer to Peer” was conceived by Sarah Fisher, Director, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, and curated by Lindsay Taylor, University of Salford Art Collection, Salford, UK, and independent curator Serein Liu, Shanghai. Hosted by Open Eye Gallery in conjunction with St. George’s Hall Liverpool, the exhibition opened in Liverpool in October 2019 as part of LOOK Photo Biennial. Now, this December, it comes to SCoP.
From the UK side, featured artists include Anna Ridler, with two AI-generated projects, titled Mosaic Virus and Tulips, which were previously shown as part of the London Barbican exhibition “AI: More than Human”. The motif of the tulip references the Tulip Mania that in the 17th century nearly crashed the Dutch economy. Used here it represents the current fluctuations in attitudes towards Bitcoin. Considering the environment, we have excerpts from Yan Wang Preston’s recent Sony World Photo Award-winning work Forest, while Mandy Barker’s Soup tackles the accumulation of plastics in earth’s oceans. Maisie Cousins presents her sickly-sweet style of photography that focuses on close-ups of everyday objects to make lucid images in which attraction and repulsion collide powerfully.
Alix Marie is a French artist, based in the UK, whose work sits between photography and sculpture. She presents STRETCH, in which photos of a body performing yoga poses are printed on Lycra that is stretched over the walls. Othello De’Souza-Hartley’s work unpicks contemporary masculinity, whilst Jonny Briggs’ Unpalatable Truths is an unnerving, surreal examination of the cover-up of child abuse on the island of Jersey. Siân Davey’s years working as a psychotherapist shine through her photography, which charts the delicate balances of family life.
We are proud to host six amazing artists from China; Sun Yanchu, Jiang Pengyi, Wu Yue, Fan Xi, Qin Yifeng and Chen Zhe, who are all at different stages of their personal careers. Whilst they are currently known to greater and lesser degrees across China, all have been selected as deserving of a wider recognition in the international scene by directors and curators at some of China’s most influential international photography galleries and organizations.
The stark black and white photographs of Sun Yanchu are reflective of the strange landscapes of suburban decay. The dreamlike abstract images of Jiang Pengyi’s In Some Time are made without a camera through manipulation of darkroom techniques. Wu Yue’s Red Lights Go Grey documents life in a nursing home in Dongguan that, prior to a crackdown on the sex industry, was an illicit nightclub. Fan Xi’s Tree experiments with an unconventional way of constructing a photograph by stitching hundreds of images together to form a single tree. Qin Yifeng’s Antique Wood focuses on fragmented details of Ming Dynasty furniture through a process of long exposure. In her series Towards Evenings: Six Chapters that interwines image and literature, Chen Zhe takes us on a journey in search of the nebulous space between day and night, light and twilight, the known and the unknown.
SCoP is delighted to partner with Open Eye Gallery and the LOOK Photo Biennial on this important cultural exchange. We would like to thank Sarah Fisher at Open Eye Gallery, Lindsay Taylor of University of Salford Art Collection, and Serein Liu for their help with the smooth preparation of the exhibition, and all participating artists for being such a pleasure to work with.
We thank the teams at BANK Gallery, Shanghai, Star Gallery, Beijing, Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong, and White Cube Gallery, Hong Kong, for support of their artists.
Thanks also go to the Shanghai-based organization, Branding Shanghai for its support in bringing participating artists from the UK to Shanghai.
Jiang Pengyi, Beijing
Nominated by Mimi Chun, Founder and Director, Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong
Alix Marie, London
Nominated by Scott Gray, Founder and CEO, World Photography Organisation, London
Fan Xi, Beijing
Nominated by Peipei Han, Associate Director, PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai, Shanghai/Beijing
Chen Zhe, Beijing
Nominated by Serein Liu, Independent Curator, Shanghai
Wu Yue, Shanghai
Nominated by Liu Heung Shing, Founder and Director, SCoP (Shanghai Center of Photography), Shanghai
Sun Yanchu, Zhengzhou
Nominated by Karen Smith, Artistic Director, SCoP (Shanghai Center of Photography), Shanghai
Qin Yifeng, Shanghai
Nominated by Lu Xun, Founder and Director, Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing & Independent Collector
Yan Wang Preston, West Yorkshire
Nominated by Thomas Dukes, Curator, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool
Siân Davey, London
Nominated by Louise Fedetov-Clements, Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival & Artistic Director of QUAD, Derby
Maisie Cousins, London
Nominated by Shoair Mavlian, Director of Photoworks, Brighton
Mandy Barker, Leeds
Nominatedby Anne McNeill, Director and Curator, Impressions Gallery, Bradford
Othello De’Souza Hartley, London
Nominated by Christiane Monarchi, Chair of Photofusion / Founding Editor of Photomonitor, London
Anna Ridler, London
Nominated by John O’Shea, Head of Programming, Science Gallery, London
Jonny Briggs, London
Nominated by Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, London
In the spirit of further supporting emerging artists, the University of Salford awarded two of the nominated photographers, UK-based Anna Ridler and Shanghai-based Wu Yue, with a commission to make new work for the University Art Collection.