3 emerging Chinese photographers to watch right now

Influential figures in the field of photography share why they nominated these talents for the SCoP's latest, Peer to Peer

Photograph: Sun Yanchu 

Peer to Peer, a new exhibition at the Shanghai Center of Photography asks 14 influential figures in the field of photography in China and the UK to nominate an up-and-coming young artist – and the result is a show that will expand your perception of what constitutes photography. Here three of the show’s nominators share the emerging talent they picked and why they’re one to watch right now.

Fan Xi, Beijing

2048 Fan Xi-0

Photograph: Fan Xi (The Tree No 3), courtesy Shanghai Center of Photography

‘I feel Fan Xi’s work is visually minimal and direct, yet there are many layers of meaning behind it that [encourages] you to take one look after another to really feel it. Conceptually deconstructing the subject from its natural environment, making it disappear and reconstructing reality, Xi’s work transmits an indescribable strength that comes from within. Possibly due to her background in sculpture, [the way she] displays her work usually takes into consideration the space, the artwork and the audience in a more installationstyle presentation, creating a connection that links the three elements.’

– Peipei Han, associate director, PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai

Wu Yue, Shanghai

2048 Wu Yue-0

Photograph: Wu Yue (Red Lights Go Gray), courtesy Shanghai Center of Photography

‘I nominated Wu Yue. In the finest tradition of journalism, she tackles issues that affect almost all Chinese families with Asian parents – how they will be taken care of. I nominated her for the skill she brings to her task, which is well-rounded and sophisticated and her use of natural light is simply great. I see a fair amount of experience of study and living abroad have given her a broad perspective. More than anything, I believe she displays her own personal empathy with the subjects she photographs and for that reason, I find that she is worthy of this nomination.’

– Liu Heung Shing, founder and director, Shanghai Center of Photography

Sun Yanchu, Zhengzhou

2048 Sun Yanchu-0

Photograph: Sun Yanchu (Obsessed), courtesy Shanghai Center of Photography

‘I nominated Sun Yanchu. Partly because I have known him and his work for a long time now and have watched his approach evolve, often by quite radical means [in terms of] content, fragility or potential for total failure, rarely with care for how such actions would affect his chances of surviving as an artist. In that sense he is quite the photographer, driven by ideas and problems he gives himself to solve rather than financial gain alone. I like the way in which his works probe and describe the condition of being in the world today: sometimes dark, sometimes totally absurd.’

– Karen Smith, artistic director, Shanghai Center of Photography

Read more