The fourth Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival took place in Xiamen from 23 November 2018 to 2 January 2019. Co-created in 2015 by pioneer Chinese photographer RongRong (founder of China’s first ever photography museum Three Shadows Photography Art Centre) and Sam Stourdzé, the director of the world’s most important international photo festival, Rencontres d’Arles (France), Jimei x Arles has grown to become an unmissable event for photo lovers in China in just three years, attracting more than 160,000 visitors (60,000 in 2017). During his first official visit to China in January 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron recognized Jimei x Arles festival as a unique example of Sino-French cultural cooperation.

Co-produced by Three Shadows Photography Art Centre and Xiamen’s Jimei District - Tianxia Jimei Media, the festival’s art direction is ensured by Bérénice Angremy and Victoria Jonathan, co-founders of cross-border art agency Doors 门艺. This year, the consultants consist of Huang Rui, Li Zhenhua, Thomas Shao, and Karen Smith. The festival will boast 30 exhibitions and feature the work of 70 artists from the United States, France, Switzerland, Poland, Turkey, South Korea, Slovenia, and of course China. 

Eight exhibitions from Rencontres d’Arles 2018. Every year, exhibitions shown during the summer at Rencontres d’Arles travel to China in the fall:

The Imaginary Pyramids by late photo master and Magnum member René Burri (Switzerland); Being Human by William Wegman (USA); H+ by Matthieu Gafsou (Switzerland); Les Inachevés - Lee McQueen by Ann Ray (France); Right to the Image by Christophe Loiseau (France); A Pillar of Smoke - A Look at Turkey’s Contemporary SceneSparks by Wiktoria Wojciechowska (Poland) - New Discovery Award / Winner of the Public Choice’s Award; and the Arles 2018 Book Awards exhibition.

Four “China Pulse” and “Crossover Photography” exhibitions selected after a public call for curatorial projects: 

A Long Day in a Regular Year by Li Lang (curated by Liu Jie); Fluctuation by seven female photographers Cai Yirong, Cao Mengwen, Du Yanfang, Gan Yingying, Song Shuyang, Wu Mengyuan, Zhou Yang (curated by Gan Yingying); Eyes of Sky – 1950s and 1960s Aerial Photos of Southeastern Coastal Cities of China (proposed by Xu Lin and Gu Zheng); You Are Not Paranoid, Observe Yourself Being Watched by Chen Xiao, Woo Ram Jung, Lee Youngho, Lu Chong, Luo Xiyu, Jonathan David Smyth, Zhong Jinming, Zhou Yichen (curated by Shanghai and New York-based MiA Collective).

10 Jimei x Arles Discovery Award nominees:

Ten talents of Chinese photography selected by five curators. The winner of the Jimei x Arles Discovery Award is awarded a 200,000 RMB prize and an exhibition at next year’s Rencontres d’Arles. The 2018 nominees are: Coca Dai (1976), Hu Wei (1989), Lei Lei (1985), Pixy Liao (1979), Lau Wai (1982), Shao Ruilu (1993), Shen Wei (1977), Su Jiehao (1988), Wong Wingsang (1990), Yang Wenbin (1996). They were selected by curators Dong Bingfeng, Li Jie, Liu Qianxi, Holly Roussell and Wang Yan. Past winners are Feng Li (2017), Liu Silin (2016) and Zhu Lanqing (2015).  2018 winner is Lei Lei.

“Collector’s Tale” - A yearly program showing a prominent Chinese photography collector’s treasures: 

After Charles Jin’s collection of world-renowned photo masters (from Man Ray to Mapplethorpe, Alfred Stieglitz to Richard Prince) and Huang Jianpeng’s investigation of the history of Chinese photography (through the works of Chin-San Long, Xue Zijiang and Lan Zhigui), this year, Anything That Walks – Vernacular Food Photography from China (curated by Ruben Lundgren and Timothy Prus) brings together a disparate and eclectic collection of amateur photos and photo albums of Chinese food and food production, coming from the extensive collection of The Archive of Modern Conflict.

Two “Local Action” exhibitions of local Xiamen curators and artists: 

Turning Point – Fujian Photographers from the 1980s by Chen Yongpeng, Cui Jiannan, Jiao Honghui, Li Shixiong, Wang Jiaolu, Zeng Huang and Zhou Yuedong (curated by Zeng Huang); If The Sunlight Were A Stage Set… by Chen Min, Chen Zhuo, Chia Wei Hsu, Jin Jing, Luo Shao, Happy Bird collective (curated by young Xiamen collective Axis Art Project).

Three “Greetings from South Korea” exhibitions - Every year, Jimei x Arles focuses on the photographic scene of an Asian country: 

After Indonesia (2017), this year Jimei x Arles invites a South Korean contingent which brings three exhibitions of the work of three generations of photographers, curated by and produced in partnership with The Museum of Photography, Seoul and Song Eun Art and Cultural Foundation. Limb Eung-sik – History Through The Lens (curated by Seok Jae-Hyun); Reinventing Our Time with works by Kim Jungman, Koo Bohnchang, Lee Gap-Chul, Min Byung-Hun and Park Ki Ho (curated by Seok Jae-Hyun); Same Seasons, Different Memories by Beak Jungki, Chung Heeseung, Ha Tae-Bum, Kim Seunggu, Yoo Youngjin (curated by Park Haeni).

Project Room” - In this new section, Jimei x Arles invites one photographer whose work pushes the boundaries of the photo format or creates a new form of the photo object. 

3DPRK | Portraits from North Koreaby Matjaž Tančič in collaboration with Koryo Studio (published by Jiazazhi Press).

White Night in Arles by Feng Li: Last summer, Feng Li, as the winner of Jimei x Arles Discovery Award in 2017, exhibited his series White Night at Rencontres d'Arles. The festival gave the photographer carte blanche to do what he does best: wander the streets of Arles and shoot.

This year will also be the second Jimei x Arles – Madame Figaro Women Photographers Award, the first ever photo award in China dedicated to female photographers, made possible by the support of Women in Motion (international programme launched in 2015 by the luxury group Kering to underline the contribution made by women to image-led industries). The 2018 nominees are: Chen Xiao & Zhou Yichen, Du Yanfang, Gan Yingying, Liao Yijun, Shao Ruilu, Song Shuyang, Wu Mengyuan, Zhou Yang. 2018 winner is Pixy Liao.

The 49th Rencontres d’Arles Festival showcased not only Feng Li’s White Night, but also the series The Bliss of Conformity by Guo Yingguang (2017 Jimei x Arles Discovery Award nominee, winner of the 2017 Jimei x Arles – Madame Figaro Women Photographers Award), giving unprecedented exposure to the two photographers’ work – which was reported on by international media (The New York Times, French national TV, Le Monde, Lens Culture…), and visited by the festival’s wide audience (125,000 visitors per year).

The 2018 Jimei x Arles Festival will kick off with an Opening Weekend (November 23-25) full of events and activities for photography professionals, art lovers and the general public: Photo Folio reviews with renowned professionals, lectures, performances and guided tours by artists and curators. The festival will have three main sites around the city this year: Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre and Jimei Citizen Square Main Exhibition Hall, in Jimei district, and new creative zone North Shore Art District in Xiamen’s city center. Xiamen, formerly known as Amoy, a coastal city located across the Taiwan straits, has been an important port for centuries, famous with tourists for the colonial-era Gulangyu island, and now a vibrant and modern city that has become home to China's independent fashion scene. 


  • 23 November, 2018 - 2 January, 2019

  • 30 exhibitions

  • 70 artists

  • 23 curators

  • Opening Weekend (November 23-25) events: exhibition tours, PhotoFolio Reviews, public discussions, university lectures, performances...