Jimei x Arles Turns Five!

The Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival celebrates its 5th anniversary this year alongside Rencontres d’Arles celebrating its 50th anniversary!

Since 2015, Les Rencontres d’Arles (France), travel to China with the Jimei x Arles International Photography Festival in Xiamen! Each Winter, Jimei x Arles shows 8 exhibitions coming from Rencontres d’Arles alongside 20 Chinese and Asian photography exhibitions – with a focus on India this year. The festival also promotes Chinese talents on an international scale, with its Discovery Award, shown in Arles every year. 

The fifth Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival will take place in Xiamen from 22 November 2019 to 5 January 2020. Co-created in 2015 by Chinese pioneer photographer RongRong (also the 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 become a must-see event for photo lovers in China, and attracted more than 230,000 visitors in the last years (70,000 in 2018). 

Co-produced by Three Shadows Photography Art Centre and Xiamen’s Jimei District local authorities, the festival’s art direction is ensured by Bérénice Angremy and Victoria Jonathan, co-founders of cross-border art agency Doors 门艺 (also behind the « Picasso. Birth of a Genius » exhibition at UCCA in Beijing last summer). 

This year, the festival presents 30 exhibitions and 55 artists coming from Mainland China, Taiwan, France, UK, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, USA and India. 


Eight exhibitions from Rencontres d’Arles 2019. Every year, exhibitions shown during the summer at Rencontres d’Arles travel to China in the fall: First Show, First Works by Lucien Clergue (France) & Edward Weston (USA); Mothers, Daughters, Sisters by Tom Wood (UK); The Living, The Dead, and Those at Sea by Evangelia Kranioti (Greece); Datazone by Philippe Chancel (France); The Saga of Inventions (France); The House by The Anonymous Project (France – UK); Kontakt by Maté Bartha (Hungary), winner of the 2019 Louis Roederer Discovery Award; and the 2019 Arles Book Awards

Two “China Pulse” exhibitions: This section aims at taking the pulse of current trends in Chinese photography. This year it features works from two artists who belong to the 1980’s generation : Youngsters by Luo Yang (curated by Bérénice Angremy and Victoria Jonathan); Still Lake by Liu Ke (curated by Bérénice Angremy and Victoria Jonathan). 

Three “Crossover Photography” exhibitions. Curators are invited to show the possibilities of photography on different media (painting, print, video, digital, painting, objects...) and in crossing cultural contexts : What’s up Siri boy! (curated by Li Yuanyuan & Yang Zhiqian) with works by Josfin Arnell, Chen Zhou, Kate Durbin, Feng Chen, Faith Holland, Siri, Yang Zhiqian, Ye Linghan; In&Out-put by Xue Ruozhe (curated by Cao Yani), Romance in Lushan Cinema by 2018 Jimei x Arles Discovery Award winner Lei Lei (curated by Bérénice Angremy and Victoria Jonathan). 

“Local Action”: this section typically explores the links between photography and the local environment of the festival. This year we are showing The Chinese Gesture (curated by Jean Loh) by Magnum member Guy Le Guerrec who travelled to China several times in the 1980s where he fell in love with the Fujian region. 

Two “Greetings from India” exhibitions: Every year, Jimei x Arles focuses on the photographic scene of an Asian country. After South Korea (2018) and Indonesia (2017), this year Jimei x Arles invites India, with exhibitions curated by Indian photography specialists, in partnership with leading photography institutions: Catalyst, a group exhibition curated by Rahaab Allana (in partnership with the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts); Returning the Gaze: from the Colonial to the Contemporary (curated by Nathaniel Gaskell, in partnership withthe Museum of Art and Photography (MAP), Bangalore) with works by contemporary artists Indu Antony, Anoli Perera, Gauri Gill, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Michael Bühler-Rose, Pushpamala N. & Clare Arni. 

“Collector’s Tale”: A yearly program which shows a prominent Chinese photography collector’s treasures, Collector’s Tale is expanding to Asia. This year it brings masterpieces from the collection of The Museum of Photography, Seoul: Romantic Melancholy (curated by Son Youngjoo and Kim Sunyoung) with works by photo masters Brassaï, Josef Koudelka and Mario Giacomelli. 

“Project Room” : A program which invites one photographer whose work pushes the boundaries of photo format or creates new forms of photo objects, features Why is our memory always black and white? by Li Qiang (curated by Feng Boyi). 

10 Jimei × Arles Discovery Award nominees: Ten talents of Chinese photography selected by five curators. The winner of the Jimei × Arles Discovery Award is awarded a 200,000 RMB prize and an exhibition in the following year’s edition of Rencontres d’Arles. The 2019 nominees are: Fan Xi (1984), Liu Yu (1985), Miss Screenaholic (1983), Peng Ke (1992), Sun Datang (1982), Tang Jing (1989), Wu Ding (1982), Yan Yibo (1980), Yi Lian (1987), Zhang Wenxin (1989). They were selected by curators Cai Liyuan, Han Liya, Shi Hantao, Song Zhenxi, Wang Huan. Winners of the past editions include Lei Lei (2018), Feng Li (2017), Liu Silin (2016) and Zhu Lanqing (2015). 

This year will also hold the third Jimei x Arles Women Photographers Award, the first ever photo award in China dedicated to women photographers. The 2019 nominees are: Fan Xi (1984), Liu Yu (1985), Luo Yang (1984), Miss Screenaholic (1983), Peng Ke (1992), Yang Zhiqian (1993), Zhang Wenxin (1989). Laureates of the past editions include Pixy Liao (2018) and Guo Yingguang (2017), who both gained international exposure after winning the award. 


The 2019 Jimei × Arles Festival will kick off with an Opening Weekend (November 22-24) full of events and activities for photography professionals, art lovers and the general public: portfolio reviews conducted by renowned professionals, lectures, performances and guided tours by artists and curators. 

Influential figures of the Chinese art world are consultants for the 2019 edition of the festival: Gu Zheng (independent art historian and critic), Huang Rui (artist), Li Ge (chairman of the Chinese Photographers Association), Tang Xin (director of Taikang Space, Beijing), Philip Tinari (director of UCCA, Beijing), Wan Jie (chairman and president of Artron Art Group). 

The festival will have two main sites around Xiamen’s Jimei district this year: Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre and Jimei Citizen Square Main Exhibition Hall. Xiamen, formerly known as Amoy, a coastal city located across the Taiwan straits, has been an import- ant 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. 


JIMEI x ARLES 2019 AT A GLIMPSE

  • 22 November, 2019 - 5 January, 2020

  • 30 exhibitions

  • 50 artists

  • 22 curators

  • Opening Weekend (November 22-24) events: exhibition tours, PhotoFolio Reviews, public discussions, university lectures, performances...


Ticketing: Jimei × Arles International Photo Festival, Xiamen, 22 November 2019 – 5 January 2020. Tickets on sale on Jimei × Arles and Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre’s WeChat account. Early bird (12 September-13 November): 40 RMB. Full price (available from 13 November): 60 RMB. Reduced price (students, teachers and army): 30 RMB. 

All paper tickets will be redeemed on site from 22 November at Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre and Jimei Citizen Square Exhibition Hall.