The third Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival took place in Xiamen (south of China) from November 25, 2017 to January 3, 2018. Xiamen, formerly known as Amoy, is a coastal city that has been an important port for centuries. Located across the Taiwan strait, famous for the colonial-era Gulangyu island, it is a vibrant and modern city that is also the home of China's independent fashion scene. The festival's main sites are located in Xiamen's new district of Jimei.
Co-created by Sam Stourdzé, the director of famous international photo festival Rencontres d’Arles (France), and Chinese photographer RongRong (also the founder of Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, China’s first ever professional art center dedicated to photography), Jimei x Arles features international artists selected from Rencontres d’Arles alongside Chinese and Asian photography talents. The festival has attracted more than 100,000 visitors since its inception in 2015.
In 2017, the two founders of the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival appointed Bérénice Angremy as festival director (Doors 门艺 Art & Culture Agency), co-founder of art festivals DIAF (2004-2007) and Caochangdi Photospring – Arles in Beijing (2010-2012), and former cultural attaché at the French embassy in China (2012-2017).
Influential figures of the Chinese art world are consultants for the 2017 edition of the festival: Gu Zheng, Huang Rui, inri, Charles Jin, Juan I-Jong, Li Zhenhua, Karen Smith, Wang Huangsheng, Wang Jun.
The 2017 festival boasts the works of more than 250 artists from the United States, France, Iran, Spain, the Netherlands, Indonesia, and of course China. The festival’s aim of providing a platform for new Chinese photography has once again been re-affirmed with several exhibitions showcasing young Chinese photographers and curators.
The 40 exhibitions of 2017 Jimei x Arles attest to the diversity of photographic approaches and practices, and include:
- 8 exhibitions from Rencontres d’Arles 2017: Early Works by Joel Meyerowitz, Superfacial by Audrey Tautou, The Gorgans by Mathieu Pernot, Iran: Year 38 with 66 Iranian photographers, Stories of the Immediate Present by the Spanish collective Blank Paper, Retracing Our Steps, Fukushima Exclusion Zone - 2011-2016 by New Discovery Award Winners – Carlos Ayesta & Guillaume Bression (presented by Le 247 gallery), The Parallele State by New Discovery Award Nominee – Guy Martin (presented by nineteensixtyeight Gallery), The 2017 Book Awards;
- 3 China Pulse exhibitions curated by young Chinese curators and China photography specialists: Uncertain Traces (curated by Du Xiyun), To be an image maker (curated by He Jing), BrokenIce: 160118-170811 (curated by Ruben Lundgren);
- A Crossover Photography exhibition curated by Shen Chen, Phantom Pain Clinic;
- 10 Jimei x Arles Discovery Award nominees picked by five young curators: Guo Yingguang and Jiang Yuxin (curated by He Yining), Shao Wenhuan and Yu Mo (curated by Liu Tian), Deng Yun and the real (curated by Nie Xiaoyi), Yu Feifei and Siu Wai Hang (curated by Tang Zehui), Feng Li and Sun Yanchu (curated by Thomas Sauvin). The winner of the 2017 Jimei x Arles Discovery Award will be awarded a 200,000 RMB prize and an exhibition in 2018 Rencontres d’Arles. This year, the winner is Feng Li. Also, Siu Wai Hang has won the Special Mention from the jury members.
- 7 Local Action programs featuring Xiamen curators and artists: After the Ebb curated by Chen Wei, Visuality is the Scene of Negligence curated by Wang Qi, Lu Yanjin's Sister curated by Huang Rui, DaSoHo Project curated by Kong Yan, City Thinking curated by Lei Yuting, Houtian Project;
- A solo show of Chinese photography master Wang Wusheng, curated by RongRong & inri;
- 3 "Greetings from Indonesia" exhibitions showcasing the vitality of contemporary Indonesian photography, with works by Oscar Motuloh and Ruang MES 56;
- A Collector’s Tale exhibition showing collector Huang Jianpeng's Chinese photography treasures, namely the works of Chinese photography pioneers Chin-San Long, Xue Zijiang and Lan Zhigui.
Jimei x Arles aims at strengthening its role as a platform for photography in Asia. Along with the exhibition program, a number of events are organized for photography professionals, art lovers and the public during the Opening Week (November 25-28): Photobook Station, PhotoFolio Reviews, public discussions about photography, the ‘Arles Night of the Year’ screenings, university lectures, performances, and exhibition tours guided by artists and curators.
Aside from the Jimei x Arles Discovery Award, the festival has created this year a special prize rewarding a woman photographer: the Jimei x Arles – Madame Figaro China Women Photographers Award, co-organized with women's magazine Madame Figaro, with the support of Women in Motion, an international programme launched in 2015 by luxury group Kering to showcase the contribution of women to the film and image industry. Photographer Guo Yingguang has won the prize.
With two main sites in Xiamen’s Jimei District and several other sites in the city, the festival aims to connect and animate separated cultural areas and spaces, to relay and promulgate different art forms through the city.
Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival is co-produced by Xiamen’s Jimei District - Tianxia Jimei Media and Three Shadows Photography Art Centre.
JIMEI x ARLES 2017 AT A GLIMPSE
- From November 25, 2017 to January 3, 2018
- 40 exhibitions
- More than 250 artists
- Opening Week (November 25-28) events: exhibition tours, PhotoFolio Reviews, Photobook Station, public discussions, university lectures, Arles' Night of the Year screenings...
- 8 Exhibitions from Rencontres d'Arles 2017
- 3 "China Pulse" Exhibitions curated by young Chinese or China-specialist curators
- 1 "Crossover Photography" exhibition
- 10 Jimei x Arles Discovery Award exhibitions
- 7 "Local Action" exhibitions
- 1 solo exhibition of Wang Wusheng
- 3 "Greetings from Indonesia" exhibitions
- 1 "Collector's Tale" exhibition