social images

curated by wang qi

Chen Leng (1992), Cheng Ran (1981), DevolutioN (2016), Huang Zhenwei (1986), Jiang Hanming (1994), Liang Ban (1985), LINK (1984), Tao Hui (1987), Wang Haiqing (1992), Zhang Wenxin (1989).

Let us first put away the internal language of photography, and imagine what could be your daily life - you take the elevator down from your apartment and leave the tower block, swipe your way through the day’s news on your smartphone; enter the underground system and switch between looking around at expressionless people and at the colourful ads. Office work continues to revolve around the Internet. Your leisure time is filled with social media. If you pass a shopping mall after work, the window display will remind that a new summer season is fast approaching. And photography? Where does that come in?

We are placed inside work  covered by a huge amount of image information, entertainment, and consumer networks. These images were made on your 1500 pixel phone camera, a piece of social software, or a variety of product advertisements. everywhere you read, search, use, manufacture, tamper with, comment on or ignore them. Whether or not you are willing to admit it, the relationship with photography has changed. Modern business in this era has set up another image production mechanism, and we are being pushed on a wave of images. The continuous development of Internet technology, and the personal, social and image connections that come with it, will become strong and diverse. On the one hand, we are producers, consumers and communicators of images, and on the other hand, we are not aware of ourselves in the visual landscape of the image’s production, consumption and dissemination.

Social images will be shown at Jimei Arles International Photography Festival, with the aim to embracing a wider social context, exploring and discussing photographic art and image production, artistic creation and the boundaries of commercial mechanisms. One of our jobs is applying a reading of commercial images that puts these photographers' works in a completely different context - in your daily life, they may replace your elevator’s real estate advertising or your computer desktop image. The viewing conditions will also change. Next to different mounting methods, they will be exposed to the rough lighting in the post-industrial era - office buildings, shopping malls, street lights or the streak of light of a car passing through a projection. This takes you far away from the light you art accustomed to as you stand before an exhibit at the museum, temporary and inorganic. Of course, you are no longer a well-prepared art spectator, and you go back to your daily identity, someone able to quickly switch scenes and apply business mechanisms to your life. What you are able to do now is screen the photographic art you see, or simply ignore it.