MAM Research 005: Laboratory for Chinese Contemporary Photography – Three Shadows Photography Art Centre

Mori Art Museum

poster for MAM Research 005: Laboratory for Chinese Contemporary Photography – Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
[Image: Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing]

This event has ended.

Sino-Japanese photographer duo RongRong & inri launched their Beijing-based joint practice in 2000, and since then have continued to take photographs grounded in everyday life, focusing on subjects such as their growing family, the changing Chinese landscape, and destruction of the environment.

In 2007 RongRong & inri used their own funds to establish the “Three Shadows Photography Art Centre,” a complex dedicated to photography on a large site in Beijing’s Caochangdi arts district. Designed by artist Ai Weiwei, an early supporter of the pair’s career, the building was a revolutionary structure equipped with a gallery, dark room, library and artist-in-residence facility. In 2009 RongRong & inri launched the “Three Shadows Photography Award.” The aim of the award is to identify and cultivate up-and-coming Chinese photographers, and it has indeed proved a stepping-stone to success for photographers with their sights set on an international career. Three Shadows has embarked on a range of ventures from exhibitions to lectures and workshops, based on its network of photographers and critics around the world and including an international photography festival (2010- ) run jointly with the 40-year-old Rencontres d’Arles photography festival in Arles, France, and an exhibition of works from the “Three Shadows Photography Award” at the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale in Niigata (2015). In 2015, Three Shadows opened another branch site in the city of Xiamen in Fujian Province, thus extending its activities even further.

This exhibition looks back on ten years of Three Shadow’s efforts to promote the photographic arts in China. With input from art historian Wu Hung, it will also make some observations on the role of Three Shadows in the history of Chinese contemporary photography. In addition to books, magazines and photographs, the exhibition also features video footage of interviews with critics, artists and staff who have witnessed first-hand the growth of Three Shadows.

The name “Three Shadows” has its origins in the words of Laozi: “Dao begets one; One begets two; Two begets three; Three begets the myriad creatures.” The exhibition will present this unique center for photography created in the hope of becoming a place where photography (the “shadows”) in turn begets infinite possibilities.

[Related Events]
Talk Session: “A Photography Hub to the World: Three Shadows and the Development of Chinese Contemporary Photography”
Through photography, Three Shadows has made tremendous contributions to international cultural exchange. In this Session, RongRong & inri will speak about the foundation of the Centre as well as its activities, and Wu Hung, who has been watching them closely from early on, will speak about the history of Chinese contemporary photography and its background. Furthermore, Kasahara Michiko will join to discuss contemporary photography by touching upon the situation of the discipline in Japan and China.
Event Time: July 29 (Sat) 14:00-16:00 (Doors open: 13:30)
Speakers: Wu Hung (Distinguished Service Professor of the Department of Art History, The University of Chicago), RongRong & inri (Photographer duo), Kasahara Michiko (Chief Curator, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum)
Moderator: Araki Natsumi (Curator, Mori Art Museum)
Venue: Auditorium, Mori Art Museum
Capacity: 80 (booking required)
Admission: Free (exhibition admission ticket for the day of event is required)
*Japanese-English simultaneous interpretation available
*Speaker lineup is subject to change
*Please see the official website for further details



from July 05, 2017 to October 23, 2017


RongRong & inri



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