10 Chinese Photographers To Watch in 2019

Lau Wai, "I'm just Wan Chai girl", 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

Last year, we covered 10 Contemporary Chinese Photographers You Should Know, who were all nominees for the 2017 Jimei x Arles Discovery Award. In this post, we are introducing the 2018 Jimei x Arles Discovery Award nominees.

As one of the most prestigious photography awards in China, the Jimei x Arles Discovery Award rewards an artist with an exhibition at world-famous Rencontres d’Arles festival the following year as well as a 200,000 RMB prize.

Coca Dai

Aged between 22 and 38, the ten nominees of the Discovery Award are a mirror on today’s China, with their focus on topics including the couple, intimacy, gender identities, self-representation, collective memory, public and private urban space, media and social networks, mass production and consumption, globalized exchanges… Following the footsteps of Zhu Lanqing, Liu Silin and Feng Li, Lei Lei, the 2018 winner, had the chance to be exhibited at Rencontres d’Arles in 2019 with his work Weekend. Pixy Liao won the second edition of the Jimei x Arles – Madame Figaro Women Photographers Award.

Born 1976, Wuyuan County, Jiangxi Province, China. Lives and works in Shanghai.

Dai Jianyong, also known as Coca Dai, has been actively working as a freelance artist in photography since 2000. His personal family history and Shanghai daily life are of great inspiration to his photographic projects, and a number of his works address related topics. His photographs are distinguished by a spontaneous, snapshot, documentary style which stands out in its unapologetic ability to narrate with images a passionate and brutal perspective of contemporary Chinese society.

Dai Jianyong’s projects have been displayed in group and solo exhibitions, such as 2010 Beijing Caochangdi Photography Spring Festival, 2012 Pingyao International Photography Festival (Award winner) and the 11th Shanghai Biennale Exhibition (2016). He has been on artistic residency programs in New York and Finland.

Instagram

 10-photographers-2019-CocaDai-20130823-FromtheseriesJudyZhu

Coca Dai, "20130823". From the series "Judy Zhu" (2008-2015). Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-CocaDai-20131005-FromtheseriesJudyZhu1

Coca Dai, "20131005", From the series "Judy Zhu" (2008-2015). Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-CocaDai-20090725-Fromtheseries-JudyZhu

Coca Dai, "20090725". From the series "Judy Zhu" (2008-2015). Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Coca-Dai-20110303-From-the-series-Judy-Zhu

Coca Dai, "20110303". From the series "Judy Zhu" (2008-2015). Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Coca-Dai-20081003-From-the-series-Judy-Z-17tuCRC

Coca Dai "20081003", From the series "Judy Zhu". Courtesy of the artist.


Pixy Liao

Born 1979, Shanghai, China. Lives and works in New York, USA.

Born and raised in Shanghai, Pixy Liao currently resides in New York. Her long-term photo project Experimental Relationship challenges conventional ideas of gender dynamics. She also explores female identity in video and sculpture. Liao began being interested in photography after watching Antonioni’s film Blow-up, followed by pursuing photography in the United States.

Her works have been shown at He Xiangning Art Museum, Museum of Sex, Asia Society, Shanghai K11, Leo Xu Projects, Metro Pictures, Flower Gallery, etc. She is a recipient of NYFA Fellowship in photography, En Foco’s New Works Fellowship and LensCulture Exposure Awards. She was awarded the 2018 Jimei x Arles – Madame Figaro Women Photographers Award.

pixyliao.com

Instagram

Discover her interview in our DoorZine

 10-photographers-2019-Pixy-Liao-red-nails

Pixy Liao, "Red Nails", 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Pixy-Liao-2009-Startyourdaywithagoodbreakfasttogethe

Pixy Liao, "Start Your Day with a Good Breakfast Together", 2009. From the "Experimental Relationship" series. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Pixy-Liao-pingpongballs-ForYourEyesOnly

Pixy Liao, "Ping-Pong Balls For Your Eyes Only", 2014. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Pixy-Liao-How-to-build-a-relationship-with-lay-XX2KJ9d

Pixy Liao, "How to Build a Relationship with Layered Meanings". From the series "Experimental Relationship". Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Pixy-Liao-Breast-Spray-2015

Pixy Liao, "Breast Spray", 2015, Silicone, Plastic Metal, 6 x 6 inches.

 10-photographers-2019-Pixy-Liao-2014-Welcometothegatesofthenewera

Pixy Liao, "Welcome to the Gates of the New Era", 2014. From the "Experimental Relationship" series. Courtesy of the artist.


Su Jiehao

Born 1988, Guangdong, China. Lives and works in Providence, United States.

Su Jiehao studied at the Beijing Film Academy and holds an M.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Su’s work has been exhibited internationally in venues including the Musée du Quai Branly (France), NRW Forum (Germany), Benaki Museum (Greece), UNM Art Museum (USA), and Three Shadows Photography Art Centre (China).

Su has received the Magnum 30 Under 30, Gabriele Basilico Prize (Italy), Arte Creative Award (Germany), IdeasTap Award (UK), and an Emerging Photography Award (USA). He has been an Artist-in-Residence at Independent A.I.R. in Denmark and SMArt in Switzerland.

jiehaosu.com

Instagram

 10-photographers-2019-Su-Jiehao-Film-Still-from-The-Storm-in-the-Mor.original

Su Jiehao, Film, "Still from The Storm in the Morning", 2017-18. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Su-Jiehao-Untitled-Rainbow-with-Ruler-Bluebi.original

Su Jiehao, "Untitled (Rainbow with Ruler, Bluebirds, White Formula and Rectangle)", 2017. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-SuJiehao-UntitledExterior2.original

Su Jiehao, "Untitled" (Exterior #2), 2016. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Su-Jiehao-Film-Still-from-The-Storm-in-the-Mo.original

Su Jiehao, Film, "Still from The Storm in the Morning", 2017-18. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Su-Jiehao-Film-Still-from-The-Storm-in-the-Mo.original-Y3DqW7o

Su Jiehao, Film, "Still from The Storm in the Morning", 2017-18. Courtesy of the artist.


Hu Wei

Born 1989. Lives and works in Beijing, China.

Hu Wei graduated from the Painting Department of CAFA in 2012, and obtained an MA at Dutch Art Institute in 2016. His practice takes various media to establish an artistic relationship between the reality (non-artistic gesture) and “art tales”. Combining the observation of individuality and social realism, recently he is exploring the mediation or irreconcilable phenomenology between technology and the human condition,

in which the emerging political, economic, ethical issues are embedded. The exhibitions Hu has participated in include: Towards the Emergence of Resistance (Taikang Space, 2016), Collective Disorder / After Speaking (Greylight Projects, Brussels), Shanghai Project-Qidian (Himalayas Museum, 2016), among others.

hu-wei.com

Instagram

 10-photographers-2019-HuWei-fromtheseriesProposalforPublicAssembly-En

Hu Wei, "Proposal for Public Assembly/Encounter", 2018-ongoing. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-HuWei-fromtheseriesProposalforPublicAssembly-En_hkSVplV

Hu Wei, "Proposal for Public Assembly/Encounter", 2018-ongoing. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-HuWei-fromtheseriesProposalforPublicAssembly-En_5vRrPV1

Hu Wei, "Proposal for Public Assembly/Encounter", 2018-ongoing. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Hu-Wei-from-the-series-Proposal-for-Public-Asse

Hu Wei, "Proposal for Public Assembly/Encounter", 2018-ongoing. Courtesy of the artist.


Shao Ruilu

Born 1993, Suzhou (Jiangsu Province), China. Lives and works in Suzhou and Hangzhou, China.

Shao Ruilu graduated from High School of China Academy of Art in 2008, with a B.A from the School of Intermedia Art of China Academy of Art in 2015, and Masters degree under the direction of professor and artist Qiu Zhijie in 2018. Her graduation artwork won the Lin Fengmian Gold Award.

In 2017, she participated in the Transcultural Collaboration Program at Zurich University of the Arts. Shao Ruilu’s art practice covers film and video, painting, animation and installation. Recently, she has focused on photography, especially still-life photography.

 10-photographers-2019-Shao-Ruilu-Seven-Continents

Shao Ruilu, "Seven Continents, The Gesture of Abstraction", 2016-2018. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Shao-Ruilu-The-Gesture-of-European-Union

Shao Ruilu, "The Gesture of European Union, The Gesture of Abstraction", 2016-2018. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Shao-Ruilu-Do-Not-Be-Afraid-of-Life-or-Death-Yo

Shao Ruilu, "Do Not Be Afraid Of Life or Death, You Have Already Seen A Lot", 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Shao-Ruilu-Do-Not-Be-Afraid-of-Life-or-Death-Yo_HAQVlBZ

Shao Ruilu, "Do Not Be Afraid Of Life or Death, You Have Already Seen A Lot", 2018. Courtesy of the artist.


Wong Wingsang

Born 1990, Guangdong, China. Lives and works in Hong Kong.

Wong Wingsang moved to Hong Kong with his father at the age of 4. He got the Cheung’s Fine Arts Award in 2013, while he was studying Fine Arts in CUHK. His artworks were exhibited in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China. His artistic creation focuses on the composition of contemporary society, as well as the unspoken rules and the personal subsistence state in it.

He currently tries to use ready-made objects and images to build metaphors, exploring the subtle emotions and gray zone beyond everyday language. Recent exhibitions include solo exhibition The Slowest Wind (Canton Gallery, Guangzhou, 2018), group exhibition Chen Pai’an, Wong Wing Sang, Wu Sibo (Tabula Rasa Gallery, Beijing, 2018), Photo booth (ParaSite, Art Basel HK, Hong Kong, 2017), among others.

www.wongwingsang.com

Instagram

 10-photographers-2019-Wong-Wingsang-Impression-Dusk

Wong Wingsang, "Impression Dusk", 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Wong-Wingsang-To-mesmerize-a-tree

Wong Wingsang, "To Memorize a Tree", 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Wong-Wingsang-Those-days

Wong Wingsang, "Those Days", 2017. Courtesy of the artist.


Lau Wai

Born 1982, Hong Kong. Lives and works in Hong Kong and New York, USA.

Lau Wai graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and she is currently studying MFA in Visual Arts at Columbia University.

Her works were exhibited at Art Basel Hong Kong; OCAT Shenzhen; OCAT Shanghai; Brandts Museum, Odense, Denmark; Les Photaumnales, Beauvais, France; Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore; Para Site, Hong Kong; Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing; Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale, Japan. 

www.wai-lau.com

 10-photographers-2019-Lau-Wai-My-name-is-Gwenny-Lee

Lau Wai, "My name is Gwenny Lee", 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Lau-Wai-Walking-to-Nam-Kok-Hotel

Lau Wai, "Walking to Nam Kok Hotel", 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Lau-Wai-Im-just-Wan-Chai-girl

Lau Wai, "I'm just Wan Chai girl", 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Lau-Wai-Queens-Road-West

 10-photographers-2019-Lau-Wai-Victoria-Harbour

Lau Wai, "Victoria Harbour 00S", 2018. Courtesy of the artist.


Lei Lei

Born 1985, Nanchang (Jiangxi Province), China. Lives and works in Beijing, China, and Los Angeles, USA.

Lei Lei is an experimental animation artist with his hands on video arts, painting, installation, music and VJ performance. In 2009 he earned a master’s degree in animation from Tsinghua University. In 2010, his film This is LOVE was shown at Ottawa International Animation Festival and awarded the 2010 Best Narrative Short.

In 2013 his film Recycled was selected by Annecy festival and was the Winner Grand Prix shorts – non-narrative at Holland International Animation Film Festival. In 2014 he was part of the Jury of Zagreb / Holland International Animation Film Festival, and on the same year won the 2014 Asian Cultural Council grant. In 2017, Lei Lei was enrolled as a faculty member of CalArts Experimental Animation program in California.

vimeo.com/user1260672

Instagram

 10-photographers-2019-Lei-Lei-Potted-Landscape-Art-Exhibition-Bon

Lei Lei, "Potted Landscape Art Exhibition, Bonai Art Exhibition Office", 1979. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Lei-Lei-1700-Poses-Of-Human-Gesture

Lei Lei, "1700 Poses Of Human Gesture", Jilin Fine Art Press, 1988. Courtesy of the artist.


Shen Wei

Born 1977, Shanghai, China. Lives and works in New York City.

Shen Wei is known for his intimate portraits of others and himself, as well as his poetic landscape and still-life photography. He holds an MFA in photography, video, and related media from the School of Visual Arts, New York; and a BFA in photography from Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Shen Wei is a recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Arts Residency, the Asian Cultural Council Arts & Religion Fellowship, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Arts Grant. 

shenwei.studio

Instagram

 10-photographers-2019-Shen-Wei-Self-portrait-Villefranche

Shen Wei, "Self-portrait" (Villefranche), 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Flowers Gallery (London / New York).

 10-photographers-2019-Shen-Wei-Cherry-Blossoms

Shen Wei, "Cherry Blossoms", 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Flowers Gallery (London / New York).

 10-photographers-2019-Shen-Wei-Self-portrait-Cusco

Shen Wei, "Self-portrait" (Cusco), 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Flowers Gallery (London / New York).


Yang Wenbin

Born 1996, Jining, Shandong. Lives and works in Beijing

Yang Wenbin graduated from the Communication University of China in 2018. His work Golden Age won the Lishui Photography Festival funding award in 2015. In 2017, Society of University won the New Documentaries Prize sponsored by Inter Art Center.

He was shortlisted for the 8th Three Shadows Photography Award. His exhibition of Euphoric Mirror in Lianzhou Foto 2016 was commissioned by NetEase.

www.wenbinfoto.com

Instagram

 10-photographers-2019-Yang-Wenbin-Euphoric-Mirror-29

Yang Wenbin, "Euphoric Mirror 29", 2016. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Yang-Wenbin-Euphoric-Mirror-28

Yang Wenbin, "Euphoric Mirror 28", 2016. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Yang-Wenbin-Euphoric-Mirror-20

Yang Wenbin, "Euphoric Mirror 20", 2016. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Yang-Wenbin-Euphoric-Mirror-16

Yang Wenbin, "Euphoric Mirror 16", 2016. Courtesy of the artist.

 10-photographers-2019-Yang-Wenbin-Euphoric-Mirror-12

Yang Wenbin, "Euphoric Mirror 12", 2016. Courtesy of the artist.


Note: The artists are the 10 nominees for the Discovery Award of the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival, created in 2015. Every year, ten talents are nominated by five curators. At stake is an award of 200,000 RMB (25,000 Euros) and an exhibition at the prestigious Rencontres d’Arles the following year. In 2018, the nominees were selected by curators Dong Bingfeng, Li Jie, Chelsea Qianxi Liu, Holly Roussell and Wang Yan.

Related DoorZine Articles
With video collage of images taken from photo albums and old magazines, Lei Lei won in 2018 the Jimei x Arles Discovery Award without touching a camera. Doors met him before his exhibition in Arles International Photo festival.
Related Projects

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter – get your foot in the door!