A snapshot of the state of art in UK and China today. Forming the centre of LOOK Photo Biennial 2019, Peer to Peer is a group show of 14 artists, selected by 14 curators from across the UK and China. In Liverpool, the exhibition will take place across Open Eye Gallery and the vaulted basement of St. George’s Hall; it will also be shown at the Shanghai Centre of Photography in February. The exhibition platforms artists on the verge of major international recognition.
From the UK, Anna Ridler presents her AI-generated projects Mosaic Virus and Tulips, based on handmade image datasets and recently shown as part of the Barbican’s AI: More than Human. Excerpts from Forest, Yan Wang Preston’s recent Sony World Photo Award-winning work will also feature, charting the construction of ‘natural’ landscapes in China. Maisie Cousins began as a Tumblr photographer and was recently named in the DAZED 100 — her sickly-sweet photographic style uses close-ups of everyday objects to make lucid images in which attraction and repulsion collide powerfully.
Orlando by Alix Marie sits somewhere between photography and sculpture: Body parts are crumpled and piled up into a large mound of warped body parts. Othello De’Souza-Hartley’s work unpicks contemporary masculinity, looking at how and why men feel compelled to perform a gender role. Jonny Briggs’ Unpalatable Truths is an unnerving, surreal examination of the cover-up of child abuse on the island of Jersey. Mandy Barker’s Soup tackles the accumulation of plastics in earth’s oceans; she meticulously collects plastic objects from beaches around the world and presents them as constellations, exposing the growing threat to marine and terrestrial life. Siân Davey’s years working as a psychotherapist shine through her photography, which charts the delicate balances of family life.
Rising Chinese artists Sun Yanchu, Jiang Pengyi, Wu Yue, Fan Xi, Qin Yifeng and Chen Zhe have also been selected, from directors and curators at some of China’s most influential international photography galleries and organisations.
Peer to Peer is curated by Lindsay Taylor (University of Salford Art Collection), Thomas Dukes (Open Eye Gallery) and Serein Liu (independent curator, based in Shanghai).
John O’Shea, Head of programming at Science Gallery London. Nominated – Anna Ridler
Louise Fedotov-Clements, Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival & Artistic Director of QUAD, Derby. Nominated – Siân Davey.
Christiane Monarchi, Founding Editor of Photomonitor, London. Nominated – Othello De’Souza-Hartley.
Scott Gray, CEO and Founder of the World Photography Organisation. Nominated – Alix Marie.
Thomas Dukes, Curator of Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool. Nominated – Dr. Yan Wang Preston.
Shoair Mavlian, Director of Photoworks, Brighton. Nominated – Maisie Cousins.
Brett Rogers OBE, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, London. Nominated – Jonny Briggs.
Anne McNeill, Director and Curator of Impressions Gallery, Bradford. Nominated – Mandy Barker.
Mimi Chun, Founder and Director of Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong. Nominated – Jiang Pengyi.
Peipei Han, Associate Director of PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai. Nominated – Fan Xi.
Serein Liu, Independent Curator, Shanghai. Nominated – Chen Zhe.
Liu Heung Shing, Founder, SCOP (Shanghai Center of Photography). Nominated – Wu Yue.
Karen Smith, Artistic Director, SCOP (Shanghai Center of Photography). Nominated – Sun Yanchu.
Lu Xun, Founder and Director, Sifang Art Museum & Independent Collector. Nominated – Qin Yifeng.