Worldwide, we share over three billion images on social media every day. In the UK this is mainly through platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp; in China, WeChat and QQ are more commonly used.
Although the act of taking and sharing photos can be casual, it drastically shapes the way we understand ourselves, each other, and cultures we are less familiar with.
Snapshot to WeChat presents three projects that use people’s photography to reflect on a country that has seen huge shifts in its attitudes towards globalisation, market economy and the place of the individual. The focus here is not on photographers, but on how we all use photography to express what matters to us and represent our experience through snapshots.
Anthropologist Xinyuan Wang explores photos posted by people on WeChat, China’s hugely popular social media platform. Her work looks at how we construct individual and collective identities, and the ways in which it can shape our behaviour and ideas.
Thomas Sauvin presents ‘Beijing Silvermine’, an archive of photographs sourced from thousands of used photographic negatives bought from a recycling plant outside Beijing. The collection chronicles a time between the relaxing of the market and photography’s movement to being predominantly digital.
Teresa Eng is a Chinese-Canadian photographer who produced her project Self/Portrait in shopping precincts in China. Here, we present a selection of the original Self/Portrait images alongside a newly commissioned partner series made here in Liverpool.
Snapshot to WeChat is delivered in partnership with Liverpool City Council’s China Dream season of contemporary Chinese art.