Snapshot to WeChat: A Migration of Identity

6 Apr 2018 – 17 Jun 2018

Regular hours

10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00
10:00 – 17:00

Cost of entry


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Open Eye Gallery

Liverpool, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • The nearest bus station is at Liverpool ONE, but some buses drop off at the Pier Head, right next door to the gallery. Merseytravel has details of local bus services.
  • By train We are 20 minutes walk from Lime Street station ' Liverpool's mainline railway station. James Street station, served by Wirral Line trains, is a two minute walk. Moorfields station, served by the Northern and Wirral Lines, is a five minute w
Directions via Google Maps Directions via Citymapper
Event map

What do the photos we take and share say about us? This exhibition looks at everyday photography in China, considering how the act of snapping has become a crucial part of how we understand ourselves.


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.

What to expect? Toggle


Thomas Dukes

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Thomas Sauvin

Xinyuan Wang

Teresa Eng


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