Situated in Beijing’s Caochangdi Art District, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre was China’s first independent organization specializing in contemporary art photography upon its founding. It was jointly founded by the influential Chinese contemporary photographer RongRong and his wife, the celebrated Japanese photographer inri. Since June 2007, Three Shadows has become the country’s premiere platform for the presentation, promotion, discovery and international exchange of high-caliber photography. Three Shadows Photography Art Centre is comprised of two spaces, north and south: one is situated in Beijing’s Caochangdi Art District, while the other is located in Xinlinwan, Jimei District in the city of Xiamen in southern China. The Beijing location includes 4600 square meters of space and 2500 square meters of landscape architecture designed by famed artist and architect Ai Weiwei. The Xiamen location includes more than 3600 square meters of space and was designed by Liu Na of the celebrated firm LARGEarchitects. Aside from its exhibition spaces, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre also includes +3 Gallery, image production facilities, a vast library (Xiamen location), an educational program, a book store, and a cafe.
Three Shadows Photography Art Centre hosts specialized academic exhibitions which include both domestic and international masters of photography in addition to cutting edge solo exhibitions and group shows. Through events, artistic case studies, archival exploration, research, promotion, inviting experts to hold academic lectures, conferences, and symposiums, Three Shadows aspires to be a significant window into the exploration, presentation, and international dialogue surrounding Chinese contemporary photography.
In order to support emerging Chinese photographers and promote contemporary Chinese art photography, Three Shadows established its annual “Three Shadows Photography Award” contest in 2008, which is open to Chinese located all over the world. The “Three Shadows Photography Award” is based in academic thought and takes an independent view of contemporary photography as a starting point by inviting a panel of international jurors to select artwork by photographers with the greatest artistic merit and spirit of independence. The award also serves to examine, explore, and uncover Chinese contemporary photography while exposing it to the greater public.
From 2010 to 2012, Three Shadows collaborated with the famed French photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles to host three years of the “Caochangdi Photo Spring—Arles in Beijing” festival. In 2015, the collaboration evolved into the annual “Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival” in Xiamen, China. The festival includes exhibitions, portfolio reviews, symposiums, a university lecture tour, a photobook market, and a variety of other events, including the “Jimei x Arles Discovery Award” and “Women Photographers Award.” It aims to become the largest and highest quality photo festival in Asia.
The Three Shadows Educational Program focuses on academic research of photography, the dissemination of knowledge about photography, and the cultivation of new talent. The Centre invites outstanding domestic artists, visiting scholars, and photography theorists to hold workshops, providing high-level courses to photography enthusiasts. Additionally, the Program offers youth courses, extending the reach of contemporary photographic education to a wide audience.
+3 Gallery is an independently operated art space under the flag of Three Shadows that seeks first and foremost to act as a channel for promoting Chinese photography past-and-present while forging a path for the future of the medium. It aims to provide a professional model for promoting and guiding China’s homegrown artists and offer opportunities to the public to better understand and recognize oustasnding photography produced in China. It seeks to develop a culture of informed collecting of photography in China. With an international market operational model and professionalized service, +3 Gallery provides an excellent platform for both photographers and photography collectors.
The library of the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Xiamen includes more than 5,000 volumes and is China’s first specialized photography library. The collected volumes primarily consist of photography books of various types including monographs, exhibition catalogues, periodicals, magazines, photography history and theory books, and writings on contemporary art. The collection, which continues to grow year upon year, is comprised almost entirely of generous donations from partner organizations and foreign visitors. The library is free and open to the public, aiming to allow the public to gain greater understanding of the history and development of the art of photography.
There are book stores inside the +3 Gallery at both the Beijing and Xiamen locations of Three Shadows Photography Art Centre. The stores’ stock consists primarily of photography-related books and art products, including photobooks from domestic publishers, Japanese publishers, and Three Shadows Press. The book stores feature independent publications, collector-grade handmade art books, collotype portfolios produced in collaboration with Benrido, and limited edition collectible platinum print photobooks produced in collaboration with the Japanese publisher amansalto. The Xiamen art book store is three times larger than the Beijing space. Aside from presenting photo books, it also has a limited selection of books on architecture, design, and film. The art book store collaborates with designers, using Three Shadows as a platform to support the development of original and creative book production. It collaborates with photographers to produce other photography-related artistic merchandise aimed at imbuing everyday life with photographic art. The store also offers coffee, tea, desserts and healthy snacks.
In order to provide international photographers, critics, and curators a platform for the practice or study of photographic art, and to create opportunities for international dialog between artists, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre offers an artist-in-residence program. It allows artists the chance to live and work in Beijing or Xiamen and provide opportunities for them to experience the vitality of Chinese contemporary art and the unique charm of Chinese culture. Ideally, artists should be recommended by an accredited art institution. Artists participating in the program will enjoy an independent living and working space on Three Shadow’s Caochangdi grounds, as well as access to Three Shadows’ exhibition space, darkroom, bookstore, coffee shop, and other facilities. In addition, resident artists will have access to other events like exhibitions, lectures, seminars, performance art shows, and concerts, and they will have ready opportunities to collaborate with other artists if they choose to do so.
Three shadows xiamen
Three Shadows Photography Art Centre Southern Headquarters - Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre is situated in Xiamen’s Xingbin Wan, Jimei new city, with delightfully beautiful scenery; adjacent to Jimei college town, it has a rich literati foundation. The 3600 plus square meter complex includes: an exhibition hall, +3 Gallery, image production department, photography education department, photography book store, cafe and more. The Centre will carry on Three Shadows’ objectives and philosophy, introducing advanced operational concepts from international art spaces and adhering to the pursuit of artistic values. Borrowing from Xiamen’s strategic advantage as a Special Economic Zone and Free-Trade Zone, it integrates the region’s artistic resources to promote international photography art exchange, cross-straits photography art exchange, and the spread of Three Shadows’ contemporary photography culture. By hosting high-quality contemporary photography exhibitions domestically and internationally, educational programming, and activities like the Jimei ≠ Arles International Photography Exhibition, it will become a leading force in the development of contemporary photographic art in southern China.
Three Shadows Photography Art Centre covers an area of 4600 square meters. The main building is a combination of three galleries totalling around 876 square meters surrounded by 2600 square meters of landscaped gardens with full WiFi coverage. The Centre is comprehensive and includes exhibition halls, galleries, a darkroom, a classroom, a book store, and a cafe shop. About 200,000 visitors come to the Centre each year. There are various spaces rentable for events such as product launches, meetings, dinners, conferences, team building events, weddings, performances or private parties.The garden is sprinkled with pomegranate trees, grass, benches and other landscaping elements. It can be adjusted to create a unique presentation for each event. Whether used for lighting or video projections, the stylish brick walls throughout the property are an ideal surface for creative, eye-catching visuals.
Situated in Beijing’s Caochangdiart district, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre was China’s first independent organization specializing in contemporary art photography. It was jointly founded by influential Chinese contemporary photographer, RongRong, and his wife, celebrate Japanese photographer, inri. Since June 2007, Three Shadows has become the country’s premiere platform for high-caliber photographic presentation, promotion, discovery and international exchange. Comprised of a group of senior personages in the field, Three Shadows Association also aims to support and jointly discuss the development of Chinese contemporary photography, establishing an internationalized system and status.
Through exhibitions, education programs, publications, programs for artists, as well as independent events and engagements, we aim to:
• Explore and showcase contemporary Chinese photography
• Rediscover important photographic works from the past and give them the place they deserve in the history of photography in China
• Initiate a dialogue between China and the international art scene in order to establish China's presence in the global photography world
• Serve as an independent mechanism to introduce contemporary photography to the general public
• Influence and facilitate the development of China's contemporary photography
Berenice Angremy Co-Director of DOORS Art&Culture Agency, Art Director of 2017 and 2018 Jimei x Arles International Photography Festival
Fei Dawei Art Critic, Curator
Fan Di'an President of the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Beijing, China
Yoshiharu Fukuhara, Former Director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan
Wu Hung, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History, University of Chicago;
Director of the Center for the Art of East Asia and the Consulting Curator at the Smart Museum, University of Chicago, USA
Kotaro Iizawa, Critic of Photography, Japan
Yoshiharu Fukuhara Former Director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography , Japan
Christopher Phillips, Freelance Curator, Former Curator at the International Center for Photography (ICP), NY, USA, 2000-2016
Karen Smith, Director, OCAT Contemporary Art Museum Xi'an, China; Artistic Director, SCoP Shanghai, China
Bas Vroege, Director and Curator, Paradox Foundation, Edam, The Netherlands
Gu Zheng, Photography Expert; Researcher, Fudan University, Shanghai, China