Three Shadows Photography Art Centre was founded in 2007 by the photographers RongRong and Inri as a space for the research, production, and display of contemporary Chinese and international photography. Part library, part darkroom, part exhibition hall, it was without precedent in China.


Since then, Three Shadows has developed an international reputation as China's premiere institution for contemporary photography and collaborated with a growing number of local and international museums and cultural organizations. Over the last decade, it has hosted more than 90 academic exhibitions; organized over 120 activities, including forums, lectures and seminars; and built a photobook library with over 5,000 books and publications, the largest in China.


At its Beijing premises, Three Shadows covers 4,600 square meters. The main building, designed by Ai Weiwei, is a combination of three galleries—about 876 square meters in total—surrounded by 2,600 square meters of landscaped gardens. In 2015, a new branch of Three Shadows with 4,600 square meters of space opened in Xiamen, Fujian Province.  Each branch includes a café, a photobook store, a professional darkroom open to the public, and the commercial +3 Gallery. Including both its Beijing and Xiamen locations, the Centre attracts 100,000 local and international visitors every year.


Three Shadows has an active educational program, hosts an artist-in-residence program for international photographers and scholars, collaborates annually with the famed French photography festival Les Recontres d'Arles for the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival in Xiamen, and has a collection of over 300 works by respected Chinese and international photographers. In addition, the annual Three Shadows Photography Award competition spotlights work from the unceasing tide of new and talented Chinese photographers.


Our Mission


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