Between Mountains, Hills and Lakes

14 November 2020 - 31 January 2021 Beijing

Curator: He Yining

Artists: Thomas Brasey, Olga Cafiero, Chen Haishu, Matthieu Gafsou, Catherine Leutenegger, Christoph Oeschger, Virginie Rebetez, Stephane Winter, Zhu Lanqing 


Host: Three Shadows Photography Art Centre (Beijing)

Initiator: Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council

Co-host:SMArt - Sustainable Mountain Art

Time: Nov.14, 2020 - Jan.31, 2021

Opening support: Embassy of Switzerland in China

Sponsor:Painting Hero,Jiazazhi Press,Perma Jet





As the train departs from Zürich HB, where the iconic Mondaine railway clock hangs above the platform, the passengers are about to enter a world that will awaken their senses and leave them with visual experiences they won't easily forget. The southbound journey to Lausanne, a city more than 200 kilometers from Zürich, is characterized by the breathtaking view of snowy mountains and crystal lakes-the ever-changing sceneries that make up the unique geographic and cultural landscape of Switzerland. Between Mountains, Hills and Lakes starts from the curator's own travel experience and research in Switzerland in the past two years and goes on to examine artworks in photography and related media that explore the society and culture of the country from geographic, mythical, technological, and everyday perspectives. Using geography as a metaphor, the exhibition not only aims to present Switzerland as a melting pot for diverse cultures and complexities, but also hopes to illustrate the uniqueness of contemporary Swiss art. The 9 projects featured in the exhibition come from 7 leading photographers from Switzerland who are active on the global art stage and 2 Chinese photographers who have completed residencies in Switzerland in recent years. These artworks combine to construct a multi-layered visual representation of contemporary Switzerland for the audience to traverse and explore. 


In Malleus Maleficarum, Virginie Rebetez starts a dialogue between history and the present by investigating the phenomenon of mediums and healers, which are common in the catholic region of Fribourg and well-rooted in the culture, and learning about their identity and practice as she places them in the broader historical context of witch-hunting. Thomas Brasey's Libre revisits the attempts by the people of the Republique et Canton du Jura to fight for their independent identity in the 1960s and 1970s, which remains a unique case in Switzerland's modern history. In Die Winter, Stephane Winter draws inspiration from the story of his own life as an adopted child and approaches the subject with positivity and a sense of humor; through heartwarming photos of everyday life, the artist encourages the viewer to reconsider the definition of the "typical family" and to free oneself from preconceived notions of what it should be. 


Olga Cafiero's Costiss is rooted in Switzerland's unique landscape and focuses on the Valle Verzasca, a valley in the Locarno district of the Canton of Ticino; by integrating the mythical nature of the valley and one's own identity, her work delves deep into the culture of the region. In Janus on the Mountains, Zhu Lanqing sees the Alps not as a symbol of wilderness but as a conquered property for entertainment and consumerism; her work explores the ways human activities have been affecting the local landscape. Similarly, Christoph Oeschger's 2° explores the complex relationship between climate politics and environmental protection with cutting-edge imaging technologies; in an essay film, he uses different events from the history of climate investigation to discuss how we can understand climate change. In Bubbles, Chen Haishu turns his gaze toward the water, one of the most important natural resources in Switzerland. From large-scale mountain reservoirs to aquatic ecosystems on the micro-level, his work combines various media (including photos, sounds, videos and other existing materials) in a fictional narrative that revolves around "water", exploring the artificialization of nature and its subsequent re-naturalization.  


As one of the core strengths behind Switzerland's economy and culture, technology has taken on fresh meanings in Catherine Leutenegger's and Matthieu Gafsou's works through creative visual languages. In Beauty of Science, Leutenegger visits the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne and spends a year making numerous intricate portraits of science and technology that challenge the boundary between the images she creates and those she discovers and produces, which allows her to capture the present while envisioning the future. On the other hand, Matthieu Gafsou's H+ presents an ongoing conversation between photography and transhumanism, in which the artist is able to create a detailed map of the transhumanist revolution. 


In addition to the 9 projects featured in the exhibition, Between Mountains, Hills and Lakes will also showcase 29 photography books published in the last 5 years with the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. There will be a comprehensive public outreach program accompanying the exhibition that includes online and offline symposiums, artist talks, workshops, and other events, which will focus on the topicality, technicality and artistry of image production in China and Switzerland, as well as the current and future state of the photography industry in both countries. 


This exhibition coincides with the 70th anniversary of Sino-Swiss bilateral relations. After opening at the Design Society in Shenzhen and ZiWU / Modern Art Base in Shanghai,it travelling to the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing in 14th,November. 





Opening Forum


Photography, as a Visual Law of the 21st Century: Forum Series I

"The Boundaries of Representation"

2020.11.13, 17:00-18:20

Location: Three Shadows Photography Art Center

Address: 155A Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing

Guests: Gao Yan, Chow and Lin

Mediator: He Yining


Opening Ceremony


2020.11.13, 18:40-20:30

Location: Three Shadows Photography Art Center

Address: 155A Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing


*Opening support: Embassy of Switzerland in China




Photography, as a Visual Law of the 21st Century: Artistic Talk Series I

"The Space of Mysterious"

Guest: Virginie Rebetez,Olga Cafiero

To Be Confirmed


Photography, as a Visual Law of the 21st Century: Artistic Talk Series II

"The Echoes of Histories"

Guest: Thomas Brasey, Stephane Winter

To Be Confirmed




Photography, as a Visual Law of the 21st Century: Forum Series II

"The Copy of Real World"

Location: Three Shadows Photography Art Center

Address: 155A Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing

2021.11.21, 15:00 -16:30

Guests: Wang Huan, He Yining


Photography, as a Visual Law of the 21st Century: Forum Series III

 "The Ghost of Technology"

Location: Three Shadows Photography Art Center

Address: 155A Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing

2021.1.9, 15:00 -16:30

Guests: Shen Chen, Hu Hao


Curator's Guided Tour

2020.11.13, 16:00 - 16:30

2020.11.14, 14:00 - 14:30


Opening Hours

Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00-17:00, Closed on Mondays



About Curator


He Yining


Researcher, writer and curator of photographic art and visual culture based in Tianjin, China. Graduate of London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.

Her previous curatorial practice is principally focused on the way in which photography is able to freely straddle the boundaries of fine art, responding to and raising questions about contemporary and historical social issues through effective, diverse, and interdisciplinary means. Yining's exhibitions have been held in museums, art museums, and photography festivals in China and Europe, including: "The Abode of Anamnesis" (2019, OCAT Institute), the 3rd Beijing Photo Biennale (2018, CAFA Art Museum), "The Port and The Image: Documenting China's Harbor Cities" (2017, China Port Museum), "A Fictional Narrative Turn" (2016, Jimei Arles International Photo Festival),and the "50 Contemporary Photobooks from China 2009-2014" (2015, FORMAT 15 international Photo Festival, UK).

Publications include Photography in the British Classroom, and The Port and the Image, among others. Her Translations include Photography and Travel, Perspectives on Place: Theory and Practice in Landscape Photography (forthcoming), Art and Photography (forthcoming), and Artists Who Make Books (forthcoming) and few others. Furthermore, her latest research attempts to discuss the construction, application and development of image algorithms in the creation of photographs at the intersection of photography, media ecology and technical philosophy in China.




About Artists


Catherine Leutenegger


Catherine Leutenegger (b. 1983) is a visual artist based in Switzerland.

BA and MA in Visual Communication / Photography with First Class Honours at University of Art and Design / ECAL.Her first monographical book titled Hors-champ revealing photographers' workspaces, was published by Infolio through the Manor Cultural Award 2006 which includes a generous cash prize and an exhibition at the Musée de l'Elysée curated by William A. Ewing and Nathalie Herschdorfer.

Beside she is the recipient of several major fellowships including the Raymond Weil International Photography Prize (2008) and the BCV Encouragement Prize (2006). In 2007, she took part of an artist residency program in New York and started her project named Kodak City in Rochester. Her second monography was published by Kehrer Verlag in 2014 and looks at the demise of the once booming Kodak empire.

Throughout her recent body of work titled New Artificiality (2015-), Catherine Leutenegger investigates the current potential and limits of 3D printing technology in numerous business sectors.

Leutenegger's photographs have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions on the international scene: Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki; Aperture Gallery,s New York; Lianzhou Fotofestival; Museum für Gestaltung, Zürich; Museum Bellerive, Zürich; Bieler Fototage, Biel; Fotomuseum, Winterthur; Athens Photo Festival, Benaki Museum, Greece; Carla Sozzani Gallery, Milan; Head On Photofestival, Sydney; Le Petit Palais, Paris.

Her work is in the collections of several public and private institutions, including:Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne; MAST Foundation Collection, Bologna; Musée Nicéphore-Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône; Banque Cantonale Vaudoise Art Collection, Lausanne; Banque Piguet-Galland; Maus Frères Holding and Raymond Weil, Geneva.



Christoph Oeschger


Christoph Oeschger is an artist and photographer based in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2014 he founded the publishing project cpress together with Christof Nüssli.His work has been exhibited in Switzerland and abroad.



Matthieu Gafsou 


Matthieu Gafsou (CH, F, 1981) lives and works in Lausanne, Switzerland. After completing a master of arts in philosophy, literature and cinema at the University of Lausanne, he studied photography at the School of Applied Arts in Vevey. Since 2006, Gafsou has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions, and published five books. In 2009 Gafsou was awarded the prestigious "Prix de la fondation HSBC pour la photographie" and subsequently was invited to contribute to the Aperture Foundation's 2010 reGeneration2 exhibition. In 2014, Lausanne's influential Musée de l'Elysée hosted Gafsou's solo show titled "Only God Can Judge Me". In 2018, the "H+" exhibition was one of the highlights of Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles. In parallel to his artistic practice, Gafsou is on faculty at the University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL).



Olga Cafiero 


Olga Cafiero is a Swiss and Italian photographer based in Lausanne. After a BA in photography and an MA in art direction at ECAL, she studied art history at University of Lausanne. Her work has been shown in exhibitions in Switzerland and internationally since 2008, and regularly published in international magazines since 2009. Her awards include Foam Talent (selection), Hyères Festival de Mode et de Photofographie, BFF-Förderpreis (laureate) and a Swiss Design Award (laureate) and L'enquête photographique Neuchâteloise in 2020.



Stéphane Winter 


Stéphane Winter is graduated from the School of Applied Arts in Vevey with a degree in photography. He then started his career as a professional photographer while also working in the chemistry sector. He has coordinated cultural projects between the countries of South Africa, Sri Lanka and Russia in collaboration with an NGO and has been working on experimental projects linking his two fields of activity.

In 2015, he decided to focus on his long-term autobiographical and personal work to finish a non-experimental project. In 2016, in collaboration with his publisher Gwin Zegal and the Festival Images Vevey, Stéphane published his first long-term work in the form of a book supported by an exhibition, "die Winter". It represents 23 years of life with his adoptive parents in photographs. In 2017, he completed and presented his second long-term project as a residency work: a documentary of 10 years as a traveling consultant on the road in between and in European hotels.

He is now continuing his long-term photographic experiments, some of which he no longer needs his camera for.



Thomas Brasey 


Thomas Brasey (CH, 1980) lives and works in Lausanne, Switzerland. After completing a PhD thesis in organometallic chemistry, he eventually got tired of tinkering with matter and started studying photography. He obtained a bachelor in visual communication at the University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL) and has since then been working as a freelance photographer.



Virginie Rebetez


Virginie Rebetez (CH, 1979) lives and work in Lausanne, Switzerland. Graduated from the Photography School of Applied Arts in Vevey (2005), she followed her education in the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (Amsterdam, NL), from where she obtained a Bachelor in visual arts, in 2008. All her projects are closely connected to each other and focus on the space created by absence. She uses photography to bring physicality to the invisible by exploring new narrative forms. Since 2008, Rebetez has participated in numerous group show and published two books. She also took part of several art residency programs, in Johannesburg (SA, 2013), New York (US, 2014) and Cairo (EG, 2017). Rebetez's work is part of the Fotostiftung Schweiz in Winterthur (CH), the city of Nyon (CH), as well as of several private collections.



Zhu Lanqing


In 1991 born in Dongshan Island, Fujian Province, China, lives and works in Xiamen now. She graduated from the Department of Photojournalism at Renmin University of China and then moved to Taiwan to study at the Institute of Applied Arts in Fujen Catholic University. Her work, most related to the home and place, have been published in many magazines and shown at different international art festivals. She is interested in the possibilities of the presentation of photography, especially handmade book. Her first book was selected in the list of PHOTOEYE's Best Books of 2012. Her second book A Journey in Reverse Direction won the Three Shadows Photography Award 2014 and Jimei X Arles Discovery Award 2015. She also won the Barcelona International Photography Award 2015 and Photo Boite "30 UNDER 30" in 2016.



Chen Haishu 


Chen Haishu, 1986 born in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China. Now works and lives in Berlin, Germany. Using not only photography but also other medium such as text, video, installation, performance, film and photobook, the artistic works of Chen focus on the critical analyzes of condition of existence, social perception and collective memory in our modern society.