Three Shadows Photography Award 2020: Results Announced!

Due to the pandemic, the judging for the Three Shadows Photography Award was conducted online. The international jury and the 20 finalists held a video conference lasting two and a half hours, then the members of the jury engaged in nearly three hours of deep, intense discussion before finally deciding that the Three Shadows Photography Award will have no winner this year and the grand prize of 80,000 RMB (pre-tax) will be evenly divided between all 20 finalists. Di Jinjun received the Luo Bonian Photographer Award and a 10,000 RMB cash prize (pre-tax). Zhang Beichen won the Media Award.

This online judging was moderated by Three Shadows Photography Art Centre Deputy Director Yan Qi. Three Shadows Photography Art Centre co-founder RongRong spoke first, saying, “To begin, we must thank our jury members. Since the founding of the Three Shadows Photography Award, this is the first time we have conducted the artist meetings and judging online. We must also thank all of the participating artists for their support. We wish you the best of luck. Finally, we should thank the Three Shadows team, who have been preparing for the award since last year. Through winter, spring, and summer, everyone has put in so much sweat and hard work.”
Yasufumi Nakamori, Senior Curator of International Art (Photography) at the Tate Modern, said that he was honored to participate in the international jury for this year’s Three Shadows Photography Award. He had very much looked forward to visiting the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, and that he admired founders RongRong & inri and the staff for organizing such an important international prize for over a decade. Due to the pandemic, there was no way to interact with the artists face-to-face, and although the finalists’ works made a deep impression and there were five or six remarkable bodies of work, it would have been exceedingly difficult to select an award winner.
Critic and curator Fei Dawei said that, after intense discussion, the judges collectively made the decision to not name a winner and to divide the prize money evenly to support and celebrate the artistic endeavors of all the finalists. This came out of serious consideration for the Three Shadows Photography Award, and the desire to protect and respect past winners, all of the participating artists, and even future artists.
Zheng Wen believes that, from a scholarly perspective, the suspension of this edition of the Three Shadows Photography Award reflects some universal issues across photography in recent years. Many works have great strengths in certain areas or as personal narratives, but photography as a highly concentrated symbolic vehicle for information about our times, as a mode of deeper analysis of the current pictorial mechanisms and the society of spectacle, and even as a way of conveying the intensity of artists’ thinking about the development of the medium can be taken further.
In her statement, inri noted that every vote by the jury members was seriously considered, not simply for the present edition of the award, but also for the creative directions of future young artists and the development of Chinese photography. This is the first time that the Three Shadows Photography Award has not named a winner. In the twelfth edition, we have returned to our origins, and we need to consider how we will develop in the future.
The works from this year’s TSPA will be exhibited in Three Shadows’ Beijing space until July 12, then the show will travel to Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre. See you then!
· International Jury Introduction ·
Fei Dawei
Fei Dawei was part of the first generation of contemporary art curators and critics. He participated in ‘85 New Wave and was the first Chinese critic to intorduce Chinese contemporary art on the international stage.
Born in Shanghai in 1954, he graduated from the Department of Art History at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1985 and became a lecturer at the academy upon his graduation. In 1986, he was invited by the French Ministry of Culture to lecture in France. From 1987 to 1989, in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou  in France, he participated the curatorial of the exhibition "Magiciens de la Terre.” He moved to France in 1989 and continued his work as an independent scholar and curator. Post-1990, he has helmed many overseas exhibitions such as "Chine demain pour Hier " “Exceptional Passage“, “In-Between Limits”,"Promenade in Asia", “Tentation”, “All Under Heaven” and “The Monk and the Demon”, etc. From 2002 to 2008, Fei Dawei was the director of The Guy and Myriam Ullens Foundation and was the founding director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, established a collection of nearly 2000 contemporary Chinese artworks. In 2018 he co-curated the exhibition “A Beautiful Elsewhere.”  He is currently a member of the Academic Committee of the OCAT  and rotating chairman of the Academic Committee of the Power Station of Art (Shanghai).  He is a member of the Collection Committee of the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain.
Sophie Makariou
Now serving as the director of the Musée Guimet in Paris, Sophie Makariou began her career at the Musée du Louvre in the Département des Antiquités Orientales (Department of Near Eastern Antiquities).
A graduate of the École du Louvre in Art History and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in History (M2), Makariou also studied at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisations) with a focus in classical Arabic. 
In 2001 she was appointed by the President of the Musée du Louvre, Henri Loyrette, to prefigure an Islamic arts department. As Director of the Département des Arts de l’Islam, she orchestrated its creation, which culminated in its inauguration by the President of the French Republic in 2012. 
A specialist in cultural interactions between civilizations, she has published numerous studies on the theme of exchange, and was appointed President of the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques-Guimet in 2013.
She is Chevalier of Arts and Letters and of the Ordre National du Mérite (National Order of Merit).
Yasufumi Nakamori
Yasufumi Nakamori Ph.D, is Senior Curator of International Art (Photography) at Tate Modern in London. His work includes programming exhibitions and displays involving photography and further building Tate’s photography collection. Currently, he’s co-curating an exhibition by the South African artist Zanele Muholi that will open later this year. Before Tate, Nakamori headed the Department of Photography and New Media at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and staged exhibitions with Leslie Hewitt, The Propeller Group, Omer Fast, Naoya Hatakeyama, and Amar Kanwar. From 2008 to 2016, he served as Curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where he helmed the exhibition “Katsura: Picturing Modernism in Japanese Architecture, Photographs by Ishimoto Yasuhiro” (2010), which received the 2011 Alfred H.Barr Jr. Award for Smaller Exhibitions and was accompanied by a catalogue of the same name. He also curated the show “For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968–1979”(2015). 
RongRong (China) and inri (Japan) have been working together since 2000. Their works reflect the intimate world that they have created together and push the boundaries of traditional black-and-white darkroom techniques. Their critically acclaimed series of works, such as Mt. Fuji (2001), Liulitun (1996-2003), and Tsumari Story (2012-2014), reflect their shared life and surroundings, delving into the rapidly changing world around them.
In 2007, RongRong & inri established the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in the Beijing arts district Caochangdi. In 2008, they launched the annual Three Shadows Photography Award, a prize aimed at discovering and encouraging China's most promising young photographers. In 2010, they started a collaboration with the Arles International Photography Festival in France (Les Rencontres d'Arles) and co-produced the Caochangdi Photo Spring Festival in Beijing for three years - from 2010 to 2012. They have continued this collaboration at Three Shadows' Xiamen location, where since 2015 they have co-hosted the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival. RongRong&inri received the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize at the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, recognized for both their careers as artists and their significant impact on Asian photography.
Zheng Wen
The Deputy Director of the Art Museum of Nanjing University of Arts (AMNUA) and head of the museum’s Academic Department, Zheng Wen is a curator of contemporary art. His responsibilities include planning and curating exhibitions, academic research, collections management, and administrative management of the museum. 
Mr. Zheng has curated upwards of 40 exhibitions, several of which subsequently traveled to cities such as London, Bremen, Munich, Hong Kong, Paris, Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. Zheng has led a documentary crew in the production of five films. In addition, he has partaken in over 30 academic seminars in colleges and museums in Nanjing, Japan, Suzhou, Sichuan, and Shanghai, among other places.
Zheng Wen was invited to be one of the juries of the primary election.
· Media Jury ·
Artist, Editor of Chinese Photography Magazine
Feature Director of BBART Magazine
Pei Gang
Galleries-Channel Editor-in-Chief of Artron
Wang Jiabei
Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Phoenix Art
Wang Yidi
Director of Business Development, Asia, Artnet
Wu Shunan
Deputy Editor-in-Chief of CHIP FOTO-VIDEO
Zhang Chaobei
Senior Editor of HiArt


2020 The 12th Three Shadows Photography Award




2020 The 12th Three Shadows Photography Award

Luo Bonian Photographer Award

(supported by Luo Bonian’s family and Three Shadows +3 Gallery)

Di Jinjun

Memories of China

Di Jinjun was born in Shanxi Province in 1978. He graduated from the Beijing Film Academy and received a bachelor’s degree in photography in 2003. In 2017, he graduated from the Department of Photography of the Central Academy of Fine Arts with a master's degree. He has worked for the magazine Life and currently works for Beijing News as photographer and picture editor. He is the first photographer to use the collodion wet plate technique in China. He currently lives and works in Beijing.

2020 The 12th Three Shadows Photography Award

Media Award

Zhang Beichen



Zhang Beichen was born in Shandong Province. He received his BA from the Photography Department of the Shandong University of Arts in 2016and his MFA in America from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2019. He researches the structures of narration to unveil hidden histories,  framing most of his works through essay films and field-based research. Recently, he has also worked with a broad range of media, using audio, installation, and artbooks to query and investigate the relationship between artifacts and Asia’scolonial history, raising questions about the complexity of historical documentaries and visual anthropology. His work is a set of a visual experiences, metaphorical, poetic, and research-based but grounded in personal narrative. He has exhibited in China and abroad, and he now lives and works inNew York City.
Organizer: Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
Friendly Supporter: Chengdu Contemporary Image Museum
Supporters: Zhejiang Photography Publishing, French Embassy in China, Japan Foundation Beijing




June 27, 2020