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Please note that this event has been rescheduled to Sunday, March 27.

The city of Shanghai currently offers a wide array of art museums with exhibitions featuring works by globally renowned artists and collections from some of the most prestigious art institutions in the world. Using our own city as a case study, the RAS Art Focus 2021-22 curated series Places & Spaces: Art in Shanghai aims to explore the phenomenon of museum culture and exhibition making in Shanghai. Each month, Art Historian and Critic Julie Chun will introduce us to museums, both big and small, to understand the pluralist facets of art institutions with unique opportunities to hear from curators, museum directors, exhibition experts, or artists.


This month, we turn our attention to contemporary photography. Perhaps it's because we all have cameras attached to our phones that we take pictures on a daily basis, more than we will ever need in preserving memories. Yet, documentation and art are two different categorical function of photographs. Thus, how are images differentiated as "art' (or not) from those taken by billions of people versus those selected by curators and granted the status of being exhibition-worthy? How are artists able to see the world differently than mere spectators? Photography historian and curator Shi Hantao, who has formerly spoken to RAS China about 1980s and 1990s photographs in Shanghai in September 2019, is invited to this session to shed insight on contemporary photography. By evaluating the recent practices of emerging Chinese and Japanese artists, we will explore the elements that transcends photographs from documentation to a distinctive art form.

For more information about the exhibition, please click here.



Shi Hantao is a Shanghai born and based independent researcher and curator. He has curated and organized exhibitions and public programs in various art organizations in the last two decades, at the Ray Art Center, Himalayas Museum and the Power Station of Art. His numerous writings and translations cover the fields of photography, contemporary art and institutional critique.


Banner photo by Kawori Inbe. Imperfect Cats Series, 2018


We will meet at 1:45pm for museum registration.

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