Chinese photographer Lei Lei has won the Jimei x Arles Discovery Award, giving him 200,000 RMB plus a spot in Arles’ prestigious Discovery Award exhibition and competition next summer. Born in 1985 and now living in Beijing and Los Angeles, the photographer won with the project Weekend, which uses archive images to consider history, nostalgia, and personal identity. Lei Lei’s previous projects include Hand-coloured, a joint series with French artist Thomas Sauvin which also features archive images, and which was exhibited at the Festival Images Vevey and previously published on bjp-online in December 2017.
Lei Lei was picked out from the 10 photographers shortlisted for the Discovery Award, all of whose work is currently on show in Citizen Square in Jimei, South East China. The other photographers included by the curators Dong Bingfeng, Li Jie, Chelsea Qianxi Liu, Holly Roussell and Wang Yan were: Coca Dai (1976), Hu Wei (1989), Pixy Liao (1979), Lau Wai (1982), Shao Ruilu (1993), Shen Wei (1977), Su Jiehao (1988), Wong Wingsang (1990), and Yang Wenbin (1996).
Seven European festivals make the best of their locations and the late-summer timing to show off al fresco programmes this September – Visa Pour l’Image, Getxophoto, BredaPhoto, Festival Images Vevey, Landskrona Foto Festival, Guernsey Photo Festival, and Brighton Photo Biennial
“I collect a lot of stuff, and sometimes I like to see it as raw material I could use to tell another story and do something new,” says Thomas Sauvin. Hand-colored, his project with Chinese animator Lei Lei, is a good case in point. A collection of 1168 images which have been scanned, reprinted and repainted in bright, deliberately artificial colours, it’s the opposite of the usual archive work. But it’s part of the Beijing Silvermine Archive, he says, a collection of negatives Sauvin first started up by salvaging strips from a recycling plant in the Chinese city.
Festival Images Vevey is known for its innovative photography installations, but in 2016 it outdid itself, placing images on the bottom of Lake Geneva, hiding them behind peep-holes, and much more. “The festival is interesting because it uses photography so unconventionally,” says Erik Kessels, the Amsterdam-based artist and art director who has shown his work and been a regular visitor at the biennial, and who recommended it to BJP. “It’s experimental, unafraid of risk.” The Swiss festival has been going since 1997, but when Stefano Stoll was asked to take over in 2008, it was in the doldrums. “It was a festival pretty much as any other,” he says. “You bought a ticket, entered a couple of galleries and discovered framed images on the walls. It wasn’t attracting many visitors, and the sponsors weren’t happy. I was tasked with coming up with a more innovative concept.” Stoll had previously co-founded a more conventional festival so he wasn’t interested in repeating himself, and felt there was little point trying to replicate what others were already doing so successfully …