The Exhibition Bringing German Photography to Shanghai

The Shanghai Centre of Photography and Bottega Veneta are staging the world’s biggest retrospective of German photography

Claus Goedicke - Fisch, 2014 | Lippenstift, 2013
Claus Goedicke – Fisch, 2014 | Lippenstift, 2013

In partnership with Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta, the Shanghai Centre of Photography (SCo?P) is currently hosting “Made in Germany”, a survey of photography from the central European nation dating from the 19th century to the present. Containing over 200 items showing the medium’s development, it is one of the most definitive exhibitions of its kind to be staged anywhere in the world. From his office, curator and former Associated Press photographer Liu Heung Shing, explains.

What did you want to achieve with this show?

160 years of German photography captured in a single exhibition. It gives extraordinary insight into the 20th century’s aesthetic trends, many of which were aided by a series of medium-altering technical and mechanical innovations. It dovetails really well with our mission to bring the best of photography to China.

What’s the importance of this exhibition for China?

China joined the WTO in 2001, and since then, after decades of self-imposed isolation, it has truly opened up to the world. Shanghai is China’s most international city, and the West Bund Art District is a must-see destination. The show has drawn visitors from all walks of life.

How was it working with Bottega Veneta? It’s an unusual partnership?

They’re global and so are we – a meeting of minds! It’s rare to find a sponsor who trusts and shares your vision. Photography is a universal language, it lends itself to cross-cultural understanding, for it knows no borders. This fits our curatorial focus perfectly. And we applaud the creative genesis behind Bottega Veneta, as conceived by Tomas Maier. He set a precedent for using unconventional photographers in fashion.

What ‘s your favorite photo at the exhibition?

There are many, but I am particularly fond of the works of Heinrich Kühn, Umbo, André Gelpke and Candida Hoefer.

Bernd and Hilla Becher - Wassertürme,ca. 1961-1967
Bernd and Hilla Becher – Wassertürme,ca. 1961-1967

Made in Germany: German Photography from the 19th Century to Today” is on display at the Shanghai Centre of Photography (SCôP) until 2 April 2017

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