Photography exhibition offers alternative look at art form

A recent exhibition titled “Follow Me” at OCAT Shanghai offers an alternative look at photography art.

PHOTOGRAPHY has long been considered as an art form to record facts and document history. But a recent exhibition at OCAT Shanghai offers an alternative look at the art form. Featuring photographic works by 10 young artists from Switzerland and China, the exhibition “Follow Me” intends to explore the modern storytelling in photography that managed to “create an imagined reality between documentary and fiction,” according to the curators Peter Pfrunder and Shi Hantao.

The exhibition comprises four parts, concerning “identity,” “the boundaries between documentary and fiction,” and “individual and collective memories.”

Ti Gong

Salvatore Vitale’s works “The Moon Was Broken” was inspired by his personal feeling when he found out his father was suffering serious health problems. The whole series traces back when the photographer first felt “the moon was broken,” and how the father-son relationship evolves. The series “shows how photography is not only capable of telling stories, but can also fill gaps in our memories and even bring hidden feelings to light,” Vitale said.

Other artists like Virginie Rebetez and Shi Zhen try to piece together stories of an individual or a family, with shreds of images and archival materials. When they present their portrayal, a new story is created based on a combination of facts and imagination, as the reality is overruled by the perspectives of the photographers. Photography here is rather a tool for research than to record.

The exhibition, supported by Pro Helvetia Shanghai, runs through September 17.

Ti Gong
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