“Hope” features the work of twelve leading photographers hailing from eight nations, who were shortlisted for the eighth cycle of the Prix Pictet. The theme of this iteration is, as the exhibition title suggests, “Hope”. SCoP is delighted to present the debut of the Prix Pictet in the Chinese mainland. “Hope” comes to Shanghai after first showing at the V&A Museum, London, and a tour at major museums around the world.
The Prix Pictet is the world’s leading prize for photography and sustainability. It was founded in 2008, with the aim of harnessing the power of photography to draw global attention to issues facing humanity and, in particular, the environment. Photographers nominated for the award are chosen for their use of a variety of photographic languages that interpret specific themes in the field of sustainable development. Past themes include “Water”, “Earth”, “Growth”, “Power”, “Consumption”, “Disorder”, and “Space”.
The Prix Pictet takes a global view of the topics of our time and attracts an extremely high level of participation. Photographers previously shortlisted for the award include Edward Burtynsky, Rineke Dijkstra, Andreas Gursky, Taryn Simon, Thomas Ruff, among other renowned contemporary photographers. Their works come at the various issues of our age from a point of deep personal reflection. To date, with the contributions of an international jury of respected professionals in the field, the Prix Pictet has consistently maintained a high quality in the selection of shortlisted works both in terms of content and the innovative photographic language used. After 13 years of development, the Prix Pictet casts influence beyond the field of photography, conveying the importance of environmental protection to the wider world of art and culture.
The exhibition at SCoP presents the works of the twelve shortlisted artists of “Hope”, offering a wide range of creative possibilities and a strong set of connections to Prix Pictet’s overriding theme of sustainability. Recycling, reforestation, rewilding, science – advances in medicine, and technological solutions for global environmental problems are just some of the issues explored through an artistic lens. The shortlisted artists examine positive actions on sustainability that are beginning to emerge, in contrast to the alarming analysis in the global media that constantly assails us: hope in the face of adversity.
The laureate of this cycle is Joana Choumali from the Côte d’Ivoire. Her winning series “Ça va aller” (“It will be okay”) was taken three weeks after the terrorist attacks in Grand Bassam in March, 2016. She chose to complete the scenes she captured by embroidering directly onto the images with colorful stitching. A slow and meditative gesture that reflects upon a tragic loss of life, while simultaneously drawing out time, as the healer of wounds and carrier of hope.
SCoP is delighted to work with the Prix Pictet to host the exhibition “Hope”. Through the works of these twelve fine international photographers, visitors can experience a global view on environmental issues, gaining insight into the diverse achievements and humanistic concepts in the field of sustainable development around the world. For the duration of “Hope”, SCoP will host a series of public programs to further expand on the themes explored in the exhibition.
“This will be the first time that Shanghai, China’s most global city, and its public will be able to see the results of the Prix Pictet first hand. At a time of ongoing global uncertainties, there is no more timely subject to explore than “Hope”, which serves as the theme uniting the works of photographers who made it into this cycle’s selection. SCoP is honored to be the Prix Pictet’s partner in hosting “Hope”, marking the debut of the Prix Pictet in Shanghai. I know I speak on behalf of all our staff in expressing what is our enormous pleasure to be presenting the works of so many first-rate photographers from around the world here in Shanghai, and to bring “Hope” to a wide range of photography lovers.”
——Liu Heung Shing
Founding Director, Shanghai Center of Photography
Shahidul Alam, born 1955 Bangladesh, based in Dhaka
Joana Choumali, born 1974 Côte d’Ivoire, based in Abidjan
Margaret Courtney-Clarke, born 1949 Namibia, based in Swakopmund
Rena Effendi, born 1977 Azerbaijan, based in Istanbul
Lucas Foglia, born 1983 USA, based in San Francisco
Janelle Lynch, born 1969 USA, based in New York
Ross McDonnell, born 1979 Ireland, based in New York
Gideon Mendel, born 1959 South Africa, based in London
Ivor Prickett, born 1983 Ireland, based in Europe and the Middle East
Robin Rhode, born 1976 South Africa, based in Berlin
Awoiska van der Molen, born 1972 Netherlands, based in Amsterdam
Alexia Webster, born 1979 South Africa, based in New York
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)