From John B Turner’s Photography blog: The First Shenzhen International Photography Exhibition 2017

SZIPE – The First Shenzhen International Photography Exhibition  21 – 24 2017


JBT©20170622111: Lineup of organisers and guest exhibitors at the Opening Ceremony Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center in Futian

Themed “Postures of City,” the First Shenzhen International Photography Exhibition (SZIPE) organised by the Shenzhen Federation of Literary and Art Circles and the China Photographers Association, is intended to become an annual four-day day event.

Billed as the largest photography exhibition in Shenzhen’s history, the main display was presented in Hall 6 of the handsome, modern 7,500 sqm Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center in Futian District. Thirteen parallel exhibitions, which I did not see, were also being held at 10 locations in different districts of Shenzhen, all on the theme of growing cities around the world.

Three foreign exhibitors do not an international exhibition make, of course, but the pertinent ambition is to put Shenzhen on the map of places to go in China to see significant photographs as communication and expression. Many of the works on display were in fact made outside of China and reflect the tourist boom that has accompanied China’s increasing affluence and “Opening Up.” The stage is now set for better and perhaps bigger future exhibitions of relevance to Shenzhen’s lively and growing art audience.

JBT©20170622143 Exhibition in Hall 6 of the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center in Futian District, Shenzhen.


JBT©20170621001: The 11.30pm welcome to Shenzhen from Lai Xuhui, Department Chief of the Shenzhen Federation of Literary and Art Circles, after our long flight delays from Beijing. Guest curator Su Yuezhou is at centre, flanked by Brian Leng, our energetic volunteer student helper. The scene is the lobby of the sparkling new Lafont International Hotel

The international (foreign) contingent

Two major contemporary foreign photographers were featured: Britain’s Brian Griffin and France’s Yann Layma and the historical exhibition co-curated by Su Yuezhou and myself featured the late Tom Hutchins (1921-2007), an outstanding overlooked New Zealand photojournalist who came to China in 1956.  Our exhibitions were shown alongside those of a group of outstanding Chinese photographers including Tongshen ZhangYingli LiuZhu XianmingWang YuwenChen Jin, and Fu Yongjun. Continue reading the full blog HERE




Auckland Festival of Photography: Asia Pacific Photoforum open call + Sponsorship Associate opportunity

This news  from the Auckland Festival of Photography:

Asia Pacific Photoforum – Open call

International exhibition presentation submissions are open for established artists.

Our partners in Thailand are now seeking work from Asia and overseas, including NZ, for documentary photography work, Chiang Mai Documentary Arts Festival are looking for in depth documentary work from Asia or on Asian communities overseas. They show prints, documentaries and multi-media – this link has a submission form.

And across the Tasman in Australia, our Sydney partner, Head On Festival, are open for submissions, see their website for details – applications close on 12th October.

Now launched is the new Asia Pacific Photoforum website, for this collaborative network of professionally delivered photography Festivals who work co-­operatively towards the promotion of photography and photographic art throughout Asia, Australasia and the Pacific rim through the exchange of ideas, artists, support and cross promotion between member festivals. Like our Asia Pacific Photoforum facebook page too!


Sponsorship Associate opportunity

After eleven successful Festivals, we have established the Auckland Festival of Photography as the premium photographic event in New Zealand, and grown and developed a number of unique events, competitions and commissions within our programme as well as growing an international network of partner Festivals across the Asia Pacific.

We are now seeking the services of a dynamic individual to concentrate and further develop our fundraising, stakeholder support and commercial sponsorship. Due to a ongoing sustainability drive we are looking to expand our income to match our workload and proven track record of success. This Sponsorship Associate opportunity is envisaged as a volunteer position, with time commitment and honoraria level to be negotiated. If you fit the bill, have a proven track record, and think you have what it takes to move our festival to the next level, then drop us an email to with subject of “Show us the Money” with brief CV or acheivement list. Expressions of interest welcome until 21st October 2014.


Aesthetica Art Prize: International Call for Entries



The Aesthetica Art Prize has launched its call for entries, offering both budding and established artists the opportunity to showcase their work to new international audiences and further their engagement with the international art world. Categories for entry are: Photographic & Digital Art, Three Dimensional Design & Sculpture, Painting & Drawing and Video, Installation & Performance.

Prizes include £5,000 (approximately NZ$ 9,742) for the Main Prize winner; £1,000 for the Student Prize winner; group exhibition for shortlisted artists; editorial coverage in Aesthetica Magazine (168,000 readership worldwide); publication in the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology distributed in UK galleries and online internationally; art supplies vouchers courtesy of Winsor & Newton and art books courtesy of Prestel.

Entry is £15 and permits the submission of two works into any one category.

Entries close 31 August 2014. For more information and to submit visit


Photographers’ Archives and Legacy Project

The vital issue, of what will to happen to a photographer’s archive when they die or are no longer able to care for it, has been taken up as a research project by British academic, Jem Southam, of Plymouth University. Challenged to think about the issue of photographers’ archives and their legacy following the death of his friend and fellow photographer, James Ravilious in 1999, Southam gained the support of Plymouth University, the Library of Birmingham, and the Arts Council England, to study the issues. See

‘The research explores how contemporary photographic practices can have a sustained legacy and provide public benefit. It looks at how UK-based independent photographers, now and for the long-term, can make their work and related contextual material publicly accessible, and increase opportunities for the general public, researchers and students to learn about and enjoy their work.’

Dr Michael Pritchard, Director of the British Photographic History Group ( ) announced that the first case studies have now been published. They concern on the current state of thinking and action in regard to the work of Liz Hingley, Daniel Meadows, and Mark Power (Magnum), and are a timely reminder of these same issues raised by New Zealand photographers, Glenn Busch, John Miller, Reg Feuz, Gil Hanly and others seeking answers, help or guidance.

Among the key points from the three case studies so far are the following:

· The planning and organisation of a photographic practice is not consistently taught, but largely learned from others and through experience. A module in photography courses about how to plan and organise work would be very useful
· Working digitally does not create a solution to the archiving of work
· Storage is difficult for peripatetic photographers
· The photographer has not made a Will to indicate what should happen to their archive
· Desire for family to benefit financially
· Uncertain of potential value of legacy (work + historical, social, cultural value)
· Concerned about what will happen to the work
· Value of establishing a relationship with a collecting institution with specialist expertise and resources
· Value of creating a catalogue listing all the work, negatives, contact sheets and contextual material and using a simple reference system for locating everything

It should go without saying that the legacy of independent photographers in New Zealand is huge, not least because the tradition of government or local body support of documentary photographic projects has been meagre and patchy, to say the least. Our history is not one of support, but rather of non-support, by most public institutions, expecting (maybe) photographers to bequeath their hard-won work free when they die. The issues explored by Jem Southam’s UK research are hugely important to anybody who values photographs as an alternative to the written histories of the world we live in. That’s one vast public benefit worth keeping for future generations.

John B Turner, Beijing, China
Celebrate 40 years of Photoforum with us in 2014

EyeContact: Peter Ireland review of ‘Pictures They Want to Make’

EyeContact is a forum built to encourage art reviews and critical discussion about the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. Below are two excerpts from Peter Ireland’s review of the publication Pictures They Want to Make: Recent Auckland Photography.

‘There is no doubt that PTWTM has superb production values. But then, so did the Nuremberg rallies. We’re back to the old Scholastic distinction between appearance and substance, but if anyone’s talking about any kind of excellence, it’s still a distinction with currency. Getting a stamp on your hand for achievement might work in Year One, but post-Year Thirteen in a culture with any depth it seems reasonable to expect a little more than just taking part.’

‘Apart from offering the various photographers a platform it’s hard to know what PTWTM is about. As the authors admit, the “Auckland” net is more holes than string, and why should some sort of regionalist focus matter anyway, taking heed of Jackson Pollock’s remarking on the absurdity of an “American mathematics”. Of course, there’s probably more photography produced in the Auckland region, but if we’re talking sheer volume it might be more to the point discussing hydro-electricity along the Waikato River. And, oddly, PTWTM‘s content isn’t about variety either – the more modest Open the Shutter: Auckland Photographers Now demonstrated a much more diverse range of practice, which in the two decades since has expanded rather than contracting. Upon repeated examination it becomes clearer that what this book is about is the persistence of an amateur outlook formed – however inescapably – in the 1970s, but which has very little reason to exist in the second decade of the 21st century.’ Read the full review HERE.

Peter Ireland – 8 November 2013

Note: Further reviews and information relating to this publication can be found here.

EyeContact Review by Zara Sigglekow: ‘Recent Auckland Photography’

EyeContact is a forum built to encourage art reviews and critical discussion about the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. Zara Sigglekow has just compiled this review of Recent Auckland Photography exhibition (20 May – 12 June 2013), which is now posted on their website.  Below is an extract from her article.

Photography at North Art

Derek Henderson, Kevin Simmons, Leanne Hema and Troy Burton, Reid’s Farm, 2007.

‘Recent Auckland Photography at North Art gallery was part of the Auckland Festival of Photography. Set over two gallery spaces this large exhibition is accompanied with an extensive publication, which includes an introduction by the curators Chris Corson-Scott and Edward Hanfling, foreword by senior Auckland Art Gallery curator Ron Brownson, and brief essays on each photographer. Within the expanse of approaches represented in the festival the curators choose to focus on a particular style of photography. While somewhat narrow, this is necessary in order to create a survey of coherence and depth and prevent a mish-mash of styles and approaches.

The photographs chosen are what could be labelled ‘straight’ photography. There is no push to abstraction, overt manipulation or over conceptualisation. Yet – as stressed in the accompanying book’s introduction – they are not ‘snapshots’ or ‘documents’ taken with an impartial and objective eye. The photographers ‘make’ the pictures selecting with scene with intentionality, framing the image and sometimes staging its contents. All twelve photographers take photographs that are ‘scapes’ of the world around them: cityscapes; suburbanscapes; landscapes, and the details that lie within them. Some engage with identity and history while others scrutinise the present. The restriction of ‘Auckland’ is taken loosely: either photographs taken of Auckland or by Auckland photographers in international or Auckland regional locations.’  Read the full review HERE

Zara Sigglekow – 7 August 2013

Note: Further reviews and information relating to this publication can be found here.

John B Turner’s PHOTOGRAPHY Blog

Newly created is this photography blogspot by  John B Turner. After recently retiring as a lecturer in photography at the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, New Zealand (1971-2011), John is now living in Beijing and continuing his work as a photographer, writer, curator, historian and co-editor of PhotoForum NZ. Below is one of  his first blog articles:

A dialogue with Dave Heath

Forty four years ago, in 1969, I read a review of Dave Heath’s book, A Dialogue with Solitude (1965), in Aperture magazine. To see Dave’s book I requested a copy from the New Zealand National Library Service, which promptly acquired it. That is how we got to see books that would never reach a local library, let alone a book store, in those days. In the sense of how the term has recently been popularised by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, for example, A Dialogue with Solitude is a classic photobook. It is poetic and deeply personal, while dealing with universal themes. And it is an emotional coaster ride through highly crafted black and white images exceptionally well printed to imitate in ink the full tonal scale of his silver prints. Few photography books had reached its level of perfection. I tried to buy a copy of A Dialogue with Solitude but already it was out of print. (1)

Dave Heath: Vengeful Sister (1956), from A Dialogue with Solitude

Dave Heath: Kansas City, Missouri, 1967

Through the kind help of Grace M Mayer, Curator of Photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, I got Dave’s address and wrote to him in Philadelphia, telling him what his book meant to me. I asked him how much he sold his prints for? And also asked if he would, perhaps, consider a print swap with me, so I didn’t have to apply to the Government for an import licence. (Foreign currency was strictly controlled then, to prevent the spiralling overseas debt that has become commonplace today.)

Dave chose two prints – mounted and signed – and I sent him a series of eight unmounted “8×10″‘s from my ‘Beer Garden Wall’ series which I had been working on with the poet, Patricia Godsiff, to make a book. One that never eventuated.(1)

Dave insured his prints for $US35 each, so in October 1969 I had to pay $NZ8 customs duty on delivery. He chose for me what became known as his 1956 ‘Vengeful Sister’ image from A Dialogue with Solitude, and a new 1967 picture of a woman in a Kansas City street. for me. They were beautiful prints, so different tonally and emotionally, like night and day. I got them framed to hang on our living room wall in Paparangi, where they joined  two John Daley prints and some signed Paul Strand gravures from his then recent book, Tir A Mhurain. I couldn’t afford much, but I was starting my own collection with work that I loved and was challenged by. Read the full article here


Photospace Gallery: Facets of Wellington

Facets of Wellington
4th May-25th May 2013

Photography by Jenny Dey, Susrutha Metikurke, Russ Finnerty, Craig Phillips, Mark Berger, Thomas Kühne, Linda Strand,  Hugh Davies.

This exhibition has been created in association with Wellington Photographic Society and Positively Photography Wellington. The Photographic Society of New Zealand’s 2013 conference is in Wellington in May, and this exhibition, curated by James Gilberd of Photospace Gallery, ties into that conference and features the work of eight members of the Wellington Photographic Society, (the hosting organisation).

You can view artist statements by each of the exhibiting photographers here.

Photospace Gallery
1st floor, 37 Courtenay Place, Wellington
T: 04 382 9502  M: 027 444 3899
Open 10am to 4pm Mon-Fri, 11am to 4pm Sat

Light Journeys: Five Women Photographers from NZ

The online site LIGHT JOURNEYS is curated by Lee Grant and U.K Frederick, and regularly showcases the talent of Australian women artists working in the field of photo-media. A new artist, either emerging or established, is featured each month with a solo online exhibition.

This series, guest curated by Anita Totha, features five women photographers from New Zealand. Curator (and photographer) Totha is a New Yorker now living in Auckland. She brings a fresh eye and perspective to the New Zealand photo scene. Totha is also part of the photography collective – Tangent – which presents contemporary New Zealand photography. Visit LIGHT JOURNEYS HERE. Below is an image from each of the five.

Note: Our thanks to Harvey Benge for allowing us to share this recent article from his blogspot

Edith Amituanai
Caryline Boreham
Caryline Boreham
Lisa Clunie
Lisa Clunie
Meighan Ellis
Meighan Ellis
Shelley Jacobson
Shelley Jacobson