Street photography from a Shanghai perspective

by Grace Wang in January 2018
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Art & design Photography

We’ve rounded up our favourite independent magazines from Asia before, but it seems like every other month we’re coming across new titles from the region. Closing Ceremony magazine joins the slew with their penchant for photography, championing emerging and established talent from across the world. Pairing well-paced photo series with interviews and essays, it’s a showcase of that unique ability of street photographers to reimagine the ordinary. Creative director Xiaopeng Yuan tells us more.


What is Closing Ceremony?
Closing Ceremony Magazine is a ‘closing ceremony’ for the traditional/classic photography and a warm welcome to the new. We would like to offer a platform for those new photographers who might or might not have market recognition yet, to present their works on print and create a dialogue with the world.

Why did you want to make it?
It is a new publishing project by Same Paper, a Shanghai-based self-publishing studio. We have now published 10 photo books for several photographers, such as Magic by KangHee Kim, Food Issue by Ren Hang and Toothbrushes by Maxime Guyon.


The first issue focuses on street photography. Why did you choose this theme?
At the beginning of planning Closing Ceremony, we wanted to make a photography magazine not following the same direction as the industry’s art photography. As for the theme, we wanted to bring out something not too solemn, and of course, something that relates to our journey of growth. When we first got into photography, we were inspired by great photographers such as Stephen Shore, William Eggleston etc., and many of their works are about the street.

Gradually, we noticed that many young photographers pay the same attention to the street in the recent years, nevertheless some slight differences/new angles are shown from their works, such as the composition, colours, and surfaces, and their points of interests in the street were not quite the same compared with the older generation. These young photographers are very productive, using digital cameras to create images and to share their works on social networks, which makes them accessible for everyone. We haven’t seen any photography magazines notice this change in the past decade — there should be one to collect and present this evolution of street photography.


How did you come across the photographers in the issue?
We have established an independent bookstore in Shanghai for two years, named Closing Ceremony, and we knew many photographers from the books we had. Like Go Itami — he’s kind of active on social media, but it was his book which made us so obsessed with him. Through social media, we have gotten to know many photographers, such as David Brandon Geeting, and we’ve met KangHee Kim in person in New York.

Can you share a favourite quote from the interviews in the issue?
“To me, images are more like paintings… They are quiet. I’m not so much interested in content as I am composition and feelings.” This is from the interview with David Brandon Geeting.

What’s your favourite place to shoot street photography?
The street that contains constant changes, such as temporary buildings and materials, because its constructions are uncertain.

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