Unsettling smiles in Closing Ceremony

by Steve Watson in November 2023
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Art & design Humour Photography

A photography magazine from Shanghai, Closing Ceremony puts photographers in conversation with each other – both literally and more figuratively – as a way of drawing out associations and insights into their work. This third issue is themed ‘Smile’, a seemingly innocuous starting point that ends up drawing out some seriously unsettling images.

I love the cover photo by Feng Li of his pet pig in a spider costume, and the series of photos inside the magazine reveals some seriously unhinged pictures, including a totally killer piggy smile. In his conversation with the photographer Fish Zhang he speaks about his love for animals and the pair agree on the importance of spontaneity and creating images that are to an extent unplanned, and then the series of photos that follows the transcribed conversation demonstrates the energetic, intriguing results of Fish’s style.

It’s a beautiful, bright, and bizarre collection of photography from start to finish, and by giving photographers the opportunity to speak to one another, Closing Ceremony creates the lovely, collegiate impression that we’re listening into their conversations and picking up on fragments of their influences and ideas.


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