January 23rd 2017, London: Saatchi Gallery and Huawei, the world’s number three smartphone brand, announce they have teamed up to present From Selfie to Self-Expression. Opening at the Saatchi Gallery on 31st March 2017, the show will be the world’s first exhibition exploring the history of the selfie from the old masters to the present day, and will celebrate the truly creative potential of a form of expression often derided for its inanity.
The show will also highlight the emerging role of the smartphone as an artistic medium for self-expression through the commissioning ten exciting Young British Photographers to create new works using Huawei’s newest dual lens smartphones co-engineered with Leica, as part of their artistic practice. Reprising the spirit and energy of the Young British Artist movement first launched 25 years ago; the works of these Young British Photographers will go on display in a gallery dedicated to world-class smartphone photography. In this gallery the focus will shift from Selfie to documenting the world around us as a contrasting form of Self-Expression.
From Selfie to Self-Expression will showcase key artworks, many of which feature interactive, digital and user-generated content, by artists as diverse as Kutluğ Ataman, Christopher Baker, Juno Calypso, Tracey Emin, Van Gogh, Mohau Modisakeng, Rembrandt, Cindy Sherman, Gavin Turk and Velazquez.
Showing alongside examples of many influential artists’ work will be selfies that have quickly become icons of the digital era – from the beautiful and sublime to the mad, bad and downright dangerous.
Huawei’s partnership with the Saatchi Gallery is a demonstration of its commitment to growing its brand presence in the UK and support of creative expression through photography everywhere. It follows the launch last year of the game-changing Huawei P9 smartphones which reinvented smartphone photography with the world’s first dual-lens camera co-engineered with iconic camera brand Leica.
The exhibition will open from 31st March – 30th May 2017 and take over one entire floor of the Saatchi Gallery.
The #SaatchiSelfie Competition
To coincide with the announcement of the exhibition, Saatchi Gallery and Huawei have joined forces to offer artists, photographers and enthusiasts around the globe a chance to show their most creative selfies internationally, and have their work exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery, as part of the competition #SaatchiSelfie.
The #SaatchiSelfie competition will be judged by a panel of renowned artists and forward-thinkers. In addition to having their selfie showcased at the Saatchi Gallery as part of From Selfie to Self-Expression the ten shortlisted winners will also receive Huawei’s newest smartphone, and the overall winner will receive a priceless photographic experience, to be announced at a later date. The overall winner of the #SaatchiSelfie Competition will be announced at the show’s launch in London on 30th March 2017.
The competition opens for submissions on Monday 23rd January. All details can be found at www.saatchigallery.com/selfie All entries to the competition can be viewed on the same URL.
Nigel Hurst, CEO Saatchi Gallery
“In many ways, the selfie represents the epitome of contemporary culture’s transition into a highly digitalised and technologically advanced age as mobile phone technology has caught up with the camera. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Huawei on From Selfie to Self-Expression. The exhibition will present a compelling insight into the history and creative potential of the selfie, while the #SaatchiSelfie competition provides a global platform for Self-Expression. Our commissioning of work by ten young British Photographers completes the narrative and highlights the exciting potential of the very latest technology to encourage creativity”.
Glory Zhang, CMO Huawei Consumer Business Group
“After a decade of smartphone photography, we have reached a tipping point. We are moving from documenting our engagement with the world through selfies to projecting our personalities on to the world through our creativity. The smartphone has become a tool of artistic expression. The Selfie Generation is becoming the Self Expression Generation as each of us seeks to explore and share our inner creativity through the one artistic tool to which we all have access; the Smartphone”.