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Selfies get first-ever exhibition at London's Saatchi Gallery

By CECILY LIU | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-03-31 18:06

Selfies are often derided for their inanity, but art lovers may change their minds when they visit the world's first selfie exhibition opening on Friday at London's Saatchi Gallery.

Created in collaboration with China's telecommunications giant Huawei, the exhibition makes a strong case for the selfie as artistic expression. Featuring big-name contemporary artists such as Tracey Emin and Juno Calypso, it shows iconic works from our digital era, from the beautiful and sublime to the mad and dangerous.

Putting these contemporary photos besides historical self-portraits by Old Masters such as Rembrandt, it also explores the human fascination with self depiction from the earliest times to the present day.

Nigel Hurst, chief executive of the Saatchi Gallery, said: "In many ways, the selfie represents the epitome of contemporary culture's transition into a highly digitalized and technologically advanced age as mobile phone technology has caught up with the camera."

He added that it was interesting to examine similarities between self portraits by classical painters and the selfies by contemporary artists.

He said: "Both show how people look at themselves, and take control of their own images."

A big driver of the popularity of the selfie is the growth in smartphone technology, and Huawei-a major player in the smartphone arena -launched its P10 handset with dual-lens camera technology co-engineered with camera maker Leica at the Mobile World Congress this year.

Walter Ji, president of Huawei's Consumer Business Group for the Western European Region, said: "Our smartphones are not just great in technology, but also are stylish and beautiful, we care very much about the user experience."

The Saatchi exhibition, open until May 30, also shows selfi es from members of the public, as a part of a competition which received more than 14,000 submissions from 113 countries, showing a range of photos taken in various settings.


Selfies get first-ever exhibition at London's Saatchi Gallery

A visitor to the Saatchi Gallery snaps a photo at an exhibition dedicated to the art of the selfie held in collaboration with China's telecommunications giant Huawei.  KEVIN WANG/ CHINA DAILY

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