Pictures to raise
Awareness on the challenges
Facing Mountain Regions

Menu

ARTISTS

Marco Canale

Argentina

SMART - Marco Canale

Stephanie Montes

Colombia

SMART - Stephanie Montes

Liz Tasa

Peru

SMART - Liz Tasa

Malika Sqalli

Morocco

SMART - Malika Sqalli

ARGENTINA
MARCO CANALE

 

During his different stays in Sierre and Val d’Anniviers, Argentinean theater director Marco Canale is developping a participative theater project called « The Speed of Light », in the continuity of Argentina, Germany and Japan’s projects. The actors are the inhabitants of the Anniviers region, in particular old people, who do not necessarily have experience of the stage. The project seeks to understand the past and present of the region, as well as to imagine its future.

 

The people have been invited to take part in a collective play, during which they question their origins, learn to act, sing, write and dance. Together, they create a play connected to their memories, their life story and their vision. The relationship to animals, mountains, patois, society and the transhumance are the values they wish to pass on for the future, perpetuating in this way the knowledge and traditions of the Valais.

La Velocidad de la Luz

Project - Second step

ARGENTINA
MARCO CANALE – CAREER

 

Born in 1977 in Buenos Aires, Argentina – Lives and works in Buenos Aires

 

Theatre director Marco Canale creates projects with local communities, which go through biography, documentary and fiction, crossing urban, natural and sacred spaces. Currently his work is focused on site specific projects as “The speed of light”, created together with elder people from different cultural contexts, taking cities as its stage to understand their history and to imagine its future. “The speed of light” was created in Buenos Aires (FIBA) and adapted in Germany (Festival Theaterformen) and Japan (Tokyo Tokyo Festival).

 

Education

2002-2005 Bachelor in Dramatic Art, in Dramaturgy and Direction. RESAD (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Madrid)
1996-1999 Bachelor in Film Direction and Scriptwriting. ENERC – INCAA

 

Projects

2019-2020 – The speed of light. Tokyo Tokyo Festival, Tokyo
2019-2020 – NOH. Fiction feature film
2018-2019 – Die Geschwindigkeit des lichts. Festival Theaterformen, Hannover, Germany
2019-2020 – Los Nacimientos. Teatro Cervantes, Buenos Aires
2018-2019 – Urquiza. Centro Cultural 25 de Mayo, Buenos Aires. Co-directed with Jorge Eiro.
2017 – La velocidad de la luz. Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires (FIBA). Villa 31
2015 – La huella que deja la tierra. Guatemala – Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlín
2014 – The birth of my violence – Theatre Uncut. Edinb

COLOMBIA

STEPHANIE MONTES & SMArt

 

During her three-month residency at the Crochetan Theater in the spring of 2020 as part of the SMArt program, young Colombian photographer Stephanie Montes explored several themes inspired by the untamed nature. Her singular look at our environment highlighted the vital link between man and nature. In her series « The blaze of disaster », she presents a dystopian vision in connection with a strong nature that awakens from our repeated negative impacts. Both disturbing and attractive at the same time, the universes she has immortalized instantly capture our gaze. Her landscapes, full of strangeness, emanate a feeling of solitude.

 

At the same time, Stephanie Montes discovered moving family photographs from archives and photo albums from the Valais, which she chose for their emotional potential. By giving a second life to these pictures, the young artist questions the representations of intimacy and the stories they contain, and more broadly the memory of affects. Like emanations of presence, the family photographs associated with desolate stretches of land are thus part of a subtle « encounter ».

 

The pictures of the exhibition will be soon available!

The radiance of disaster

COLOMBIA
STEPHANIE MONTES – CAREER

 

Born in 1991 in Cali, Colombia – Lives and works in Cali

 

In her artistic work, Stephanie Montes’ general approach ranges from the understanding of human being and the relationship with territory, crossed by thematic axes such as memory and resilience. She is interested in the impermanence of things, always looking to experiment with printing materials and surfaces that show her the passage of time. She usually works in a narrative way by building bodies of images that translate her experience of the world in a poetic and almost dreamlike way. She also recently realised approaches to video and experimental cinema.

 

Education

2015 Bachelor in Visual Art

2015 Bachelor in Graphic Design

 

Solo exhibitions

2019 “La Grieta y la luz”, Alliance française, Cali

2017 “Dia del sol”, Lugar a dudas, Cali

 

Collective exhibitions

2019 20 Fotógrafos Atitlan, Guatemala

2019 “Dia del sol”, 45 Salon Nacional de Artistas (National Hall of Artists), Bogotá Colombia.

2019 “La Grieta y la luz”, Fotográfica Bogota, Colombia

2016 “El bayano”, Feria del Millon Art Fair, Bogota, Colombia

PERU

LIZ TAZA & SMArt

 

During her three-month residency in Sierre, Peruvian photographer Liz Tasa freely pays tribute, through her work, to the abundant visions of Valais myths and legends. Liz Tasa’s photographic universe is based on a mixture of fear and fascination produced by the sovereignty of nature. Lenient, beautiful and generous, she can also be frightening. Earthquakes, avalanches, landslides, cyclones…. embody the omnipotence of the elements when they break out.

 

Through her photographs, Liz Tasa invites us to a « walk » in the heart of haughty and imposing scenery, on the scale of which we measure our smallness and vulnerability. On the borderline between materiality and fantasy, dreams and nightmares, these visions that touch the realm of the impalpable highlight our archaic fears, our superstitions and our dark areas.

PERU
LIZ TASA – CAREER

 

Born in 1988 in Lima, Peru – Live in Lima

 

The work of Liz Tasa revolves around social issues in Peru. She has developed several documentary projects that revolve around social exclusion, racism and human rights like forced sterilizations or the El Niño Phenomenon, both in Peru.

Based on a documentation work, the artwork of Liz Tasa poses a more sensory than a descriptive type of language. She usually works with a digital camera, LEDs and color photographs. Multimedia video as well as analog techniques such as the frames, technique of the artist Man Ray to make portraits, are also complementary medium of her work.

 

Education

From 2018 – Master of Photo Documentary at Centro de la Imagen, Lima, Peru

2012 – Communication at the University of Piura, Peru

 

Work experience

2018 – Photographer at Tres Mitades, a marketing and content management company

2016 – Photojournalist in Peruvian media Correo

2013-2015 – Photojournalist in Peruvian media Diario El Comercio

 

Prizes and achievements

2019 – Finalist in PHOTO IILA – XI Edition IILA-PHOTOGRAPHY “Gender Equality” with her project Kápar, Rome

2015 and 2017 – Twice finalist in the contest “Espacio y Tiempo”of the UPAO University

2014 – Finalist in the Eugene Courret national contest

 

Group exhibitions

2017 – “58 Peruvian Photographers” at the Inca Garcilazo Cultural Center

2017 – “Portraits of the Family” organized by the Cultural Center of the University of Lima

2017 – “Self portrait of a Nation” at the Cervantes Institute in New York, United States

2017 – “Our eyes: The Emergence of Reconstruction” at the National Library of Peru and the exhibition

2017 – “Intolerance” at the Cultural Center of the University of Lima

MOROCCO

MALIKA SQALLI & SMArt

 

From the beginning of her stay in the Verzasca Valley, Malika Sqalli realized that the different places in the valley gave her opposite and contrasting sensations. Arriving with the intention of representing the valley’s relationship with tourism, she quickly felt oppressed by these “tourist spots” located near beaten paths and easily accessible: crowded car parks and rocks, river corners in vogue on instagram.

 

Faithful to her initial idea, she nevertheless decided to launch her project, representing the places most frequented by tourists. In her images, however, people remain distant and abstract. She decides to paint the visitors with bright colours that – depending on the title of her project – can be seen according to the sensitivity of the viewer, such as flowers or weeds.

 

Then Malika decides to leave the roads and the most frequented places in the valley. She begins her explorations among the peaks. Unlike the oppression she experiences at the bottom of the valley, Malika feels a new world up there and immerses herself in a personal fairy tale rich in new colors. Here, the paintings act as a visionary element in contrast to the material and artificial tones of the valley floor. In all the work, therefore, this dualism remains, between the materialism of the rapid and consumerist relationship of mass tourism and the feeling of solitude and the search for illumination, through the slow and reflective experience of nature.

MOROCCO
MALIKA SQALLI – CAREER

 

Born in 1977 in Rabat, Morocco – Lives in Rabat

 

Malika Sqalli comes from a mixed culture (Moroccan and Austrian ) background. She has lived in various countries, without her family from an early age, which translates in a position of “neither here nor there, nor on the fringes”. She feels foreign and belonging in many places at the same time, not only in terms of identity but also physically. Therefore the idea of home, culture, identity and place are for her a very fertile ground for investigation.

 

She has a holistic view on the world, in which she is interested in links between places, the in-between spaces and forgotten place, similarities between people’s behavior, congruencies in landscape, common wisdom, shared mythologies rather than differences and boundaries.

 

Education

2015 – Residency in Chennai with Magnum Photographer, Chien-Chi Chang

2015 – Schmiede Playground of Ideas Hallein, Austria

2000 – Arts Managements Diploma: Artistic Production at Birkbeck / Marketing & communication skills at Birkbeck

1996-2000 – Ecoles des Beaux Arts, Montpellier

 

Exhibitions

2017 – Atlas Electronic – A collaboration with Pein Lee, Marrakech

2017 – Betwixt and Between Fotografie Museum, Antwerpen, Belgium

2016 – Flight Photoplace Gallery, Vermont, USA

2016 – Optimism at AbGlobal, London, UK

2016 – Optimism at André Heller Anima Gardens gallery, Marrakech, Morocco

2015 – Stories and Secrets at Photoplace Gallery, Vermont, USA

2015 – Awan Arab Women Artist group show, London, UK

2015 – Optimism Ahead Solo show at the Arab British Centre, London, UK

Juan Pablo Marin

Colombia

SMART - Juan Pablo Marin

Tarek Haddad

Lebanon

SMART - Tarek Haddad

Wenhuan Shao

China

SMART - Wenhuan Shao

Camila Rodrigo

Peru

SMART - Camila Rodrigo

COLOMBIA

JUAN PABLO MARIN & SMArt

 

Juan Pablo Marìn calls them the fruit of the mountains: the crystals that inspire him as a photographer among the steep cliffs of Göschenen in Uri’s raw uplands. It took these marvels millions of years of gestation, deep in the earth, before they were ready for explorers to find them.

 

Marìn’s portraits of crystal seekers, those who live on the mountain and in the mountain, who make their living from the mountain but above all who live with the mountain, tell of their passion and love for its stones, of their awe and respect for nature. Marìn’s pictures offer a glimpse of these people, and of their landscape, refracted through the crystals they search for. His is a condensation of the metaphorical, of the mighty poetry of time and decay, of the mountains’ effect on body and spirit.

 

And indeed, born in 1983 in Columbia and raised 1400 meters above sea level in the town of Armenia, surrounded by the Andes, Juan Pablo Marìn sees himself as a montañero, a man of the mountains.

Waiting for Millions of years

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

COLOMBIA
JUAN PABLO MARIN – CAREER

 

Born in Armenia, Colombia in 1982 – Lives in Cali, Colombia

 

For the last years, Juan Pablo has developed his work mainly with young people in urban and rural communities. His interests have been focused in social relationship of people with their customs, territory, and cultural transformations due to globalization and environmental impact. In his projects, participants have an active role in the writing of texts, the selection of pictures, and taking photos.

 

Education

2011 – Autor’s Photography, IDEP, Barcelona

2010 – Photography Degree Specialization, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota

2009 – Bachelor Degree in Philosophy, Universidad del Valle, Cali

 

Achievements and prizes

2018 – Creation Grant in Visual Arts, Secretaria de Cultura de Cali

2017 – Director of photography in the short film “María de los Esteros”, Mention spéciale du jury labo, Festival du court métrage de Clermont-Ferrand

2016 – Creation Grant in Artistics Projects, Secretaria de Cultura del Valle del Cauca

2015 – Honorable Mention, The XI National Colombo Swiss Prize of Photography of the Culture Ministry

2014 – First place, Cultural Journalism Prize of the Culture Ministry

 

Exhibitions

2017 – Semana de la Alianza del Pacífico en Hanói, Embajada de Colombia en Vietnam

2016 – Pacífico Sur, Territorio revelado, Ministerio de Cultura

2013 – Fotografica Bogota, Bogota

2012 – ArteCamara, Bogota

2012 – Lucidas Miradas, Cali

2012- XVI Cruzada Artistas del Eje Cafetero, Pereira

2012- 14 – Salones Regionales, Zona Pacifico. ¿Qué es la Verdad? Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali

LEBANON

TAREK HADDAD & SMArt

 

Maternal and cruel, elementary and unendingly complex – nature rules the world. Suddenly the human race arrives with its dreams, ambitions and all-consuming need for security. Humans subjugate their environment, model it and use fire, language, reasoning and pictures to invent and produce thousands of artefacts. They rely on nature for sustenance while exploiting it to excess, they also derive inspiration and seek refuge in nature. In other words, they consume.

 

Through his art, Tarek Haddad questions the seemingly tyrannical and one-sided relationship we cultivate with nature. Instead of the bleak and accusing paintings one might expect, the viewer is invited into a poetic internalised world of deceleration and contemplation.

LEBANON

TAREK HADDAD – CAREER

Born in 1991 in Beirut, Lebanon – Lives in Beirut

In his work, Tarek Haddad likes to question both intimate and collective relationship between humans and their surroundings, from personal possessions to natural realm. As an example, in his serie “Vesica Piscis”, he explores the separation of mankind from nature. Through his pictures, Tarek Haddad is interacting with the landscape while keeping the photograph void of physical human presence. He hold a B.S. in Computer Sciences (2013) and passed a B.A. in Photography (2017) at Notre Dame University – Louaize.

 

Tarek was selected as a grantee for the 4th cycle of the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture (AFAC)’s Arab Documentary Photography Program (ADPP) in 2017.

 

Solo Exhibition
2017 « Vesica Piscis », Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Raouche, Lebanon

 

Group exhibitions

  • 2017 – 2018 Opening Exhibition (Neoplasticity), CUB Gallery, Badaro, Lebanon
  • 2016 New World / Nouveau Monde (Neoplasticity), Beirut Art Fair, Biel – Beirut, Lebanon
  • 2016 Beirut Design Week 2016, (Debatable Storage Syndrome), Notre Dame University-Louaize, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon

CHINA

WENHUAN SHAO

 

The spiritual power of nature that emanates from mountain scenery and water has inspired Wenhuan Shao for many years. Immersed in the grandiose Swiss mountains, he focused on emblematic landscapes (the Matterhorn, the Aletsch glacier…). It is with delicacy and reflection that he apprehends these imposing reliefs, everything of which seems to have been said and shown in order to grasp in the end a new facet.

 

Through his images of mountains, the artist captures the splendour of the alpine landscape simultaneously with the violence that is inflicted on it. In contrast to this prodigious show, he grasped the devastating effects of human influence on nature. Thanks to the different plastic methods used, Wenhuan Shao shapes environmental threats and destruction. By working on his photographs by stratification, he materializes our footprint on the natural environment. His techniques of scraping and abrasion express this idea not of emptiness but of subtraction, of irreversible loss due to the depletion of natural resources, global warming and the fragility of our biotope. Provoking as much attraction as discomfort, his universe of disturbing appearances combines visions that question the viewer and invite him to become aware.

The soften the glow

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

CHINA
WENHUAN SHAO – CAREER

 

Born in 1971 in Hetian, China. Lives in Hangzhou, China

 

Wenhuan Shao’s artistic creation mainly focuses on the theme of nature or enlightens the concept of nature, by approaching the essence of things from a temporal perspective.

 

He intends to create metaphysical art works through a “photography comprehensive painting”, principally using photography mixed with other medium.

 

Education

2002 – Studied as a graduate student at Integrated Painting Dept. of China Academy of Art.

 

2018 – Solo exhibitions

Beijing, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, “Perspectives in the Distance”
Hangzhou, The Roof Art Museum, “Whine Within Mirror”
Shanghai and New York, Han Feng Art Space, “Non-Mountain”

 

2018 Group exhibitions

Nanjing, Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts, “Screen Refreshing Labor: Photography Exhibition 2018”
Beijing, China Millennium Monument, “International Academic Exhibition-Photo Beijing 2018”
Shanghai, Ke Art Museum, “Parallelism Shanghai-International Contemporary Art Invitational Exhibition”
New York, China Institute Gallery, “Art of the Mountain”
Tianjin, Teda INGALLERY, “Meta image – International Photograph Exhibition”
Shanghai, Qing Art Space, “Land-Schaft”
Hongkong, Galerie Ora-Ora, “??.?? Sqm Open Sea”
Paris, Galerie Liusa Wang, “After Sunset”
Wenzhou, Epoch Art Museum, “Transcendence of Objective Image”
Suzhou, Han Shan Art Museum, “The Folded Mountain II”a

PERU

CAMILA RODRIGO & SMArt

 

Thus far, Camila Rodrigo’s projects have focused on the transformation of the geographic landscape of Lima, mainly its cliffs and the abrupt changes in the tides of the ocean around them. During her stay in the Swiss Alps, the artist discovered other landscapes, in which the stones are also witnesses of profound changes.

 

“You can read the time from a stone. The territory’s constant changes, unceasing movements, erosion and wearing away are written in its layers…

A monumental, fiercely vibrating landscape, which reverberates strength. It prevails over the new necessities of its human inhabitants. It adapts itself, changes, persists…

Photographs realized with expired film and stone installations, reveal an altered territory that suggests the beginning of a new ecological era. Breaking an already settled imaginary to dig further beyond the first impressions, delving into the subtle tracks of a coexistence prone to be increasingly vulnerable.

If we place humanity inside the huge matrix of nature some certainties are undermined; new questionings emerge.

The echo resounds, urging us to take a step forwards and to penetrate…”

Camila Rodrigo

PERU
CAMILA RODRIGO – CAREER

 

Born in 1983 – Live in Lima, Peru

 

The work of Liz Tasa revolves around social issues in Peru. She has developed several documentary projects that revolve around social exclusion, racism and human rights like forced sterilizations or the El Niño Phenomenon, both in Peru.

 

Based on a documentation work, the artwork of Liz Tasa poses a more sensory than a descriptive type of language. She usually works with a digital camera, LEDs and color photographs. Multimedia video as well as analog techniques such as the frames, technique of the artist Man Ray to make portraits, are also complementary medium of her work.

 

Education

Studied photography at “Centro de la Imagen” in Lima – Peru

2014 – Masters degree “Mal de foco” in Latin American Photography at “Centro de la Imagen”

2010 – Masters degree at Forma-Naba in Milan in Photography and Visual Arts

2010 – Chosen as a part of “Re generation: Photographers of tomorrow” by the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, finalist of the Lacoste Elysée prize that year

 

Exhibitions

Her projects have been exhibited in Arles, Amsterdam, Argentina, Chile, Barcelona, London, Lausanne, Lima, Mexico, Milan, Miami, New York, Ping Yao and other cities. Her work has been published in Chile, United States, Spain and Switzerland.

Tamir Bayarsaikhan

Mongolia

SMART - Tamir Bayarsaikhan

M’hammed Kilito

Morocco

SMART - M’hammed Kilito

Xiaoyi Chen

China

SMART - Xiaoyi Chen

Jorge Panchoaga

Colombia

SMART - Jorge Panchoaga

MONGOLIA

TAMIR BAYARSAIKHAN & SMArt

 

Who stands in the sun, projects shadows: such is the thought that inhabited Tamir Bayarsaikhan in his peregrinations across the Valais. He laid his artist’s look on every trace of human presence visible in the landscape. Whether our actions are felt as appropriate or aberrant, nature reacts to them at every moment, inevitably. The images collected by the Mongolian photographer are sometimes breathtakingly beautiful, sublimely calm, sometimes agitated, troubled, witnesses of dramatic events. An artwork similar to a Valaisan illustration of the famous « butterfly effect ».

MONGOLIA
TAMIR BAYARSAIKHAN – CAREER

 

Born in Ulaanbaatar in 1985 – Live in Ulaanbaatar

 

Tamir Bayarsaikhan has a background in multimedia graphic designer with a bachelor degree. He first started photography about 6 year ago and since been actively developing his skills. In 2013, he joined Mongolian first photographers’ community Tusgal club NGO. He is also one of the chair and founding members of BMA (We are Mongolian content) NGO, which recruited Mongolian top multimedia graphic designers.

 

Exhibitions

2018 – “Me+We” Start with yourself. Public graphic design poster exhibition. Creative poster design campaign and public advocacy on urban environmental issues.

2017 – “New people”, documentary joint photo exhibition

2017 – “Nature without garbage-Photography”, documentary joint photo exhibition

2017 – “Edge of Blue Heaven”, joint photo exhibition with Tusgal photo club

2017 – “Parallel Universe”, documentary joint photo exhibition with Tusgal photo club

MOROCCO

M’HAMMED KILITO & SMArt

 

During his residency in Sierre, M’hammed Kilito dealt with the theme of migration. Through his work he wanted to tackle the growing instrumentalization of fear towards the Other, the foreigner, in Valais, where 1 inhabitant out of 4 comes from emigration. He chose to highlight, through a reverse process, the relationship between Swiss and migrants: What happens when fear gives way to generosity, solidarity and humanism? »

 

Through the visual sociology approach that characterizes his work, he therefore questioned the political and social realities of migrants by producing three photographic series: the first presents exchanges of knowledge or shared knowledge between migrants and Swiss residents; the second tells the daily life of migrants through activities organized by the Intercultural Space of Sierre; the third focuses on objects and memories brought back by migrants, as well as their homes or places of work.

On est ensemble

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

MOROCCO
M’HAMMED KILITO – CAREER

 

Born in Lvov, Russia in 1981 – Live in Rabat, Morocco

 

M’hammed Kilito’s photography is part of the tradition of visual sociology, where he uses the image as a research tool to better understand a given social reality.His photographic work focuses on the small details of everyday life that can provide information on the general situation of today’s Morocco. The observation of everyday life, the encounters he makes and the stories he is told inspire him and open him the field on socio-political issues such as the contrasts between social strata, the standardization of cultures, migration, identity or social determinism.

 

Education

2012 – Master’s degree in Political Science, University of Ottawa

2010 – Honors degree in Political Science, Montreal university

2006 – Portfolio Program, Ottawa School of Art

 

Group exhibitions

2017  – Selection of photographies, Palais Selman, Marrakech
2017  – Art Company / Episodes 2, Intimes – Errances, Casablanca
2017  – Youmein Festival, Technopark, Tangier
2017  – Images passagères, Rétine argentique, Marseille
2017  – Open Studio, Printemps de l’Art Contemporain, La Friche la Belle de Mai, Marseille
2017  – Les hommes défendent l’égalité en héritage, Galerie Fan-Dok, Rabat
2017  – Errances, Festival Rabat Résonances, Dar El-Mrini, Rabat
2017  – Génération Flash, Fondation Alliances, Casablanca
2017  – Les journées photographiques de Taza, Complexe culturel, Taza
2017  – PULP exhibition, Fotofilmic gallery, Vancouver

 

Solo exhibition

2017  – Destiny, French Institute, Rabat

 

Art residencies

2017  – Youmein Festival, Tanger
2017  – La Friche la Belle de Mai, Marseille
2017  – Al-Qarawiyyin, Fez

CHINA

 XIAOYI CHEN & SMArt

 

During her three-month residency, Xiaoyi Chen discovered erratic blocks during a walk in the forest. These large rock masses, some of which are the size of houses, have been transported by rivers of ice and placed in dominant positions in glacial valleys or scattered over hills and plains. They bear witness to the glacier degradation that we can still observe today. Fascinated by the monumentality of these mysterious blocks, the photographer wishes to restore through her photography and videos the timeless power that they release.

The stranger… and while I blossomed all alone, the world slumbered

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

CHINA
XIAOYI CHEN – CAREER

 

Born in Sichuan in 1992 – Live in Chengdu

 

Her recent work focuses on the combination of photography and printmaking, also multi-materials, video and installation; those combination of techniques are used to explore beneath the surface of things by simplifying and abstracting; an approach aimed at reviving spiritual awareness and intuition before entering the symbolic nature of what we view.

 

Education

2014 – University of the Arts London – London College of Communication / MA Photography
2013 – International Gemological Institute / Polished Diamond Grader P.D.G
2010 – 2013 – University of Leeds Met / BSc (HONS) Photographic Journalism

 

Awards

2017 – Named one of Asia’s 30 Artists under 30 by Forbes magazine.

2015 – Three Shadows Photography Award, China’s most prestigious photography prize

2014 – LCC/Photofusion Prize

 

Solo exhibitions

2017 – “Never!” on A Thousand Plateaus Art Space in China

2017 – “One Giant leap” on Materia Gallery in Italy

 

Group exhibitions

2017 – Kyoto Asia Corridor Art Exhibition of Culture city of East Asia in Kyoto

2016 – Chinese Photobooks on Photobook Week Aarhus

2016 – Recent Art Fairs, include Photo Shanghai and Paris Asian Art Fair and solo project in London Art Fair in 2017

2015 – Participation in many exhibitions: the Format International Photography Festival, Kassel Photobook Festival, Athens Photo Festival and the group show China 8 at Museum Folkwang (Germany), The Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale(Japan) and Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival

COLOMBIA

JORGE PANCHOAGA & SMArt

“There are some realities lying under the surface of what we observe. Truths that lift up out of the blue, as a sea monster which rises to the surface and then disappears. Entering this unknown world is a way to me to tempt these monsters to emerge, it’s like building a bridge these creatures can get through to what is real and familiar to us. This beautiful space, where imagination and reality meet, is where love, tears and happiness exist. This is the place. This is where we live.”

Nick Cave

 

Nature exists. To arrange it and give it a sense for our aims is something arising from the needs and the experiences we have chosen as masters. Adjustment is mutual—nature largely lives for us, we model it and it equally models us. Whoever visit the Verzasca Valley is exposed to all what nature and human being recount us. The story depends on who guides us, on what we find along the path—to imagine the future changes, to remember the past scenarios, to create a mirror between our fears and calm.

 

Jorge Panchoaga walked through these passages into the night darkness. In them he tried to build a bridge to the unknown, towards those things the path didn’t tell him, towards what the men’s words didn’t say: the untamed, the savage. He put the incomprehensible aspect of nature over the human landscape, creating a new possible scenario where the human being faces what he doesn’t know, where we have to try again to understand, and to win the battle against an apparently indomitable entity.

 

A confrontation, where we go back to being small, as small as any other animal. And in this new scenario we get captured by nature once again.

COLOMBIA
JORGE PANCHOAGA – CAREER

 

Born in Popayán, Cauca in 1984 – Live in Bogota, Colombia

 

Graduated in Anthropology, University of Cauca, and specialized in Photography in the National University of Colombia.

 

His work is part of collections such as the Swiss culture fund in Colombia, the photography collection of Higashikawa Japan and various private collections. It’s been published in international media such as the New York Times, National Geographic, Süddeutsche Zeitung, L’oeil de la Photographie, El País Spain, El Malpensante.

 

He has held solo and collective exhibitions in Spain, Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Ireland, Ecuador, France, Germany and Colombia.

 

Education

From 2018 – Master of Photo Documentary at Centro de la Imagen, Lima, Peru

2012 – Communication at the University of Piura, Peru

 

Prizes and achievements

2017 – Nominated World Press Photo Latin America Masterclass
2017 – Second place in POY LATAM “Nuestra mirada” category
2016 – Winner of the Emerging Talent Award of Lens Culture
2015 – Winner of the Ibero-American Photography Prize NEXOFOTO, Spain
Winner of the creation grant for artists with intermediate trajectory of the Culture Ministry of Colombia
The IX National Colombo Swiss Prize of Photography of the Culture Ministry
Grantee of the Pedro Meyer Foundation studying the Photonarrative and new media diploma
Co-founder of the photography group + 1 and CROMA Taller Visual

Juan Arias

Colombia

SMART - Juan Arias

Sharon Castellanos

Peru

SMART - Sharon Castellanos

Hasan Shaaban

Lebanon

SMART - Hasan Shaaban

Btihal Remli

Morocco

SMART - Btihal Remli

COLOMBIA

JUAN ARIAS & SMArt

 

A few months before starting his residency in Sierre, as part of the SMArt program, the Colombian photographer Juan Arias read an article from Le Nouvelliste that caught his attention: “A wolf killed in the Val d’Anniviers. She was the victim of an act of poaching.” Juan Arias immediately grasped the scope of this incident and chose to treat our relationship to the wolf through a series of photographs that walk between history, return of the wolf in Valais and projection in the future.

 

His work brings us back to centuries of cultural representations and projections of our fears. For him, our relationship to the wolf reveals our connection to nature and its uncontrollable dimension, which opposes the project of modernity based on a search for absolute control of time, the nature of man, through the cult of progress. In the work of Juan Arias, the wolf is also revealing changes in society that operate in Valais: cultural and identity changes, on the one hand, especially under the influence of migratory flows that mix Valais, but also economic or structural changes , especially through the transformation of practices related to the territory and livestock.

 

Juan Arias creates thus an extremely ambitious project that consists in a certain way of proposing a “radiography” of the contemporary Valaisan society, revealing his fears, his antagonisms, his preoccupations, through an anthropological gaze taking the wolf as red thread.

The wolf at the door

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

COLOMBIA
JUAN ARIAS – CAREER

 

Born in 1979, live in Cali, Colombia

 

Juan Arias’ main approach and interest is in creating images related on representations, archetypes and underlying, often not said, aspects of human relationships. His method is to work on metaphors that lead to further reflections by the viewer.

 

Education

2017 – El subconsciente en la fotografía – México
2016 – Geografías disidentes – Instituto Departamental de Bellas Artes – Colombia
2016 – Taller Fotolibro – Croma Taller Visual
2016 – Taller Lenguaje Personal en Fotografía – Croma Taller Visual
2015 – Taller Cámara – Universidad del Valle
2008 – Imagen I y II – Universidad del Valle

 

Prizes and achievements

2017 – Co-creator of La Escena exhibition at Museo La Tertulia
2015 – Third Place Project at I Encuentro de Narrativas Visuales Fujifulm
2014 – Co-founder of photography colective www.calidoscopio.co

 

Solo exhibitions

2016 – Mito (me too) – FotoUrbe 2016 – Ciudad Latente, Pereira
2016 – V.A.N.L – Lugar a Dudas, Cali

 

Group exhibitions

2016 – III Bienal Internacional de Muralismo y Arte Público, Cali
2016 – Re exiones sobre la Paz – Fotomeraki
2015 – Cuerpos de Luz – RíoEstudio, Cali

PERU

SHARON CASTELLANOS & SMArt

 

During her stay in Valais, Sharon Castellanos is initially impressed by the distance that seems to lie between people and their environment. It is as if the mountains of Valais had been instrumentalized for economic purposes. From this first realization, a series of pictures is created, that focus on the idea of ​​the frontier: people who view the landscape through a window, guard rails, which form a boundary between the street and the abyss, ropes where you can hold onto. ..

 

Sharon Castellanos, however, knows that her first impression does not fully illuminate reality. In her search for people who have found their way back to nature, she meets herbalists. A second series of photographs, which gives an insight into the work and the everyday life of the herbalists and gives an insight into their philosophy of life: positive energy, harmony and balance are their guiding principles.

 

The exhibition « Symbiosis » indicates that the coexistence of people with nature can take on different forms, with Sharon Castellano focusing on the two extremes – distanced-instrumentalized on the one hand, respectfully and intimately on the other.

PERU
SHARON CASTELLANOS – CAREER

 

Born in 1989 in Lima, Peru – Live in Cusco, Peru

 

Part of Sharon Castellanos’ work chases the intention to transfigure situations through documentary photography, avoiding showing reality as evidence. Her work is evocative and explores the representation to be seen from the imagination and even fantasy. The themes are connected with her own exploration in the mountains, daily rural life and the manifestation of nature.

 

Education

With a formation background divided between photography workshops and graphic design studies, she worked four years as a photojournalist in a local media. Currently, she is a freelance photographer.

 

Prizes and achievements

2016 – Selected participant, The New York Times Portfolio Review, USA
2016 – Portfolio presentation, Bronx Documentary Center, New York, USA
2016 – Finalist, Scholarship Roberto Villagraz, EFTI, Spain
2016 – Honorable mention, Scholarship MAPA, Lens Escuela de Artes Visuales, Spain
2014 – Third place, Espacio Tiempo 2014, Peru
2013 – Finalist, Red Bull Illume 2013, Lifestyle category, Austria

LEBANON

 HASAN SHAABAN & SMArt

 

Having chosen to focus his work on the theme of water and energy, Hasan Shabaan went to explore production sites and reservoirs. Overcoming the difficulties of accessing these places during winter, he visited Grande Dixence and Emosson. He also managed to slip into the hidden spaces of the Lavey, Bieudron and Saint-Léonard hydroelectric plants.

 

The concept behind the huge dams of the Valais is to store water from melting glaciers, in order to provide for increased consumption in the drier winter months. But what is the connection between the lakes, the towering concrete “cliffs” and the electric power that we use every day? Through his photographs, Hasan Shaaban examines the phenomenal energy reserve represented by these complex facilities, and the mysterious alchemy that transforms hydraulic power into electricity.

The power of water

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

LEBANON
HASAN SHAABAN – CAREER

 

Born in 1987 in Beirut – Lives in Beirut, Lebanon

 

The work of photojournalist made Hasan Shaaban aware of his surroundings at all times. This awareness became one of his instincts to act on the spot, without any prior planning, when the priority is the event happening at this exact moment. In the end, the big challenge is to create lasting moments instantly in mostly extreme conditions. His main themes of interest are spot news, news in general and environmental issues. As news is different every day, photojournalism methods vary consequently, because from news conferences to riots, things change dramatically.

 

Education

2003 – Photography seminars and workshops
2004 – Studies of photography at Beirut Capital College
2005 – Studies of Multimedia at Lebanese International University in Beirut

 

Exhibitions

2016 – 28th Visa Pour L’image, International Daily Press Award, Perpignan
2015 – 27th Visa Pour L’image, International Daily Press Award, Perpignan
2014 – 26th Visa Pour L’image, International Daily Press Award, Perpignan
2013 – 25th Visa Pour L’image, International Daily Press Award, Perpignan
2009 – Freedom Messengers Network on Human Rights and Child Labor – Beirut
2009 – Freedom Messengers Network on Human Rights and Child Labor – Egypt

MOROCCO

BTIHAL REMLI & SMArt

 

When preparing her residence, Btihal Remli proposed to work on mountain farming. Based on her personal experience in the mountains of Morocco, she thought she could document the remnants of a vernacular activity in the Valais Alps. But once there, she was confronted with a different reality, far from idealized images conveyed by marketing and tourism. This tension between a vernacular that became a brand and the contemporaneity of the ways of life and production in the mountain is the central theme of the work of Btihal Remli. Her photographs highlight the new dynamics at play in the mountains, between tradition and modernity.

 

n a second series resulting from her work in Morocco, Btihal Remli wanted to show the nourishing pasture, a term that corresponds to this function of cattle breeding in much of the territory of the valleys of the High Atlas, inhabited by small communities Berbers, of which only a few families still practice nomadic grazing. In general, the women of the family, the mother and her young daughters, are dependent on the animals. Men are not numerous and not very present. Women bear the full weight of everyday life. Nothing new, but these female presences that ensure the survival of an entire territory are gaining visibility, power and therefore autonomy.

 

Btihal Remli thus confronts, through her two series of photographs, two similar and radically different worlds, two stages of an intelligent photographic work in action.

Heroes of the mountain

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

MOROCCO
BTIHAL REMLI – CAREER

 

Born in 1987 in Germany – Lives in Marrakech, Morocco

 

Based on her previous graduation in architecture, Btihal Remli is very interested in spaces, especially more on immaterial spaces than physical ones, including philosophical and anthropological context. Another area that is very important in her work is the controversy with her Moroccan origins and the identity that she built up while growing up in Europe, which had emerged from a clash of culture. Her photographic work is the method and the tool to understand her own stance on those topics, but also to convey observations into statement.

 

Education

2009-2012 – BU Wuppertal, Germany
2012- ISCTE Lisbon, Portugal
2015- Master degree from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria.

 

Selected exhibitions

2016 – Offprint London, Tate Modern, UK
2016 – HIPA Dubai Photo Exhiition, Dubai, UAE
2015 – Kunstwerk, Arnsberg, Germany
2015 – Hohensalzburg Castle, Salzburg, Austria
2015 – Unexpected – PH21, Budapest, Hungary
2015 – Liquid rooms, Venice, Italy
2015 – Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, Austria

Lavonne Bosman

South Africa

SMART - Lavonne Bosman

Jiehao Su

China

SMART - Jiehao Su

Alejandro León Cannock

PERU

SMART - Alejandro León Cannock

Laurence Piaget

SWITZERLAND

SMART - Laurence Piaget

SOUTH AFRICA

LAVONNE BOSMAN & SMArt

 

As diverse as human beings might be, they all have at least one thing in common. They are all migrants. At one time or another, they or their ancestors have all come from elsewhere. Migration is a means of survival, a quest for hope, a quest for a better future.

 

During her residency in Switzerland, Lavonne Bosman focused her attention on two very diverse groups of people who, although living nearby, do not mix with each other. On the one hand, the descendants of the Lötschental Walsers who began to settle in Graubüden in the 1300s and, on the other hand, current asylum seekers temporary housed in a previous ski hotel and waiting to know their future.

 

This photographic series largely echoes a previous series on the Amaxhosa people, a population of the Transkei, many of whom have moved to the townships in the hope of finding a better life.

 

A common approach links the two works, a look imbued with a great humanity, without judgment, that shows all the little things that make up the joys and sorrows of everyday life. With her photographs, Lavonne Bosman embodies the spirit of « Ubuntu », an African term translated as « I am because we are ».

SOUTH AFRICA
LAVONNE BOSMAN – CAREER

 

Born in 1977 – Lives in Cape Town, South Africa

 

In her artistic work, Lavonne Bosman needs to fully immerse herself into her surroundings in order to observe and then wait for the right light and moment, when all elements come into balance. Her work focuses on portraits of people in marginalized positions and nature scenes. Technically, she uses wide apertures and slightly overexposed images to create more contrast.

 

Education

1992 – 1994 Studies of Art History at High school, influenced by Impressionist style
1997 – 1999 Studies of Drama and theatre at University of Stellenbosch, discovery of photography
2000 Photography course focusing on B&W film, darkroom processing and printing, Cape Town

 

Artistic work

2007-2008 Project “Ilungile, it is good”, documenting the amaXhosa people living in township shacks outside Cape Town, Western Cape. Exhibition at the Artscape theatre, Cape Town, 2009
2011 – 2013 Project “Madiba’s People” about the amaXhosa people in their rural homelands, the Eastern Cape, Transkei. Exhibition in 2013, “Makhelwane, my neighbour” with the Associazione Piemontesi in Cape Town
Since 2014 Artistic exploration with close-ups of nature, some human landscapes and a closer look at intimate outdoor festivals

CHINA

 JIEHAO SU & SMArt

 

Just arrived in Valais, the young photographer visited the grave of Rainer Maria Rilke in Raron – a poet who deeply touches and influences him artistically. Perhaps is it the spirit of Rilke which led him to abandon plans to show the positive and negative impacts of human activities on the mountain landscape – an idea with which he had arrived in Valais.He eventually wanted to explore and gently seize the invisible soul of the place with his camera.

 

With this intention, he traveled throughout the district in search of expressive patterns, better prospects and good light. Details of nature, everyday situations and symbols of history and cultural Valais form a kind of trilogy, an overview that reveals the spirit of our region, beyond the visible and the present moment. For Jiehao Su, a delicate balance characterizes the essence of Valais – a balance that is to respect and protect.

 

In his exhibition in Beijing, Jiehao Su completes his book of images, inspired by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, with a video about birds, a sound recording in a closed space as well as several email letters combined with images. These letters are genuine correspondences between him Sarah at SMArt and, with their linearity in time and their special form consisting of dialogues; they build a new intertextual relationship among with Su’s creations and Rilke’s texts. With this, Jiehao Su completes his commemoration and response to the poet.

Das Buch der Bilder

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

CHINA
JIEHAO SU – CAREER

 

Born in Guangdong in 1988 – Live in Beijing

 

In his artwork Jieaho Su applies traditional Chinese concepts on mankind and nature, with a macro and calm perspective. His photography approach is both documentary and artistic and his major working themes are identity, memory, and space, inspired by his personal life history.

 

Education

2009 Beijing Film Academy

 

Selected prizes and awards

2015 Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards, Grand Prize
2015 Magnum Photos, 30 Under 30
2015 Düsseldorf Portfolio Review, ARTE Creative Award
2015 British Journal of Photography, Ones to Watch
2015 Format Photo Festival, IdeasTap Award
2014 APA / Lucie Foundation Scholarship, Finalist
2013 Jinan Photography Biennial, Excellent Photographer Award

 

Selected exhibitions

2015 Expanded Geographies, Lianzhou Foto Festival, Lianzhou, China
2015 Photoquai 2015, Quai Branly Museum, Paris, France
2015 Fraction of A Second, UNM Art Museum, New Mexico, U.S.
2015 Reframe Memory, Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece
2015 Developed: Three Emerging Photographers, United Photo Industries Gallery, New York, U.S.
2014 Borderland, Jinan Photo Biennial, Jinan, China
2014 In Search of Home: Jiehao Su’s New Work, Actual Size Los Angeles, U.S.

PERU

 ALEJANDRO LEÓN CANNOCK & SMArt

 

During his residence in Sierre (September-December, 2015) Alejandro León Cannock focused his attention on the melting of glaciers and on water management. If, for him, the network of « bisses » represents « life » – these irrigation channels were indeed essential for mountain agriculture – he associates the melting of glaciers with « death ».

 

His first images focus on the limit of the glacier, where the ice tongue stops. At the same time as he took these pictures, Alejandro León Cannock collected some stones and moved towards an exercise of « deterritorialization » by taking pictures of these stones on a white background, in a scientific register, or on backgrounds of two primary colours, in a more artistic register. On the theme of water, the artist proposes diptychs constituted of classic landscapes and portraits of « bisses » and their guards.

 

Thus, through these various works, Alejandro León Cannock draws our attention on the environmental problems that affect the Valais region. But he also reminds us that any image is a construction, cultural, political or social, which can be interpreted in various ways.

Déterritorialisation du paysage glaciaire

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

PERU
ALEJANDRO LEÓN CANNOCK – CAREER

 

Born in Lima in 1980 – Lives in Lima

 

Alejandro León Cannock has a Bachelor degree in Philosophy and a Master degree in Philosophy, both granted by the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. For several years he dedicated his work exclusively to teaching and research. During this period, his principal topics were related to the questioning of the nature of thought and ethics understood as the aesthetics of existence.

 

With an increasing interest for the relations between art and life, and the omnipresent problems of the image in the world, he decided to start a training as a photographer. Thus, he first earned a technical degree in photography, and recently a Master degree in contemporary photography, both titles granted by the Centro de la Imagen in Lima.

 

2010 – Artistic Residency at the Rhizome Lijiang Art Center (China)
2012 – Laboratory of Visual Creation at the Wu Gallery (Peru)
2012 – « Flâneurs, Voyants », a solo exhibition at the Peru Fest (USA)
2013 – Publication of the book « Cartografías del pensamiento. Ensayos de filosofía popular » (Peru)
2013 – Co-director of the independent art space « La Polaca » (Peru)
2014 – Finalist in the Young Contemporary Art contest (Peru)

SWITZERLAND

LAURENCE PIAGET & SMArt

 

The environment, the conviction that something needs to be done, making use of culture to inform, raising awareness and breathing life into public space are the common denominators between the SMArt project and my photography approach.

 

The photographs « The Agony of a glacier », testifying to the extinction of these ice giants, are not meant to become archive material for those living at the end of this century. They carry a symbolism that must prompt us to react and change out daily behaviour to benefit our environment. I do not mean to add foreboding to the prevailing mood, to condemn our age or to fuel debate on the causes of global warming, my intent is to provide a faithful reflection of contemporary society.

 

My objective is to participate in and to insist on raising awareness, like tiny streams welling up here and there, swelling the tide of change through individual and collective action and reversing the repercussions of climate change.

SWITZERLAND
LAURENCE PIAGET – CAREER

 

Born in 1971 – Lives in Valais

 

Laurence Piaget-Dubuis is an artist, graphic designer and photographer from the Valais canton in Switzerland where she currently lives. Like a ring forged of intertwining bands, Laurence weaves together three disciplines: photography, graphic design and drawing, adapting them to suit each project. She studied applied arts in drawing, graphic design for print and photography which she completed with web design and digital marketing studies. Mindful of both substance and form, she holds a degree in theology.

 

2015 Photography exhibition in Dushanbe in Tadjikistan for the UN « Water and Mountains » exhibition
2010-2015 Mountain photographer for a contemporary jazz festival (Cosmojazz) established by André Manoukian
2010-2011 Documentary photography: the account of 9 months training of two athletes preparing for the Ironman race
2010-2011 Photo sociographic performance – taking a snapshot a day and tagging a comment to the picture
2008 Performance art for the Bex and Arts 10th Switzerland sculpture triennial
2007 Painting exhibition for the international Art Forum at the Montreux Music and Convention Centre
2007 Performance art for the Visarte VS exhibition, Giovanola exhibition hall, Monthey

Maralagua Badarch

MONGOLIA

SMART - Maralagua Badarch

Cyril Ndegeya

RWANDA

SMART - Cyril Ndegeya

Fabrice Erba

SWITZERLAND

SMART - Fabrice Erba

Niels Ackermann

SWITZERLAND

SMART - Niels Ackermann

MONGOLIA

MARALAGUA BADARCH & SMArt

 

During her residency in Bellwald (March-Mai 2015) Maralgua Badarch got the soul of the alpine giants. For her every mountain is extraordinary, a mythical figure of another age, vulnerable in spite of its power.

 

In her pictures, the photographer concentrates essentially on motives, on light and colours. By underlining shade and light, she increases the plasticity and the intensity of the photos. The structure of mountains is stressed and takes almost a graphic character. Clouds are rather treated in an impressionistic way, glorifying the greatness and the magnificence of the mountainous landscapes.

 

She considered mountains, glaciers and forests under a particular light, recognizing old angry men, sleepy giants or blue turtles, creatures coming out of another world and living among us.

MONGOLIA
MARALAGUA BADARCH- CAREER

 

Born in Ulaanbaatar in 1987 – Live in Ulaanbaatar

 

As a photographer, Maralgua Badarch’s creed is a Ralph Hattersley’s quotation: « We are making photographs to understand what our life means to us ». Her general approach is to let the picture happen by itself. Most of her work consists of black and white photographs. Therefore, Maralgua Badarch looks for lines, textures or objects that can make symmetrical black and white photographs. These photos are timeless, but they can also bring a strong contrast between the object and the composition, or they can sometimes be dramatic.

 

Although Maralgua Badarch studied film directing and script writing in order to achieve a Master degree at the Central Academy of Drama (Beijing, China) in 2013, she appropriates photography as an autodidact

 

Activities

2011 Cooperation with « Vantage » a Shanghai magazine, work published in 2012.
2011 Art director for a music video.
2012 Still photographer and behind the scene videos with « Maoren », a Chinese web series.
2012 Short film « Purple and Yellow », which participated in 2014 in the « Guck mal Günther Festival » in Lenzburg, Switzerland.

RWANDA

 CYRIL NDEGEYA & SMArt

 

During his residence in Crochetan Theatre in Monthey (February-April 2015), Cyril Ndegeya met the local photographer Fabrice Erba. From this meeting a kind of poem to « the hidden side of water » is born. Between the Rwandan and the Swiss a brotherly friendship is also born, a beautiful complement to the artistic project.

 

Cyril Ndegeya came back from his photographic dive with magnificent documentary pictures. The water of the glaciers, so blue and so beautiful, which fascinate the foreigner; the Rhône flow straight in its stony bed; the water which we transform into electricity and becomes hard cash; the water soiled by excrements which bubbles with bacteria; the water which we never see in its iron pipe; the water in its stony cathedral of the Sion reservoir.

 

Fabrice Erba, worker in the Collombey refinery, who has been used rather to treat the crude oil, also discovered the invisible course of water. His pictures on the technical beauty of the pipes, the control rooms and the wastewater treatment plants reflect his interest for the transformation of the material. Voluntarily cold, clinical, his pictures show spaces without human being, whose functioning seems to be within the competence of an artificial intelligence.

La face cachée de l’eau

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

RWANDA
CYRIL NDEGEYA – CAREER

 

Born in Rwanda in 1981 – Lives and works in Kigali

 

As a photojournalist, Cyril Ndegeya approach consists in identifying the complexity of a matter and then deciding which angle is the most relevant to work on. For his personal projects, he is mainly concerned by road safety, urbanism, cultural activities and tourism questions. In order to illustrate these themes, he attends different activities organised around them and shoots his pictures focusing on a potential weakness that can appear on these questions. To him, this is one way to make the authorities concerned by a problem that can then lead to improvements on a political subject. “For me, Art represents a way of expressing, delivering, or exposing a certain matter for the good of the public.”

 

Although, Cyril Nedgeya is an autodidact photographer, he attended different festivals, workshops and trainings in multimedia from 2007 to 2013, including:

“Films on Youth by Youth Training Program”, organised by Rwanda Cinema Centre and the Goteborg Film Festival of Sweeden.
2008 – Media training workshop on the theme “Improving Journalism, One story at a Time” organised by Rwanda Initiative, a partnership between the School of Journalism at The University of Rwanda and Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.
2013 – Workshop hosted by the King’s College, University of London, which develop technical and storytelling skills essential for professional photography practices.

 

From 2013, he is part of the Africa Digital Media Academy, first school in Africa to provide students with skills necessary to work in all areas of digital media industry.

SWITZERLAND

 FABRICE ERBA & SMArt

 

In SMArt programme, Fabrice Erba was the partner of Cyril Ndegeya for the time of the exhibition « The hidden side of water » which took place in April 2015 in Monthey. They worked together on the theme of water with these questions in perspective, which are applicable as well in Rwanda as in Switzerland: How do we manage water issues? What are the approaches for the future environmental challenges? How is it possible to bring simple solutions? This team work was a rich human and artistic experience, which comforts Fabrice Erba with his means of expression and opens him to new perspectives.

La face cachée de l’eau

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

SWITZERLAND
FABRICE ERBA – CAREER

 

Born in Monthey in 1980 – Lives in Monthey

 

In his photographic artwork, Fabrice Erba wants to favour a simple approach that permits him to « hold the moment ». His intention is to find the exact timing and ensure to bring together the elements that will make a strong picture. His main themes of interest are urban planning, corporate image, fashion, portraits and music. He uses digital and film photography with editing as working methods for his photos.

 

Fabrice Erba chose to express himself through drawing during his early years. He spent his childhood immersed in comics, then tried to reproduce his favorite heroes. Growing up, he developed a taste for music with his band mates, especially for the electro. With this music, he married his artistic bent and his core business in electricity. Then, in 2007, he exchanged his musical material against semi-pro cameras. He then devoted himself to his new passion independently.

 

2011 – « Tanz mit dem Huhn » (Printemps Digital). Development of the visual for a mini-festival with Cédric Raccio, photography, poster and flyers.
2011 – « Herz Aus Glass ». Show of Yannick Barman. Visual design, photography of the poster and real-time processing of images.
2013 – « Surface ». Show of Franco Mento and Printemps Digital. Trails, photographs, video and real-time processing of images.
2014 -Tribute to Alain Morisod (Sandrine Viglino and Franco Mento). Press Photography.

SWITZERLAND

NIELS ACKERMANN & SMArt

 

“Allo Huaraz, do you hear me? Is someone there?” No! Nobody was there to answer the local governor when he tried to demonstrate to the journalists how a satellite phone may save Huaraz from a deadly mudslide.

 

During his trip in Peru (October-November 2014), Niels Ackermann focuses his work on Huaraz, a 150’000 inhabitants city located in the Andes, facing a dangerous situation : the melting of a neighbouring glacier.

 

The melting of this glacier has implied a huge growth of the volume of the Lake Palcacocha.
A large block of the glacier could fall into the lake, generating a huge wave that would destroy the very unstable moraine, and finally generate a devastating mudslide that would reach Huaraz in less than one and a half hour. The danger for the growing population is important but the authorities don’t answer properly this alarming situation and neither organise for the emergency situation.

 

Niels Ackermann’s work shows the very direct relationship between climate change and people daily life, as well as the difficulty in anticipating natural disasters and implementing concrete solutions to preserve lives.

SWITZERLAND
NIELS ACKERMANN – CAREER

 

Born in Geneva in 1987 – Lives between Geneva and Kiev

 

On his personal projects, Niels Ackermann likes to focus on small, delimited communities. He spends as long time as possible at the same location, developing an intimate connection with the people he photographs, learning their language, culture and experiencing their daily life. To do this, he likes to work without guide and interpreter as much as possible to get to a more spontaneous exchange.

 

His personal project «White Angel», started in 2012, documents the crucial transition from adolescence to adulthood in a small Ukrainian city close to Chernobyl. This ended up as a book to published in 2016.

 

With a background divided between photojournalism and political science studies at the University of Geneva, Niels Ackermann always liked mixing art and factual information. Photography allows him to do this. It also gives him a valid pretext to knock at whatever door his curiosity takes him to, meet plenty of different people and constantly learn about the world he’s living in.

 

If he’s naturally leaning toward politics and social photography, he also tends to do a lot of portraits and experiments in various visual fields, experimenting with different medias.

 

Prizes and achievements

Since 2007 – Member of the swiss photo agency Rezo.ch and works regularly for major Swiss and international medias.
2010 – Second prize for the Swiss Press Photo Award and
2014 – Globetrotter World Photo Award.
Two nominations for Joop Swart Worldpress Masterclass.

Luana Letts

PERU

SMART - Luana Letts

PERU

LUANA LETTS & SMArt

 

During her residency in Villa Ruffieux in Sierre (October-November 2014), Luana Letts chose to work on water, natural hazards and real estate speculation that has so profoundly changed Swiss alpine landscape.

 

Through her work, she wants to raise awareness of transformations affecting our landscape and the challenges we face today, between preservation and development.
A monumental work presents a mosaic of images conceived as an inventory of the architecture of type « chalet », mass-produced in Swiss touristic resorts.

 

On another series of pictures Luana Letts intervenes by practising cuttings which bring a critical view. The glacier of Moiry, confronted as the others with a worrisome phenomenon of melting, disappears from the photography. Avalanche barriers and dams take strange sculptural forms.

 

Other series finally, wonder about the links between nature and culture, as these rusty bolts hidden on a ground covered with dead leaves which we can discover as a surprise when looking closely at the picture.

Constant transformation

Exhibition catalogue (PDF)

PERU
LUANA LETTS – CAREER

 

Born in Lima in 1978 – Lives in Lima

 

For Luana Letts the techniques of expression work in favour of the concept. The ideas can be addressed through different kind of languages and each one of them has its own way to be expressed. She usually takes a lot of time to observe, think, measure and decide before executing anything. The process defines the final artwork. Peru confronts a severe environmental problematic linked to climate change, water distribution, waste management, mass migration. For the last seven years, Luana Letts has been developing her work around ideas related to the transformation of the landscape, as well as the different uses people give to the territory and their strategies of integration.

 

Luana Letts has a degree in visual arts by the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, with a major in painting. She later studied photography at Tenerife, Spain and complemented her studies at the International Workshop on Preventive Conservation of Artistic Heritage conducted by The Getty Foundation and Yachaywasi.

 

Prizes and achievements

2008 – First price in the national photo contest « Luis Felipe Cueto: The Body », Peru.
Since 2009 – Co-directs the Revela Peru project, dedicated to social inclusion through participatory photography, which participated in the 1st Photography Biennial of Lima, 2012.
2014 – Puntos de Fuga. Individual Exhibition, Galery Del Paseo, Uruguay.