Huawei opens exhibition showcasing Belgian Instagram talent at WIELS

Huawei opens exhibition showcasing Belgian Instagram talent at WIELS

The exhibition kicks-off online contest showcasing smartphone photography

Friday, May 25, 2018 — Today sees the opening of a new exhibition at contemporary art centre WIELS which focuses entirely on smartphone photography. The #CityRenaissance project aims to translate the best Belgian photography found on photo-sharing platforms such as Instagram into immersive offline experiences, recognizing up-and-coming Belgian artistic talent in the process. This first exhibition is free to visit from 25 May until 17 june and showcases the work of amateur Belgian photographers who have partnered with Huawei. The second exhibition planned for summer 2018 will focus on images submitted by the public as part of Huawei’s #CityRenaissance campaign.

Democratizing photography

For talented photographers, simply wandering the streets of their favourite places can prove a source of creative inspiration and result in intriguing images. But if those images are taken on a smartphone, their distribution often remains limited to photo-sharing platforms such as Instagram, instead of garnering wider recognition. That is what Huawei is aiming to change via its #CityRenaissance project hosted at WIELS.

Speaking about the partnership, Martine de Limburg Stirum, Head of Public Relations and Development at WIELS, said

We are happy to welcome Huawei as a new partner that will further our education and mediation mission.

The exhibition reflects a wider democratization of photography as an art form, notes Jurgen Thysmans, spokesperson for Huawei Belgium.

Once you needed an expensive reflex camera and several lenses to take a good photo. Today the average smartphone has a camera with good enough image quality to do the same thing, enhanced by the power of AI and machine learning. Thanks to smartphones putting cameras into everyone’s hands, more pictures are being taken than ever before. This is transforming visual culture on a daily basis. The result? A creative renaissance we’re seeking to showcase through these three WIELS exhibitions.

Showcasing spontaneity

The first exhibition of this series features images which tell the story of life in and around the city. With four themes spread across different rooms within WIELS, the photos are varied, capturing unexpected moments, featuring minimal compositions or simply using black-and-white. The only  constant is that all the photos have been taken with a Huawei smartphone.

One of the photographers whose work is on display is Bouchta El Dib, a teacher from Brussels, whose images encapsulate his love for our capital.

I love photos that show life as it is. Spontaneous and un-posed. My smartphone is an ideal companion. Nobody gives you funny looks when you take out your smartphone on the street to take a few photos. This means you can move more freely than with a traditional camera. It also means you can capture unexpected moments where you might not have your camera to hand. It’s great to be able to count on your smartphone camera without having to compromise.

Everyone can be a photographer

This exhibition takes a fresh look at some of Belgian’s best known cities. But it also shows the potential of smartphones when it comes to photography. It’s in that spirit that Huawei is encouraging everyone inspired by the work on show to roll up their sleeves and snap the best images of their own cities.

The competition is open to anyone: just take a picture of your city with any smartphone, then post it publicly on your favourite photo-sharing platform using the #CityRenaissance hashtag. A jury of expert judges will review all entries and the best images will exhibited in WIELS during the next exhibition, from 26 July to 9 August. More information about the current exhibition and the public competition can be found on www.cityrenaissance.be

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About WIELS

WIELS is the leading institution for contemporary art in Brussels, without a permanent collection. It presents sharp and innovative exhibitions by national and international artists. The goal is to stimulate exchange reflection about art and the society. WIELS is housed in the iconic Blomme building – a restored former brewery from the 1930s – and works around three core activities: exhibitions of national and international artists, both emerging and established; an international residency program with a focus on innovation, research, creation and development; and socio-educational social activities for public expansion, sensitization, education and animation, including educational projects and training seminars for young people, student, senior citizens, local communities, and disadvantaged individuals. For more information visit www.wiels.org

Jurgen Thysmans PR & Digital Marketing Manager at Huawei Belgium
Steven Van de Broek PR Consultant at Weber Shandwick