Vantage Point Sharjah: a showcase of 30 photographers from around the world

The eighth instalment of Sharjah Art Foundation's annual photography show opens on Saturday, August 29

Sundos Alsheebani, 'Absurdism II' (2018). Courtesy the artist and Sharjah Art Foundation

Vantage Point Sharjah, an annual photography exhibition at the Sharjah Art Foundation, has returned for its eighth instalment, with more than 30 photographers from 20 countries taking part.

The photographers were selected through an international open call, a recent development in the Vantage Point Sharjah initiative, which only accepted GCC applicants until last year. The foundation has not only extended Vantage Point's geographical reach, it has also broadened its thematic criteria, allowing applicants to submit their own styles.

Gianluigi Guercia, 'Meat Market' (2018). Courtesy the artist and Sharjah Art Foundation

VPS8 marks the second time the exhibition has opened up to photographers from around the world, attracting 290 applicants. Last year, 36 photographers were featured in the show, including participants from the Republic of the Congo, France, Sudan, Nigeria, Russia and the US, as well as GCC states.

This year, the exhibition brings the work of 39 photographers together. The images include collage, analogue photography and digital manipulation. Tied by no specific theme, the subjects of the works vary, too, from photographs capturing communities and personal experiences to landscapes and portraits.

Among those selected is Armin Amirian, an artist in Tehran who captures Iran's architectural structures and reinterprets them digitally, adding elements to build a more fantastical narrative. By contrast, the work of South Africa-based Gianluigi Guercia is more documentarian in approach. His images of objects and public spaces look more like personal, cinematic vignettes rather than landscape or street photography.

Armin Amirian, 'Alest' (2017). Courtesy the artist and Sharjah Art Foundation

Other photographers in the show include Abdo Shanan, a former intern at Magnum Photos Paris who was born in Oran to Sudanese and Algerian parents. Often working with portraiture, Shanan's images investigate identity and everyday life. There is also visual artist Amina Kadous from Cairo, whose experience as an Egyptian woman heavily influences her work.

Jack Yong, who lives and works in Malaysia, explores the balance of urban and natural elements in his environment through abstract images. Other participants include Elaheh Abdolahabadi, Katya Akuma, Raheed Allaf, Sundos Alsheebani, Gheed Ashoor and Abdelhamid Belahmidi.

The show opened last Saturday at Sharjah Art Foundation’s Al Hamriyah Studios, a former souq that was converted into a contemporary art space in 2017. It will be on view until Saturday, November 28.

The foundation reopened its Al Mureijah Art Spaces and Rain Room Sharjah in June, creating an online booking system that enables visitors to schedule a time slot ahead of their arrival. Bookings will be checked before entry.

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