5 to See:
Photo London 2023

5 to See: <br> Photo London 2023

Photo London is one of the most important art fairs in the world. It is eagerly anticipated by artists, collectors and enthusiasts alike. The fair takes place in Somerset House and showcases a diverse range of practitioners featuring contemporary artists such as Shirley Baker and Eliza Hatch, as well as 2023 Master of Photography Martin Parr. Highlights include a special exhibition focusing on women, titled Writing Her Own Script, which is curated by the Centre for British Photography and Fotografía Maroma, an exhibition celebrating Mexican image-making. Here, we outline five artists to look out for, whose work brings together the best in the industry, spanning topics of gender, ecology, intimacy and belonging.

Gaotai Gallery

Hailun Ma (b. 1992) draws inspiration from her upbringing in China’s Anhui province. Her images are poetic and dreamlike, fixated on detail. Ma’s work has been exhibited in galleries and festivals throughout China, such as PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai. “What I shoot is always about home — it’s very instinctive and emotive,” she explains. Contemporary cowboys slump over horses, Uygur women peer over sparkling headdresses, whilst Kazakh brides pose in plaid jackets. Past and present generations collide in a photographs that meditate on cross-cultural details, memory and modernity. gaotaigallery.com

Galerie Olivier Waltman

Norway-based artist Rune Guneriussen (b. 1977) combines photography and sculpture to create immersive worlds. The artist stages surreal tableaux, placing objects such as lights, books and chairs in natural settings. Works are meticulously crafted, such as in the case of Lights Go Out (2022), an installation at Museum Kunst der Westküste. Desk lamps hang from forest glades, whilst glowsticks protrude from mossy banks. Viewers are invited to reimagine their relationship with the environment and are encouraged to see the beauty and magic in the everyday.  galeriewaltman.com

Centre for British Photography

Heather Agyepong’s (b. 1990) work spans photography and performance. Wish You Were Here (2023), originally exhibited at CBP, focuses on the work of Aida Overton Walker, a celebrated African American performer who pushed against racial inequalities. In sepia-toned postcards, Agyepong dresses in a crown and robe, gesturing a royal wave, as she reinvents 20th century portraits. This year, the artist will also be in conversation with Helene Love-Allotey (Head of Sales for Bonhams) on 14 May in the Screening Room, as she discusses reimagination in commercial art settings. britishphotography.org

Crane Kalman Brighton Gallery

Ellie Davies (b. 1976) was shortlisted for the 2016 Aesthetica Art Prize with her work Stars (2016) and has since won multiple awards including the 2017 Magnum Photography Awards. Further pieces such as Seascapes (2020) explore the relationship with forest landscapes and world-wide serial flooding. Her most recent series Chalk Streams (2023) charts the waters that intertwine and weave throughout the county of Dorset. Unmanaged riverbanks that bear plants, rushes and reeds form an underwater forest where young fish can shelter. Davies’ images highlight rising sea levels and the “grave perils facing important ecosystems” along with our “critical need to protect them.” cranekalmanbrighton.com

Galerie Sophie Scheidecker

American photographer and activist Nan Goldin (b. 1953) rose to fame in the 1980s and 1990s for her deeply personal and unflinching images. Her work focuses on themes of sexuality and identity, such as in The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (La Triennale di Milano, 2017), previously covered by Aesthetica. Figures curl up against wire bed frames, women stare blankly into empty bowls, lovers in dressing gowns look away from each other. The artist’s photographs are characterised by their rawness and emotional intensity, in a quest for love and passion. galerie-sophiescheidecker.com

Photo London runs from 11 – 14 May at Somerset House, London


1. Hailun Ma, Xinjiang Fashion Guide (2020) Courtesy of Gaotai Gallery
2. Hailun Ma, Ili Kazakh Bride (2019) Courtesy of the artist and Gaotai Gallery

Rune Guneriussen, Detached Protector of Anti-Growth (2019) © Courtesy of the artist
3. Heather Agyepong, Rob This England. From Wish You Were Here, (2020). © Heather Agyepong
4. Ellie Davies, Chalk Streams 2 (2023)
5. Nan Goldin, Gina at Bruce dinner party (1991) 76,2 x 100,7 cm. Cibachrome. Courtesy of Galerie Sophie Scheidecker