Anthony Reed is an English born artist and photographer who now works and lives in Shanghai. He works mainly in medium format film and digital photography. Reed graduated from Norwich University of the Arts in 2007 with a degree in Fine Art. After that Reed moved to China to study Chinese at Qingdao Ocean University and then went on to work as a photographer.
His work broadly explores the built environment and the processes of transformation in the past 12 years in China, mostly in his new home in Shanghai but also in many other parts of the country. First as an outsider and observer, then as a habitant, he has witnessed the drastic transitions of this land, documented them with his own visual language and depicted the interactions between these diverse locations and their inhabitants.
In his artworks, we can see Iconic skyscrapers, overlooked corners, crowded pedestrian streets, unused office buildings, broken malls, shiny financial districts, tourists ‘must-go’ attractions, abandoned interiors, isolated individuals, etc. all combine to reveal the cities’ multifaceted nature. People are transforming the world but also simultaneously being transformed by it. Reed enjoys to present the transformation of ‘the physical matter’ through time, and also the never-changing intangible loneliness and solitude that is attached to the people in the great metropolises. For him, cities are where lonely people stay crowded together. Reed captured this contrast in his film, and explores abstract emotions with figurative images.
Walking like the ‘Long March’ is his usual methodology, as it takes him to the clearest state of mind. Searching without a destination with a camera is his own therapeutic way of photographic practice. The world is a thriving, promising, and sometimes depressing place. Photography is his optical meditation and reaction mechanism to deal with the world in the vortex of turbulence. With millions of people living in one place, the extensive walking, exploration and documenting is a way of recording these multiple facades of the world in drastic transition, no matter if it is progressing or regressing, as they carve marks in history, the imagery represents slices of moments of the collective memories.
2015 - Solo Show, Concrete Reflections, Ooh La Art Gallery, Shanghai, China
2015 - Group Show, Moving Studios, How Art Museum, Wenzhou, China
2014 - Solo Show, Les Villes Invisibles, Fes, Morroco
2014 - Group Show, The Temporary, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester, UK
2014 - Group Show, The Temporary, Article Gallery, Birmingham, UK
2013 - Solo Show, In Between, ONE Gallery, Shanghai, China
2005 - Group Show, Unicorn Vision Gallery, Area 798, Beijing, China