Instant Memories and Weibo

Thursday June 21st, 2012 by 2 Comments

Yesterday I met with Chenghao to show him the photographs I took at his birthday party recently. We chatted about the exhibition and I was really pleased he agreed we could take this display of photographs from his bedroom wall and re-install them in the show, in exactly the same layout. I love these Fuji instant photos, Chenghao told me he takes the camera with him most days; these are his personal photos from his time in Sheffield, travels in Europe, and back home in China. I’m very interested in the way people photograph, display and share their everyday lives across different platforms and so am really excited to be sharing these photos.

Chenghao also had the great idea of somehow incorporating participants’ weibo posts into the exhibition, suggesting that this is the platform that most students use to share their lives with friends both here and back home. Weibo is like a Chinese version of twitter, but more like a microblog in that it allows users to insert images directly into a post. We talked about how this shows the ways people choose to project themselves; a very important consideration when dealing with representation.

I have recently started using weibo myself to connect with the participants of the project, share the work produced, and on a personal level to begin to form connections with photographers based in China. For weibo users I am registered as @英国摄影师. I’m very grateful to @Mr罗斌 who posted a link to the blog which was subsequently retweeted a number of times and brought more attention to our work from weibo users. Weibo is now the biggest source of referrals to our blog and has helped to develop an audience for the work in China; we have had a number of visitors not only from Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong but also from smaller cities such as Xining in Qinghai Province (an ethnically diverse region in North West China). We have also had visitors from across Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Vietnam, and South Korea.

2 Comments on “Instant Memories and Weibo”

  1. 1 Peter Ainsworth said at 5:20 pm on July 13th, 2012:

    This is such an exciting and important initiative. Great to learn more about our Chinese guests here in Sheffield and their experiences. They are enriching our city, universities and culture, and it’s marvellous to have them here.

  2. 2 Gemma Thorpe said at 9:24 am on July 14th, 2012:

    Thankyou for your comment Peter. Hope you can join us at the exhibition!