Saatchi Gallery and HUAWEI present From Selfie to Self-Expression from 31st March – 30th May 2017

Clockwise from top left: Rembrandt van Rijn Self-Portrait with Two Circles, Juno Calypso The Honeymoon Suite, Actor Benedict Cumberbatch jumps behind U2 at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, Cindy Sherman Untitled Film Still #21.

Saatchi Gallery and HUAWEI, the world’s number three smartphone brand, announce they have teamed up to present From Selfie to Self-Expression. Opening at the Saatchi Gallery on 31st March 2017, the show will be the world’s first exhibition exploring the history of the selfie from the old masters to the present day, and will celebrate the truly creative potential of a form of expression often derided for its inanity.

From Selfie to Self-Expression will showcase key artworks, many of which feature interactive, digital and user-generated content, by artists as diverse as Christopher Baker, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Juno Calypso, Tracey Emin, Van Gogh, Mohau Modisakeng, Rembrandt, Cindy Sherman, Gavin Turk and Velazquez.

Showing alongside examples of many influential artists’ work will be selfies that have quickly become icons of the digital era – from the beautiful and sublime to the mad, bad and downright dangerous.

The show will also highlight the emerging role of the smartphone as an artistic medium for self-expression through the commissioning ten exciting young British photographers to create new works using HUAWEI’s new HUAWEI P10 dual lens smartphone co-engineered with Leica, as part of their artistic practice. Reprising the spirit and energy of the Young British Artist movement first launched 25 years ago; the works of these young British photographers will go on display in a gallery dedicated to world-class smartphone photography. In this gallery the focus will shift from Selfie to documenting the world around us as a contrasting form of Self-Expression.

The ten commissioned photographers are: Alma Haser, who merges collage and inventive paper-folding techniques with portraiture in her practice; Tom Hunter, who explores his local community in East London producing images that merge landscape, social commentary and art history.

Chris Levine, a pioneer of light photography, whose portrait of Queen Elizabeth II Lightness of Being has become a contemporary icon; Christopher Nunn, a Yorkshire-based photographer who documents life in in Ukraine; Laura Pannack, a London-based photographer renowned for her portraiture and social documentary artwork; Simon Roberts, whose work deals with our relationship to landscape and notions of identity and belonging.

Jonny Briggs, whose work explores his relationship with the constructed reality of the family; Emma Critchley, an artist who works underwater using photography, film, sound and installation to explore the human relationship with this psychological and environmental space; Hannah Starkey, who reconstructs scenes from everyday life using actors and carefully considered settings to produce images that have the concentrated stylisation of film and Matt Stuart, whose street photography shows an empathetic fascination with people and the way live their lives.

HUAWEI’s partnership with the Saatchi Gallery is a demonstration of its commitment to growing its brand presence in the UK and support of creative expression through photography everywhere. It follows the launch last year of the game-changing HUAWEI P Series smartphones which reinvented smartphone photography with the world’s first dual-lens camera co-engineered with iconic camera brand Leica.

The exhibition will open from 31st March – 30th May 2017 and take over one entire floor of the Saatchi Gallery.

The #SaatchiSelfie Competition

As part of the forthcoming From Selfie to Self-Expression exhibition Saatchi Gallery and HUAWEI have joined forces to offer artists, photographers and enthusiasts around the globe a chance to show their most creative selfies internationally, and have their work exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery, as part of the competition #SaatchiSelfie.

The judging panel, Tracey Emin, Idris Khan, Juergen Teller, Juno Calypso and Saatchi Gallery CEO Nigel Hurst, will select a shortlist of ten from the 14000 selfies entered by the public. In addition to having their selfie showcased at the Saatchi Gallery the ten shortlisted winners will also receive HUAWEI’s new HUAWEI P10 smartphone, and the overall winner will have an all expenses trip to join a Leica Photography Ambassador on an international photo shoot assignment. The overall winner of the #SaatchiSelfie Competition will be announced at the show’s launch in London on 30th March 2017.

“We’ve received more than 14000 submissions from over 113 countries,” said Nigel Hurst, CEO, Saatchi Gallery “We have been enormously impressed with the way many of the entries have approached the creative challenge we set, and lived up to the spirit of the exhibition that their work will be part of.”

Nigel Hurst, CEO Saatchi Gallery

“In many ways, the selfie represents the epitome of contemporary culture’s transition into a highly digitalised and technologically advanced age as mobile phone technology has caught up with the camera. We are thrilled to be collabourating with HUAWEI on From Selfie to Self-Expression. The exhibition will present a compelling insight into the history and creative potential of the selfie, while the #SaatchiSelfie competition provides a global platform for Self-Expression. Our commissioning of work by ten young British photographers completes the narrative and highlights the exciting potential of the very latest technology to encourage creativity.”

Glory Zhang, CMO HUAWEI Consumer Business Group

“After a decade of smartphone photography, we have reached a tipping point. We are moving from documenting our engagement with the world through selfies to projecting our personalities on to the world through our creativity. The smartphone has become a tool of artistic expression. The Selfie Generation is becoming the Self Expression Generation as each of us seeks to explore and share our inner creativity through the one artistic tool to which we all have access; the Smartphone.”

For any press-related enquiries please contact

Tory Lyne-Pirkis, Midas Public Relations


+44 (0) 207 361 7879

Prachi Gothi, Saatchi Gallery


+44 (0) 207 811 3076

PRESS DAY: Thursday 30th March 2017,10am- 2pm rsvp: press@saatchigallery.com


From Selfie to Self-Expression exhibition layout

Gallery 1: The self-portrait through art history - the Old Masters

Gallery 2: The self-portrait and selfie in modern art

Gallery 3: Hello world - a digital installation

Gallery 4: Iconic celebrity selfies of our time

Gallery 5: Selfies from beautiful and sublime to the mad bad and dangerous

Gallery 6: The selfie through the gaze of contemporary artists

Gallery 7: UGC and interactive artworks and #SaatchiSelfie competition

Gallery 8: Self-Expression – young British photographers create works using HUAWEI’s new dual lens smartphone

Gallery 9: UGC “surveillance” gallery


HUAWEI is a global technology brand and the world’s third largest manufacturer of smartphones. In April 2016, HUAWEI reinvented smartphone photography with the launch of the P9 smartphone featuring a unique dual-lens camera co-engineered with the iconic brand, Leica Camera AG. Setting a new benchmark smartphone camera technology, the device enables more light and better clarity, to capture brilliant colour and striking black and white images in true Leica style.

HUAWEI believes in cultural technology: the fusing of technology and culture to deliver solutions to help people express themselves in a new way. Its brand motto is ‘Make It Possible’ and it shares values with people who pursue their dreams, who are visionary challengers, and who are proactive with a strong belief in striving to achieve their goals. HUAWEI is dedicated to bringing the latest technology to consumers and creating extraordinary experiences for people everywhere and will continue to do so through partnerships with likeminded innovative and creative brands such as Leica and Saatchi Gallery.

For more information please visit: http://consumer.huawei.com

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About Saatchi Gallery:

The Saatchi Gallery was founded in 1985 with the aim of bringing contemporary art to as wide an audience as possible and make it accessible by providing an innovative platform for emerging artists to show their work. Over the last five years the Saatchi Gallery has hosted ten out of the top 15 most visited exhibitions in London, according to The Art Newspaper’s survey of international museum attendance, and is also ranked amongst the world’s top five most liked museums on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+. Entry to all exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery is free. www.saatchigallery.com.