Jury Encouragement Award from Japan Book Design Awards 2023

“The danger of exposure led to the power of mysterious attraction. In front of the mirror we cried, we laughed, we roared, we meditated; unleashing all our enthusiasm and turning it into ashes. We grew as much as we could and lived each and every day fully and brilliantly, as if it was the last day we had. We were still pure, simple, and dangerous.”
― from the artists’ statement

When the artist duo Liu Ke and Huang Huang met for the first time 15 years ago, they felt like they were each other’s mirror. In 2017, having lived and worked together for many years, they began a collaborative series to reflect this mutual, mirror-like relationship in photographs. Each day for two years, they took one picture of each other, in everyday situations, playful poses, naked and real or dressed up and staged, mixing self-representation and portraiture. This photographic ritual became a way for them to observe and interact with each other, formed a new way to see and understand the person who is closest to each of them.

“As time goes by, [the mirror] might develop a few imperfections, and shine less brightly than before. But when we get close again, the glimmer remains eternal…”
― from the artists’ statement

The series won the “Three Shadows Photography Award” in 2019. Paired together and signed with the respective date, the duo created 730 photographic mirror-pairs between 2017 and 2019. The photobook “Mirror” features 164 of these image pairs and includes a poster of all 730 images. A short essay by publisher and gallery owner Mark Pearson as well as commentary by the Three Shadows jurors Peter Pfrunder, Marcel Feil and Hai Jie offer further context for Liu Ke & Huang Huang’s work (all texts included in Chinese, English and Japanese).

-Book Size
182 × 182 mm
224 pages, 164 images
Softcover, includes a poster
-Publication Year
English, Japanese, Chinese
-Limited Edition

Artist Profile

Liu Ke&Huang Huang

Liu Ke and Huang Huang is an artist duo who lives and works in Chengdu, China. Through the observation and experience of their daily life, their works are mainly presented in images, installations, performances and other media. Their purpose is to explore more possibilities in relationships and to create more open interactions by breaking personal boundaries. They wish to lead the audience to a dramatic and dreamlike journey by the energy they create in the exhibition spaces. Liu Ke and Huang Huang have exhibited extensively in China and overseas, including Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Chengdu Contemporary Image Museum, Normandie Impressionist Festival, France, Echigo-Tsumari Triennial, Japan, Zen Foto Gallery, Tokyo, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, Lianzhou Foto Festival, etc. Their publications include “Still Lake” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2010; Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, 2019) and “To Nietzsche” (Zen Foto Gallery, 2020). Liu Ke was nominated for the Foam Paul Huf Award with his work “Still Lake” in 2010 and the duo received the Three Shadows Photography Award with their work “Mirror” in 2019. Their solo exhibition “The Other Side of Time” at Three Shadows Photography Art Center was held in 2022.

Gallery Exhibitions