Huawei is partnering with London's Saatchi Gallery for an exhibition examining selfies and self-expression in art history—part of a push by the Chinese electronics firm to increase its presence in the UK.
From Selfie to Self-Expression, which runs from March until May, will show works from artists old and new including Emin, Van Gogh and Rembrant.
According to a news release from the firm, 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."
The tie-up is being promoted by H+K Strategies, which is Huawei's UK PR agency. Huawei, which has 170,000 staff globally, also uses fellow WPP firm Ogilvy PR, as well as Racepoint Global. The APPC and PRCA public affairs registers also list the firm as a UK client of MHP.
The exhibition will highlight what the release calls "the emerging role of the smartphone as an artistic medium for self-expression," by commissioning 10 young British photographers to create works using Huawei’s newest dual lens smartphones, which are co-engineered with Leica.
There will also be a #SaatchiSelfie competition in which the most creative selfies sent from anyone across the globe can have their work exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery—the 10 shortlisted entrants will receive the firm's newest phone. The competition opens today and closes on March 30.
Glory Zhang, CMO of Huawei's consumer business group, said: "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."
Free to visit, the Saatchi Gallery was founded by Charles Saatchi, one half of the pair of brothers who created ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi.
—This story first appeared in PR Week.