Saatchi Gallery Duke of York's HQ, King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY

An expert panel spanning the worlds of cultural criticism, social media, neuroscience and photography discussed the impact of selfie culture at #Me My_Selfie and I: Self-Expression in the Digital Age, a symposium presented by Huawei that took place in front of a packed-out crowd at London’s Saatchi Gallery last week.

Chaired by broadcaster Clemency Burton-Hill, the discussion delved into the pros and cons of selfie culture from a multitude of perspectives. It included journalist Pandora Sykes, novelist Will Storr, market and consumer psychology professor Dr. Sarah Diefenbach and acclaimed fashion photographer Alex Lambrechts who claimed:

“The selfie bubble in its current state will burst. Helped by the advances in technology, selfies of low quality that don’t represent more than their face value will become a thing of the past.”

Duo by Finnian Croy

It is part of the current exhibition held at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, London, titled From Selfie to Self-Expression. By far one of the most comprehensive shows that explores the selfie culture and, ultimately, the most desired human need: immortality. Spanning across 500 years of artmaking, it starts with Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez which is arguably one of the first selfies in Western culture. The artist positioned himself in a prime location and rejects the expected anonymity of the court painter. At the same time, Rembrant began his series of self-portraits. The exhibition, extended until the 6th of September, continues with modern and contemporary intake of self-documenting and the explosion of this practice due to social media and the proliferation of good quality cameras in smartphones. An exhibition, I highly recommend.

Following the enormous success of the #SaatchiSelfie Competition which received over 14,000 entries from 113 different countries, and the commissioning of ten exciting young British photographers to create new works using Huawei smartphones, co-engineered with Leica, Saatchi Gallery and Huawei are joining forces again with an exciting new opportunity. The #SelfExpression Competition invites artists, photographers, creative individuals and anyone with a smartphone to turn their gaze away from the self to document the world and those around them, with the chance to win a solo exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery.

The #SelfExpression competition marks Huawei’s and the Saatchi Gallery’s ongoing commitment to provide a platform for the most creative smartphone imagery to be discovered and enjoyed. The open- entry competition gives everyone over 16 the opportunity to share their most expressive images, and what they find beautiful, interesting or noteworthy, with an international audience, as well as the chance to have their work displayed at the Saatchi Gallery in London. As Andrew Garrihy, Huawei’s chief marketing officer, says:

“this type of competition, open to everybody, unleashes the human potential and unites people”.

The #SelfExpression Competition opens for submissions on Monday 12th June and deadline for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 23rd July 2017.

Now, get out and about with your smartphone camera and submit your best shot. You may end up with a solo show at the Saatchi gallery. For more information, please visit the website on