The finalists and shortlisted candidates have been announced with Italy leading the pack with most entries followed by UK and Germany in this year’s Sony World Photography Awards 2020 (SWPA).
This year marks SWPA in its 13th year running, the Awards’ Professional competition rewards a remarkable body of work for technical excellence and a fresh perspective on contemporary subjects. The winner of Photographer of the Year 2020 will be selected from the group of Professional finalists and announced during the Sony World Photography Awards 2020 ceremony in London on 16 April 2020.
Based on the news releases, Over 345,000 images from 203 territories were submitted across the 2020 Awards’ four competitions and over 135,000 were entered across the Professional competition’s 10 categories – the highest number of entries to date. A new Environment category has been introduced this year in recognition of the growing importance of this topic in both fine art photography and photojournalism.
SWPA 2020 finalist photographers and projects are showcased below in slideshow, a good reference for your submission in 2021, maybe:
ARCHITECTURE Forms and textures are the focus of abstract photographs by José De Rocco (Argentina), featuring vibrant building exteriors in Formalism, as well as Jonathan Walland’s (UK) Structures; a minimalist black & white series depicting modern constructions. Sandra Herber’s (Canada) Ice Fishing, Lake Winnipeg presents whimsical images of the colourful ice fishing huts that dot the frozen surface of the lake in winter.
CREATIVE In Seeds of Resistance, Pablo Albarenga (Uruguay) pairs pictures of landscapes and territories in danger from mining and agribusinesses with portraits of the activists fighting to conserve them. Using shots of social media posts, chats and Skype or WhatsApp calls, Kill Me With an Overdose of Kindness by Dione Roche (Italy) examines the way in which relationships and intimacy are lived and expressed online. Witness Objects by Luke Watson (UK) comprises images of pinhole cameras made using historical objects from the Bosnian War alongside photographs taken with these makeshift cameras of meaningful locations around Sarajevo.
DISCOVERY In Invisible Wounds, Hugh Kinsella Cunningham (UK) stains his images in red to communicate the suffering and distress caused by a viral Ebola outbreak in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo while in The Cave, Maria Kokunova (Russia) uses symbolism and allegory to examine personal trauma. Cast Out of Heaven by Hashem Shakeri (Iran) looks at the lives of those forced to leave Tehran due to the economic downturn and move into inadequate state-funded housing projects.
DOCUMENTARY Didier Bizet’s (France) series Baby Boom examines the reborn phenomena, a lifelike baby doll collected by enthusiasts and used by adoptive parents in preparation and by elderly patients in need of companionship. Poignant portraits of Hongkongers injured during the protests are the focus of Chung Ming Ko’s (Hong Kong) project Wounds of Hong Kong, whereas Zhang Youqiong’s (China) From ‘Made in China’ to ‘Made in Africa’ documents workers in the Chinese funded venture, the Ethiopian Oriental Industrial Park, a key enterprise in China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ in Africa.
ENVIRONMENT Wahala by Robin Hinsch (Germany) documents the devastating effects of continued oil spillage and natural gas flaring along the Niger delta river. In Atlas from the Edge, Álvaro Laiz (Spain) explores the concept of ‘natural symmetry’ as practised by the indigenous group, the Chukchi, whose traditional lifestyle evolved according to their mode of subsistence. In The Future of Farming, Luca Locatelli (Italy), portrays high tech agro farming systems from around the world, a possible solution to future food shortages.
LANDSCAPE Torii by Ronny Behnert (Germany) features photographs of Buddhist and Shinto temples across Japan, while New Home by Chang Kyun Kim (Korea), comprises photographs of Japanese Internment Camps in which thousands of US citizens and residents of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned during the Second World War. Project 596 by Florian Ruiz (France) depicts the barren landscape of Lop Nor, a former salt lake in China previously used as a nuclear weapons test site.
NATURAL WORLD & WILDLIFE Masahiro Hiroike (Japan) captures the enchanting lights emitted by fireflies in the forests of Tottori, Japan in Himebotaru and in Macro, Adalbert Mojrzisch (Germany) uses macro lens technique to provide a closeup view of the intricate colours and patterns of insect and amphibian eyes. Pangolins in Crisis by Brent Striton (South Africa) looks at the illegal trade and rescue efforts of pangolins, the world’s most illegally trafficked mammals.
PORTRAITURE In Passengers, Cesar Dezfuli (Spain) juxtaposes striking portraits of migrants taken in 2016 as they first arrived on European shores with more recent images that better convey their personalities and the transformation they’ve experienced. Unsung Heroes by Denis Rouvre (France) presents the portraits and harrowing tales of women who have been victims of violence and in Ukrainian Railroad Ladies, Sasha Maslov (Ukraine) portrays the women who work as train station guards and explores their social role as a symbol of continuity in a country torn by war and political upheavals.
SPORT Wrestling has become the number one sport in Senegal and is also a means of social ascendance steeped in tradition and ritual, in Senegalese Wrestlers, Angel Lopez Soto (Spain) explores these practices through images of young wrestles in training, whereas Dives by Andrea Staccioli (Italy) presents poetic portraits of athletes in mid-dive at the Gwangju Diving World Championships. Lucas Barioulet’s (France), The Long and Difficult Path of the Mauritanian National Women’s Football Team looks at the challenges and cultural tensions faced by the female players in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
STILL LIFE Disassembled Memory is a catalogue of photographs depicting the disassembled parts of Fangbin Chen’s (China) childhood bicycle in an attempt to recall and preserve his memories from that time, while in Plexus, Elena Helfrecht (Germany) delves into her family’s archive to examine the effects of inherited trauma and collective memory. In IMMORTALITY, INC. Alessandro Gandolfi (Italy) goes into research labs and institutions to document the processes and objects which represent modern science’s advancements in its pursuit to overcome death.
Sadly, there is no Malaysian finalist. Well, there’s always next year and we hope to see more outstanding works from fellow Malaysian.
The Judges The work of finalist and shortlisted photographers in the Professional competition was judged by: Claudi Carreras Guillén, Independent curator, editor, and cultural manager; Touria El Glaoui, Founding Director of 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair; Katie Hollander, Director, Annenberg Space for Photography; Gwen Lee, Director, Singapore International Photography Festival; Brent Lewis, Photo Editor, The New York Times / Co-Founder, Diversify Photo; and Chair and exhibition curator Mike Trow, picture editor and consultant.
More details on Sony Malaysia’s website and the SWPA sites. We will bring you the winner’s list once it’s announced. Stay tuned.
Would you like to receive daily photography news and updates from us? Subscribe to our newsletter:-