Since most of us are currently plowing through days of downtime, we might as well take the extra time to get our fill of photography inspiration. The World Photography Organisation recently announced the winner and the nine shortlisted entries of this year’s ZEISS Photography Award. For its latest run, the competition featured the brief Seeing Beyond: Discoveries, which called photographers to submit a series of works that represent the “discoveries that transform our everyday lives.”
Cover photo: Julie shows one of her worst memories in middle school. “I used to hate my mono lids. They defined me before I could define myself in this foreign country. I didn’t want to stay as a foreigner.”
KyeongJun Yang of South Korea emerged as the winner of the fifth annual ZEISS Photography Award for his response to this run’s theme. His winning series, Metamorphosis, explores the immigrant experience through black and white portraits and still life images depicting or representing Julie Chen. Each photograph comes with Chen’s writings and recorded dialogue on her experiences as an immigrant who emigrated to the USA from Mainland China at twelve years old following the separation of her parents.
For his win, Yang bagged €12,000 worth of ZEISS lenses of his choice, and €3,000 as funding for a photography project.
The other shortlisted projects are:
- The Flying Cholitas by Luisa Dörr (Brazil), which feature the Fighting Cholitas, a group of performing wrestling indigenous women dressed in traditional Bolivian attire.
- Wahala by Robin Hinsch (Germany), which brings to light the crisis and devastating effects caused by continued oil spillage and natural gas flaring on the Niger delta river.
- Parallel Universe by Jorritt T. Hoen (Netherlands), which was inspired by the great explorers and expeditions in history.
- Between Two Shores by Tadas Kazakevicius (Lithuania), which features landscapes and portraits of Curonian Spit, a sand dune between the Curonian Lagoon and Baltic Sea.
- Tajo by Stefano Sbrulli (Italy), which looks into the tainted environment and disenfranchised communities residing near Peru’s El Tojo crater, a rich source of metals and elements.
- ±100 by Magdalena Stengel (Germany), a collection of humorous portraits of men and women aged between 90 and 100.
- Sakhawood by Alexey Vasilyev (Russian Federation), a documentation of the popular film industry in the remote Russian region of Yakutia.
- Like a Father, Like a Mountain by Pan Wang (China Mainland), which depicts the photographer’s return to the Quinling mountain range to recapture the childhood scenes and memories he shared with his late father.
- Hidden Motherhood by Alena Zhandarova (Russian Federation), a modern take on the Victorian Era practice wherein young children posing for photos were held still by mothers hidden from view.
Visit the 2020 ZEISS Photography Award page for more information about the winning and shortlisted series.