Monday,20 May, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1190, (27 March - 2 April 2014)
Monday,20 May, 2019
Issue 1190, (27 March - 2 April 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Black and white rainbow

Soha Hesham attended the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award in Dubai

Al-Ahram Weekly

The silent art of photography thrives on crossing the borders of language as well as nations. It is an art that transcends both time and words, and its celebration at the third, 2013-2014 Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) contributes to its presence in the Middle East. The award includes four categories: General, Street Life, Black and White, and Creating the Future, the latter being the slogan of this year’s round. The General and Creating the Future category awards are given to three international and three Emirati photographers.

On 17 March the event welcomed the guests and award winners at the Dubai International Financial Centre under the auspices of Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The evening featured an inspiring performance by the inimitable Cirque du Soleil. Each number by the Cirque du Soleil was accompanied by one category of competition entries in a slideshow on a giant screen, followed by that category’s award announcement, starting with the General category in which everything was allowed except black and white.

The judges were celebrated photographers and multiple award winners Caroline Metcalfe, Cheryl Newman, Henk van Kooten, Hossain Mahdavi, Jon Jones, Riccardo Busi, Sanat Shodhan, Susan Baraz and Waleed Qadoura.

The first international prize ($14,000) went to Vladimir Proshin, an amateur photographer from the Russian Federation who started making photos 15 years ago and has since then received over 100 awards from various countries around the world. The second international winner was Muhammad Alamsyah Rauf from Indonesia, and the third international was Muhamad Saleh Bin Dollah from Malaysia. The first UAE prize was withheld while the second prize went to Sulaiman Ahmed Eid Al Hammadi and the third to Saeed Abdalla Jumoh. It was perhaps in the Black and White categories that the most inspiring photos were produced, however, due to the purity of the form and strength of its message. The first award went to Yanan Li from China, who started photographing as a hobby in 2012, the second to Edmondo Senatore and the third Wong Ngai Bun from Hong Kong. The most dynamic genre, on the other hand, is Street Life. Abrupt evocations of humanity in public space with skewed perspectives and a clear sense of the hustle and bustle. Again the first award was withheld, with the second  ($10,000) going to both Jianhua Lin and Jianhui Liao, both from China, and the third to Santiago Daniel Bañon Irujo from Spain.

Creating the Future’s first international award ($20,000) went to Ali Al Zaidi from Kuwait. Al Zaidi’s photo, entitled Teach Me, captures the faces of a group of children with their teacher in class in black and white. Al Zaidi began his career as a photographer in 2007, he received the FIAP Golden Medal at the Emirates Competition in 2011. India is one of his favorite places to photograph and his winning picture was made there. The second international winner was Gao Lianhui, from China, and the third was Hannelore Schneider from Germany. The first and second UAE awards for UAE national winners were withheld, and the third went to both Omran Abdelrahman Al Ansari and Mansoor Mohammad Al Mansoori. The grand prize ($120,000), on the other hand, went to Fuyang Zhou from China.

The renowned American photographer Steve McCurry — best known for his photo of an Afghan girl and recipient of the Robert Capa Gold Medal and (more than once) the National Press Photographers Award — received the Photography Appreciation Award. The photographic Research-Report Award went to Reg Ng from Australia, for founding and chairing the Lytro camera which produces digital pictures that can be refocused in different spots. HIPA’s awards in total amounted to $389,000 distributed among 17 winners, not including the special awards. This round received over 26,000 submissions from 156 countries with the first three countries on the list of participating countries being India, China and Egypt. The award ceremony was followed by an exhibition showcasing the winning photographs as well as a selection made by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. HIPA arranges exhibitions around the world to prop up its participants showcasing their work, and submissions for the 2014-2015 round, to be held under the slogan “Life in Colour”, are already open.

For submission details visit

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