"I love the idea that a portrait is of one moment out of an infinite number of fleeting moments." - Kong Wee Pang
Over the past nine years, the Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards (KLPA) has been supporting contemporary photography by bringing a refreshing take on portraiture. This contest has endeavoured to link countries located in South East and Far East Asia with the rest of the photographic world by supporting a wide range of local and international photo practitioners. Amongst its noteworthy entrants from past instalments is the Shanghai based French photographer Patrick Wack. Back in 2014, he won the 1st prize for the category “Savage & Serene Theme” for his photograph of a young Chinese boy on a scooter in the large metropolis of Chongqing.
This year KLPA is seeking for creative and innovative photographs through a seemingly straightforward theme: Family. This topical subject matter indeed forms the basis of many societies across the globe. But how do diverse societies across the world see and define the family? Are traditional conservative definitions sufficient in encompassing changing family structures across various nations? Are there major differences between Western and Eastern societies? Are formal definitions sufficient in defining same-sex parents, adopted children and mixed race families? What about co-habiting couples who are not legally married but live a traditional family-life?
As in previous years, a panel of five respect judges – each of them leaders in their field – have the important task of selecting the shortlisted finalists and winners. After having examined over one thousand entries from all over the globe, the KLPA judges have announced this year top 50 finalists. Jurors have been particularly “struck by entries that shed light on how global politics affects families, entries that highlighted rich cultural traditions, and entries that turned a finely-tuned artistic eye on intimate relationships” as declared the American judge Laura Valenti.
The KLPA not only carefully selects and curates photographs, but it also pays a particular attention to the trophy that is an artwork of its own. Designed by the Malaysian artist Kong Wee Pang, this year trophy is a mixed-media artwork representing a multi-layered concave head profile. It signifies the many interpretations or individualities of the human being. Only three of these trophies will be created - which will be awarded to the first prizewinners of the Theme and Open categories, and the top photographer of the Select Juror prize.
These very prizewinners can win a total of up to USD$13,500 in prize money, workshop spots with Obscura Festival and with the authoritative platform Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA). In addition, a special issue portfolio feature and interview by POSITIIV Photography Magazine will be offered to one Special Select Juror prize winner. All prizewinners will also be invited to attend the Awards Presentation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in September 2017 in conjunction with a public exhibition of the 50 winners and finalists portraits at Whitebox gallery situated at PUBLIKA.
More information: Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards website