Dubai, June 1, 2020
The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) has announced the special award recipients for its ninth season of competition.
This season again features three special awards including the ‘Photography Content Creator Award’, the ‘Emerging Person in Photography Award’ and the ‘Photography Appreciation Award’.
The special awards are presented by HIPA to photographers and institutions that have contributed positively to photography as an art-form and industry.
The ‘Photography Appreciation Award’ was awarded to American photographer Michael Yamashita, for his distinguished works and photographic contributions in the fields of the historical documentation of Asia and his extensive studies throughout his career.
The ‘Photography Content Creator Award’ was awarded to the International Photography Festival ‘Xposure’ considered as a leading event amongst the international photography scene, attracting more than 15,000 participants from 31 countries.
The ‘Emerging Person in Photography Award’ was awarded to South African photographer Gulshan Khan, who was the first African woman to be hired by Agence France Presse (AFP) in 2017. She has published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, New Frame, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Le Monde, The Financial Times, El Pais, The Wall Street Journal, among others.
Mr Yamashita said, “Thank you for honouring this award, which I consider to be a 40-year career, in which I have worked to highlight places, people and cultures that cannot be seen otherwise, and to share these images with audiences all over the world. As a teacher, my job was to motivate and inspire other photographers to tell their own stories with a unique vision and perspective. I am grateful for the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award, not only for promoting the art for photography but also for their mission to encourage and support a diverse group of photographers, they have successfully embraced all talents and creative minds from all over the world.”
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council, stressed the importance of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award in supporting the global creative environment and consolidating the position of the United Arab Emirates as an incubator of culture and arts and creativity.
Inspiring the industry
He expressed his gratitude to the patron and organisers of the Hamdan Bin Mohamed International Photography Award for choosing the International Photography Festival ‘Xposure’ as the recipient of the Photography Content Creator Award for the ninth season of the award, which inspires others in the industry to cultivate the photography sector.
He said that the International Photography Festival, which launched four seasons with the participation of famous photographers, creative photo makers, amateurs and talented people from different countries of the world, is supported by the media office of the Sharjah government that complements the cultural scene of the Emirate of Sharjah spreading awareness of the importance of the image and its role in the cultural movement.
South African photographer Gulshan Khan said, “It was wonderfully serendipitous to receive this news. I have always found that awards which ask for entry fees, are exclusionary, and so, to me, are not a true reflection of talent and of valuable work. It is thus an honour to have my work recognised by HIPA whose patronage aims to eliminate these barriers to access. I resonate with its ethos of amplifying the medium of photography which, ‘reaches out towards a wider horizon’ and ‘promotes the welfare and well-being of a nobler world, with its graceful value of the arts’. This award will assist me to continue my work and engagement, which in its essence is to bridge gaps. I am deeply grateful”.
HIPA Secretary General Ali bin Thalith said, “We are delighted to announce recipients of the special awards for this season. The winners have succeeded in making valuable and beneficial photographic contributions to all those who are thirsty to grow from the seas of this renewed art every day. By recognising these personalities and institutions, we seek to highlight role models that enrich the global imaging industry and support the community.”