From 14 to 21 Aug 2013, I have been invited to attend the 2013 Photo China Original International Photographic Exhibition (中国原生态国际摄影大展) at Liupanshui, Guizhou, as a jury member of its international competition.
Robert Pledge (in blue), CEO of Contact Press Images, heads the jury committee. He is joined by Jia Guorong (third from right; one-time World Press Photo winner and Editor of China News Service), Pablo Bartholomew (third from left; two-time World Press Photo winner), Zhao Qing (second from left; one-time World Press Photo winner and editor/head of photo department at Shenzhen Evening News), Lin Tian Fu (first from left; Artistic Director of Taipei Photography Festival) and myself.
Organised by China curator Wang Xi (first from right), the inaugural competition received almost 60 photo projects nominated by 18 festival directors, curators and senior photographers from around the world. The jury has to decide on one top award, two second-prize winners and three third-prize recipients.
To narrow down the number of submissions, the jury goes through several rounds of discussion to eliminate the weaker projects. Throughout the process, we are asked by Robert to defend our picks. To select the final six projects and to rank them accordingly, we basically use an elimination process, in which each of us is given a certain number of votes to cast in two rounds of voting.
As a writer/curator who focuses on the photographic practices of Southeast Asia, I am happy that the jury eventually decided to give the top award to Do Manh Cuong, a young photographer from Hanoi. His winning project is an intimate yet sensitive portrayal of a pair of albino brothers who live at Ha Tinh, Central Vietnam.
Singaporean artist Sean Lee’s Homework is being exhibited during the festival. Curator: Wang Xi (China)
Malaysian artist Wilfred Weegee’s Self Portraits is also exhibited. Curator: Mervyn Leong (Malaysia)