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Centenarians and cholitas: successful series from the 2020 ZEISS Photography Award

2 years ago

Credits in order of appearance, © Magdalena Stengel, KyeongJun Yang, Alexey Vasilyev, Luisa Dörr - 2020 ZEISS Photography Award

From characterful centenarians to flying cholitas, the winning and shortlisted images in this year's ZEISS Photography Award respond to discovering something new about our world and sharing those stories through engaging imagery. 

Congratulations to KyeongJun Yang, who wins the 2020 Award with their series Metamorphosis, a collection on monochrome images exploring ideas relating to identity, isolation and immigration. Speaking about their win, Yang says: 'Winning this award still feels like a dream. I am glad not only because I've won, but also because now I know I'm not the only person who likes my images. I'm happy my photographs have been enjoyed by others, somehow they don't seem as lonely anymore.' Yang a range of ZEISS camera lenses of their choice worth a total of €12,000, €3,000 to cover travel costs for a photo project, plus global exposure.

Judge Max Ferguson comments on the series: 'The use of subtle, personal images of the subject (Julie Chen) lets us get a glimpse into the life of a young Chinese American woman. The closeness and the quietness of the images is what allows us to see and think more about what is going on here. For me, this work stood out from the other submissions we judged as it was clear that although, these were documentary photographs, there was a conceptual underpinning to them which opened up more questions than answers and made for a more engaging reading of the work.'

Read our interview with KyeongJun Yang here

For the 2020 competition, photographers were invited to submit a series of five to ten images responding to the theme 'Seeing Beyond: Discoveries'. Throughout time the human race has been driven to make discoveries. This might be a personal revelation, a scientific and technological breakthrough or an idea that has led to social change - a new way of thinking that’s revolutionised our everyday lives. Since photography’s inception, many great individuals have seen the camera as a tool to explore and question the world, and used the power of the image to shed light on something new. 

See the winning and shortlisted images here.