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China National Student Photography Award

The Sony World Photography Awards launches the China National Student Photography Award, a prize to promote and support work created by photography students in China (Mainland).

To align with the Sony World Photography Awards commitment to reveal the talent and intellect soon to shape the photography industry, the World Photography Organisation and Sony China have announced the China National Student Photography Award. Open to all photography students currently studying in Chinese institutions entering the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards’ Student competition, the award aims to elevate a developing image-maker’s portfolio to worldwide exposure. The Awards hopes to substantiate institutions in China’s commitment to support photography in an academic environment. Please note, for students to take part institutions must register. Tutors can register their institution here. To discover more about how to enter, go to the How to enter section below. 

Submit your body of work to the Student competition here

"Paying tribute to those coming to the fore is fundamental to the World Photography Organisation and this new Award exemplifies this commitment. Open to academic institutions in China, this new award aims to support the next generation of photographers and to celebrate their achievements through the act of recognizing, sharing and presenting compelling imagery to an international audience." Scott Gray, CEO and Founder of the World Photography Organisation



From 10 finalists chosen, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be selected by an expert judging panel. Second and 3rd place winners will be awarded Sony digital imaging equipment (at a value of RMB 20,000 and RMB 10,000 respectively.) 

The photographer awarded first place and named China National Student Photography Award recipient will see their work exhibited at the 2020 edition of PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai, given Sony digital imaging equipment and flown to the Sony World Photography Awards’ ceremony in London.



Lihua Zhang, editor-in-chief of Photographer’s Companion Media Group

A senior editor with 24 years of experience. Served as a curator or academic committee member in major Chinese photography festivals. Planned and executed various photography competitions and served as a judge. Editor-in-chief of Photographer’s Companion Media Group. Photographer’s Companion Media Group is a multimedia platform that consists of three magazines (Photographer’s Companion, Digital Camera and Time) and various social media platforms. Its magazine circulation and influence both rank the top in the industry.



Rong Rong & Inri, Artistic Duo


RongRong and Inri have been creating photographic art since 2000. Critically acclaimed for pushing the boundaries of traditional black & white darkroom practice, seminal works include In the Great Wall, China and In Fujisan. The bi-national, husband-and-wife duo established the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing in 2007, China’s first contemporary art space dedicated to the medium and the Jimei x Arles Photo Festival in partnership with Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2015.  They also host an annual award to discover and encourage China's most promising photographers.


Scott Gray,  Founder & Ceo World Photography Organisation

As the founder of the World Photography Organisation, Scott maintains a close involvement in all areas of the World Photography Organisation and develops the business and new ventures. Scott is based in the London headquarters office.






How to enter

Students are asked to submit a body of work (five to ten images) responding to the topic ‘Invisible Lines’ - the same brief for the overall 2020 Student competition. 

2020 Brief: Invisible Lines
The world we live in is structured around a variety of invisible lines. This could be in a natural environment (ie oceans, mountains, forests), in our society (ie gender, wealth, race), or intellectually. Show the judges the stories of people fighting against that and trying to break the invisible lines that most intrigues you in a positive way.   

Ten shortlisted students are then chosen by an esteemed judging panel. 

The ten shortlisted students are each given a Sony camera to shoot a new series of images to answer a second brief. One winner is then chosen and flown to London to attend the Awards ceremony night in London. For more details about the prize, see Prize section above. 

Please note, for students to take part institutions must register. Tutors can register their institution here. Institutions can enter multiple students enrolled in a full-time photography program.


Inspiring photographs exhibited in Shanghai this September. 

To celebrate the launch of this new award, an exhibition of the finest imagery entered into the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards will be on show at the leading contemporary fine art photography fair PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai. Opening this autumn, the fair – which is Asia Pacific’s leading destination for discovering and collecting photo-based works – combines new approaches to photography and modern masterpieces with exhibitions, commissions, awards and public programs celebrating innovative emerging photographic talent. To celebrate the diversity of work created in China (Mainland), the display will include a carefully curated selection of pictures by Chinese photographers alongside stunning winning and shortlisted images from the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards. 

2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition
September 20 to 22, 2019
Location: Shanghai Exhibition Center