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Art What!: Prix Pictet Award goes on show in Shanghai and Beijing

Joana Choumali, Untitled, From the series: Ça va aller, 2019 © Joana Choumali, Prix Pictet

Prix Pictet, the world’s leading prize for photography and sustainability, will present an exhibition in Shanghai and Beijing for the first time, featuring 12 leading photographers from eight nations shortlisted for the Prix Pictet’s eighth theme of ‘Hope’.

Shahidul Alam, Fatema shows off her new dress with dreams of becoming a model. (2014)

The eighth cycle, themed around Hope, offers a wide range of creative possibilities and a strong set of connections to Prix Pictet’s overriding theme of sustainability. Recycling, reforestation, rewilding, science – advances in medicine – and technological solutions for global environmental problems are just some of the issues explored through an artistic lens.

Margaret Courtney-Clarke, Life is Them
Emsi Tjambiru and Beverly Tjivinde dance on the road near their craft stall to flag down tourist busses.

The shortlisted artists examine some of the positive actions on sustainability that are beginning to emerge, in contrast to the alarming analysis that constantly assails us in the global media.

Rena Effendi, The Borca family build one of the 40 haystacks they make each summer. Maramureş, Romania. (2012)

Having exhibited at prestigious global museums including the Gallery of Photography, Dublin; EPFL ArtLab, Lausanne; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Hillside Forum, Tokyo; Eretz Museum in Tel Aviv, Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Verona; and Luma Westbau, Zurich, Hope will go on show at Shanghai Center of Photography, Shanghai, and at the Today Art Museum, Beijing.

Lucas Foglia
Kenzie in a Crevasse, Juneau Icefield Research Program, Alaska
Every summer since 1946, members of the Program have traversed the Juneau Icefield, one of the largest ice fields in the world. This is the longest running study of a glacier in the Western Hemisphere. (2016)

The shortlisted photographers for the eighth cycle of Hope are:
– Shahidul Alam, born 1955 Bangladesh, based in Dhaka
– Joana Choumali, born 1974 Côte d’Ivoire, based in Abidjan
– Margaret Courtney-Clarke, born 1949 Namibia, based in Swakopmund
– Rena Effendi, born 1977 Azerbaijan, based in Istanbul
– Lucas Foglia, born 1983 USA, based in San Francisco
– Janelle Lynch, born 1969 USA, based in New York
– Ross McDonnell, born 1979 Ireland, based in New York
– Gideon Mendel, born 1959 South Africa, based in London
– Ivor Prickett, born 1983 Ireland, based in Europe and the Middle East
– Robin Rhode, born 1976 South Africa, based in Berlin
– Awoiska van der Molen, born 1972 Netherlands, based in Amsterdam
– Alexia Webster, born 1979 South Africa, based in New York

Janelle Lynch For You (2017)

The winner of this cycle, under the theme ‘Hope’, was Joana Choumali from Côte d’Ivoire. Her winning series Ça va aller (It will be okay) was taken three weeks after the terrorist attacks in Grand Bassam on Sunday 13th March, 2016.

Ross Mc Donnell Limbs 9 (2012)

Stephen Barber, Chair of the Prix Pictet, said, “We are delighted to be able to present the outstanding work of some of the world’s greatest photographers in this first Prix Pictet exhibition in Shanghai and Beijing.”

Awoiska van der Molen

“Representing the very best of world photography on the urgent topic of sustainability has been our mission for more than a decade with Prix Pictet. The opportunity to share this work with the public in China is a privilege for us, and we hope it brings inspiration to the people who visit the exhibition.”

– Stephen Barber, Chair of the Prix Pictet
Gideon Mendel
Bishop Tutu—recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984— addresses a crowd of mourners in Duduza Township during the funeral of four young men from the township. East Rand, Gauteng, July 1985 (scanned and reframed in 2016)

RongRong & Inri, Photographers and Founders, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, and Nominators for the Prix Pictet, said, “We are thrilled to be welcoming this exceptional exhibition of Prix Pictet in China”

Alexia Webster
Two friends pose for their portrait on the corner of Cornwell and Hercules Street in Woodstock, Cape Town, South Africa. (2011)

“A globally recognised award for our industry, this is where international photographers, curators, writers, and thinkers discuss and deepen understanding of the urgent changes facing humanity today. We support and believe in the power of photography to shift perceptions and inspire action towards a more sustainable future.”

– RongRong & Inri, Photographers and Founders, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, and Nominators for the Prix Pictet.
Ivor Prickett, Civilians line up for aid distribution in the Mamun neighbourhood, Iraq, having remained in west Mosul during the battle to retake the city. (2017)

Kofi Annan (1938-2018), Honorary President of the Prix Pictet, encapsulated this spirit in his closing remarks for the Prix Pictet awards ceremony in November 2017, “Perhaps in our ability to carry on in adversity lies hope for us all. Hope that, despite the catastrophic damage that we have visited upon the natural world and upon the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, it is not too late to reverse the damage that we have done.”

Robin Rhode
Principle of Hope (2017)

The Prix Pictet Award for Hope will be exhibited from 10th September to 24th October 2021 at Shanghai Center of Photography, Shanghai, and from 13th November to 12th December 2021 at the Today Art Museum, Beijing. More information available here

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