A photo, taken by a Bristol photographer, which depicts Hankou Bund, a popular park in Wuhan, China, is an inadvertent time-capsule image of a city which will forever be linked to the Covid-19 outbreak, and is the overall winner of the Betser Prize in an international photo competition celebrating Chinese culture. 

2022/23 Overall Winner of the Betser Prize: ‘Hankou Bund, Wuhan 2017’ by Fergus Coyle, UK

The image, which also won the Environment category, was taken by commercial and editorial photographer Fergus Coyle, who travelled to Wuhan for the first time for his brother’s wedding in 2017 and stayed an extra month to explore and photograph the city and the surrounding area.  He captured the four-kilometre park along the Yangtze River where locals congregate for group exercises, chess, dancing, or to pose for photographs. 

The Global SinoPhoto Awards covered four categories:  Environment; Portraiture; Food, and Series. 

The other category winners were:  Portraiture category ‘I, Myself and Me, Quzhou, Zhejiang 2020-2022’ by Xueya Wang from China for her hidden facial expressions during lockdown;  Food category ‘Reunion, Shanxi Province 2021’ by Peihong Hu from China, which depicts three generations of a family gathered in the yard to make dumplings in a village in Xingxian County, Shanxi Province;  and Series category ‘Solace, Netherlands, Dusseldorf, Paris and Xiamen, 2022’ by Sarah Mei Herman of the Netherlands, which shows Chinese LGBTQ couples in China, Germany, The Netherlands and France.   

Portraiture category ‘I, Myself and Me, Quzhou, Zhejiang 2020-2022’ by Xueya Wang

Food category ‘Reunion, Shanxi Province 2021’ by Peihong Hu

Series category ‘Solace, Netherlands, Dusseldorf, Paris and Xiamen, 2022’ by Sarah Mei Herman

The Global SinoPhoto Awards 2023 received over 2,000 entries from hundreds of photographers from 22 countries around the world.  This annual Awards is an independent contest inviting photographers of any background, location, and nationality to tell their Chinese story across the diaspora, mainland China and globally.  It aims to communicate Chinese culture and values through remarkable imagery and to promote photographers internationally. 

The prizes were presented to winners at the British Library, aligning with its Chinese theme, reflected in its current Chinese and British exhibition ending in April. https://www.bl.uk/events/chinese-and-british 

Awards art director Gemma Barnett comments, “I have been incredibly impressed with the quality of this year’s submissions as well as the truly international response from photographers across the world.  The new Series category offered photographers the chance to express deeper narratives and some very brave and personal Chinese stories were explored; from the loneliness experienced during Covid lockdowns to the reality of those living in Chinese LGBTQ+ communities.  Another noticeable change is that a particular theme emerged this year, with several of the winning and commended photographers taking performative and playful self-portraits,  often with their gaze turned away from the camera to create anonymous portraits.”   

The overall winner of the Betser Prize will receive a €1,888 cash prize and a catalogue of ‘The Family of Man’ exhibition, courtesy of the Steichen CollectionsThis special prize was presented by Paul Lesch, director of Centre National de l’Audio/Visuel (CNA), Luxembourg – the exhibition on which the original concept of the Global SinoPhoto Awards was based.  Category winners will each receive a €288 cash prize as well as membership from the Societies of Photographers.  

The winning images will be exhibited at FUJIFILM House of Photography, Covent Garden, London until 10 February. 

To find out more about the awards and the winners, visit https://www.sinophoto-awards.com  

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