International Photography Competition

In 2020, Creative Manchester ran its second International Photography Competition in partnership with the Manchester China Institute, with the awards ceremony taking place in Sichuan’s provincial capital, Chengdu.

From 2 March 2020 to 25 May 2020

Partners: Manchester China Institute

Launched in Spring 2020 by Creative Manchester and the Manchester China Institute, the second annual International Photography Competition invited residents of the UK and China to encapsulate what ‘family’ means to them using their phone camera.

Photography competition

Hundreds of family-themed submissions were received from both countries, and the top 30 photographs were displayed in an exhibition at the IPF gallery in Chendgu, China. This exhibition culminated in an awards ceremony on Sunday, 28 June 2020, where three overall winners were revealed.

The award for the Best UK Submission went to Sarah Zheng, whose photograph ‘Together under the New Normality’ presented an amusing snapshot of her family’s lockdown life. The award for the Best China Submission went to Xing Luo, whose photograph ‘The Days We Cannot Go Out’ moved the judges with its emotive conveyance of a young boy’s 40th day indoors during the pandemic. Both of these winners received £1,000/8,888 RMB.

A third £500 award went to Yourong Li, whose image ‘Hand in Hand’ encapsulated the love shared by the photographer’s grandparents. This won the hearts of the public, who deemed it worthy of winning the People’s Choice Award.

At the awards ceremony, Professor Alessandro Schiesaro (Head of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures) and Peter Gries (Director of the Manchester China Institute) gave remote speeches congratulating the winners.

Head judge Michael Wood (Historian, Broadcaster, Professor of Public History at the University) also gave a remote speech, in which he praised the general quality of the submissions and stressed the “tough job” that the judges faced in arriving at a final decision. He went onto highlight the wider value of the submissions and indeed the competition:

“Above all else, the submissions revealed the common humanity of those living in the UK and in China, tapping into the competition’s aim of promoting mutual understanding between countries”.