Are you familiar with Prix Pictet?
Well, it’s the world’s leading award for photography and sustainability, founded in 2008 by the Pictet Group with the goal of harnessing the power of photography to draw attention to the critical issue of global sustainability.
To date, there have been ten cycles of the award, each with its own theme highlighting a particular facet of sustainability. 2024 marks the first time that the Prix Pictet has toured to Singapore and this year, it will be part of Singapore Art Week 2024, which will take place from Jan 19 to 28, 2024.
The exhibition itself is titled Prix Pictet Human and it will be held at SOTA Art Gallery from Jan 8 to 29, 2024.
What Will Prix Pictet Showcase?
Prix Pictet Human showcases the work of twelve outstanding photographers shortlisted for the tenth cycle of the award. Their work constitutes a powerful exploration of the various facets of the theme Human. In their own unique way, each of the shortlisted photographers explores our shared humanity and the vast spectrum of our interactions with the world.
The shortlisted portfolios also examine issues ranging from the plight of indigenous peoples, conflict, childhood, and the collapse of economic processes, to the traces of human habitation and industrial development, gang violence, border lands, and migration. These poignant works evaluates our role as stewards of the planet and sheds light on the critical issues of global sustainability. Such issues have been the central concern of Prix Pictet since its inception 15 years ago.
Winners of Prix Pictet Human
At a ceremony at the Victoria & Albert Museum (the first stop of the international tour) in September 2023, Indian photographer Gauri Gill was announced as the winner of the Prix Pictet Human and awarded a prize of 100,000 Swiss Francs. Gill was selected from the shortlist of twelve photographers by the prize’s independent jury.
Gill’s work emphasises her belief in working with and through community, in what she calls “active listening.” For more than two decades, she has been closely engaged with communities in the desert of western Rajasthan, Northern India, and for the last decade with Indigenous artists in Maharashtra.
On the last day of the exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Colombian photographer Federico Ríos Escobar was also announced as the winner of the inaugural Prix Pictet People’s Choice Award. Ríos Escobar’s poignant work captures the heart-wrenching realities of South American migrants who have embarked on the perilous migrant journey through the treacherous Darién Gap, a near-impassable stretch of jungle on the Colombia-Panama border.
The People’s Choice Award was introduced to allow the public to vote for their favourite shortlisted series and to create further dialogue around the vital issues Prix Pictet explores. The winner of the People’s Choice Award received a prize of 10,000 Swiss Francs.
Prix Pictet Human Shortlisted Photographers
- Hoda Afshar (Iran): The strange, otherworldly Iranian islands of Hormuz, Qeshm, and Hengam are the touchstone for Hoda Afshar’s work.
- Gera Artemova (Ukraine): Gera Artemova’s visual diary opens with the Russian bombardment of her hometown, Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022.
- Ragnar Axelsson (Iceland): For more than 40 years, Ragnar Axelsson has charted the dramatic changes in the lives of the indigenous people, landscapes, and environments on the fringes of the habitable world.
- Alessandro Cinque (Italy/Peru): A concern for the lives and disappearing homelands of the indigenous people of the Andes mountains informs the work of Alessandro Cinque.
- Siân Davey (UK): Together with Richard Renaldi (see below), Siân Davey focuses on the garden as a place of hope and reconnection. A place that serves both as a metaphor for the human heart and a potential source of harmony.
- Gauri Gill (India): Gauri Gill spent more than two decades photographing the joy, pain, and tenderness woven into the fabric of some of those who eke out a living in the remote desert region of Rajasthan, India.
- Michał Łuczak (Poland): Michał Łuczak documents the indelible marks the once-great mining industry has left on the landscape of Upper Silesia, Poland.
- Yael Martínez (Mexico): Yael Martínez’s pierced photographs were made in the wake of the disappearance of family members, victims of the violence that is part of daily life in the Mexican state of Guerrero.
- Richard Renaldi (US): (See Siân Davey)
- Federico Ríos Escobar (Colombia): Federico Ríos Escobar provides agonised glimpses of South American children whose parents have elected to join the hazardous migrant voyage through the almost impassable stretch of jungle on the Colombia–Panama border known as the Darién Gap.
- Vanessa Winship (UK/Bulgaria): Vanessa Winship creates carefully composed portraits of schoolgirls from the Turkish borderlands.
- Vasantha Yogananthan (France): Vasantha Yogananthan’s work is filled with the dreams and despair of the post-Hurricane Katrina generation of children in New Orleans, USA.
Independent Jury for Prix Pictet Human
Sir David King, FRS (Chair)
Founder and Chair,
Climate Crisis Advisory Group
President, MAMCO (Musée d’art modern et contemporain), Geneva
Arts Editor, Financial Times
Head of Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Creative Director, OYA Media,
Lagos and London
Winner, Prix Pictet Fire, 2021
Joyce Frank Menschel Curator in Charge of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
To accompany the exhibition, Hatje Cantz have published a book featuring the shortlisted photographers together with a selection of outstanding images from a wider group of those nominated for the award. The publication features essays by the historian David Christian and writer Meehan Crist, and an interview with photographer Sebastião Salgado, the great champion of humanitarian photography, by Michael Benson, the Director of the Prix Pictet.
Prix Pictet Human will tour to leading museums in Zürich, Istanbul, Dublin, Bangkok, Munich, San Diego, and Stockholm in 2024 and 2025.
Venue: SOTA Art Gallery, Singapore
Address: 1 Zubir Said Drive, Singapore
Dates: Jan 8 to 29, 2024
Time: Monday – Friday, 12:00 – 20:00
More info at the official website.