Monday , February 19 2018


Love on the cooking bench’ portfolio by Chengliang Liu from China scoops Grand Prize

Manarat al Saadiyat to host exhibition of winners’ work and engaging programme of activities


Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. 29 March, 2016: The finest international, regional and Emirati photographers have been recognised at a glittering awards ceremony for the ninth edition of the Emirates Photography Competition (EPC), one of the most important professional photography competitions in the world.

From an astounding selection of more than 30,000 submissions, the grand prize was awarded to Chinese photographer Chengliang Liu for his ‘Love on the cooking bench’ portfolio of eight Environmental Portraits depicting domestic scenes shot within family kitchens of rural Chinese homes, earning Lui a FIAP gold medal and an AED100,000 cash prize.

The grand prize is awarded to the best work that presents innovative creative ideas in the main theme, this year signifying ‘Family Album’, which received 831 portfolio submissions.

Meanwhile Egyptian Marwa Seida won the Creative Prize for her collection of images reflecting ‘Life’, together with a AED50,000 prize and FIAP gold medal.

Held under the patronage of the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP), entries to the competition – the ninth in the annual series organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) – were received from 4,800 photographers representing 90 countries. A total of 18 prizes and 27 Honourable Mentions were awarded at the ceremony.

“The judging panel was astounded by the quality, depth and diversity of submissions for this ninth edition, ultimately selecting a grand prize winner from the main ‘Family Album’ theme which we feel captures genuine moments of family life, where the surroundings are used to amplify the emotion of the composition and complement the subject and emphasise its character,” said Badar Al Nomani, from the TCA Abu Dhabi Arts Department.

Other winners in the Main Theme category include Dimitrious Markoglou whose work ‘Loneliness’ was awarded first prize, an FIAP gold medal and AED20,000; ‘Soul’ by Egyptian photographer Mohamed Nasr took home an FIAP silver medal and AED15,000 for second spot; with an FIAP Bronze medal and AED10,000 awarded to ‘Indians Gypsies’ by Saudi Arabian photographer, Abbas Alkhamis.

This year’s main theme – ‘Family Album’ – was chosen to reflect the community values of the family, and connect a variety of individuals and cultural environments so as to serve modern, creative artistic ideas in the field of photography.

The winning photographs will go on show to the general public in a three-month exhibition, which opens on Monday 28 March and runs until 13 July at Manarat Al Saadiyat exhibition centre on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. Over 200 selected images from winners’ works will be exhibited in 10 sections.

In addition to attracting entries from an international pool of talent, the competition also aims to promote photography in the UAE through the highly coveted Nour Ali Rashid Award for the Emirati Photographer and the Emirati Photo Award categories which focus on the characteristic environmental and cultural components of the UAE.

The ninth edition’s Nour Ali Rashid Award for the Emirati Photographer winning portfolio consisting of four black and white images ‘Identity is a choice’,‘Beyond the masks’,‘Restraining hands’ and ‘Something between facts’ by UAE photographer Ahlam Al Ahmed was selected from over 750 entries, earning her a FIAP gold medal and AED50,000. Al Ahmed’s work, along with other submissions from talented local photographers, will be on display within the exhibition.

Beyond the main theme, other accolades awarded include gold, silver and bronze prizes in the Coloured Digital Photo and the Monochromatic Digital Photo Award; Creative Photographer Award; ‘Future Image by Future Eyes’ Youth Awards created by photographers under 16 years old; Best Photographer Award; and the Photography Clubs Award, which was awarded to the Emirates Falcon Photography Club for their group participation.

A jury of international experts including FIAP President Riccardo Busi (Italy) FIAP, Nicolas Berlingieri (Argentina) Executive Board Member, Director of the FIAP Education and Training Service and Guo Jing, the China Global Photographers Union representative, met in Abu Dhabi to evaluate entries. Jury members selected winners according to a rigorous grading system to ensure the winning pool met the highest technical and artistic standard.

A series of masterclasses and workshops for adults and teens will be held at Manarat al Saadiyat in conjunction with the exhibition, starting on March 28 – as part of the exhibition’s opening programme – with an open discussion featuring Riccardo Busi, FIAP President and jury members as they discuss their experience in the competition, alongside prize winners who will discuss their winning photographs.

On Tuesday 29 March, three winning photographers – including the winner of Noor Ali Rashid Prize for the Emirati Photographer of the year – will talk about their experience in the competition.

Insightful discussions will continue on Friday 1 April, as a Master workshop titled How to Create Imaginary Landscapes chaired by Mr. Nicolas Berlingieri, FIAP Executive Board Member, will teach participants how to create imaginary landscapes and explore photographic techniques that can be applied to a variety of images.

On Saturday 2 April, the FIAP Training Course for Juries will introduce participants to the specific criteria juries employ when judging international competitions, including regulations, techniques, character, climate and atmosphere.

Both classes will be held in Studio 2 at Manarat Al Saadiyat, and the full programme and registration for all activities details can be found at

Additional specialised workshops, interactive meetings and seminars as well as individual and group exhibitions linked to the Emirates Photography Competition will be held at Al Marsam Al Hor in the National Theatre, and Al Qattara Arts Centre in Al Ain throughout April, May and June.

The Emirates Photography Competition exhibition runs at Manarat Al Saadiyat Exhibition Centre, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi from 28 March – 13 July, 2016.

Full details of prize winners and a selection of winning images and more information and details of the programme of designated workshops, talks and seminars can be found at

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