Saudi Visual Arts Commission announces winners of emerging photographer competition

The Kingdom Photography Discovery Competition seeks to inspire creative collaboration, while documenting the country's urban and natural landscapes

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The winners of The Kingdom Photography Discovery Competition have been announced by the Saudi Visual Arts Commission.

The competition is the second of two inaugural Kingdom Photography Awards which invited Saudi and international photographers to capture the natural and urban landscapes of Al Wajh Governorate and the Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia. It follows the announcement of the Professional Grant recipients in November, selected from a pool of internationally established photographers.

This time, The Kingdom Photography Discovery Competition recognised three emerging and mid-career photographers, including Osama Ali Abusunun for the Underwater category, Riyadh Abdulelah Al Malahi for the Nature Along the Coast category and Mohammed Abdulrahman Lahi for the Urban Environment Photography.

“The Kingdom Photography Award is a milestone in Saudi Arabia’s rapidly evolving cultural landscape,” says Dina Amin, chief executive of the Visual Arts Commission.

“We would like to congratulate this year’s winners and thank all participants for their commitment and contribution. At the next edition of the award, we look forward to welcoming a new pool of talented photographers from Saudi Arabia and around the world.”

The trio were selected from a group of 17 photographers, shortlisted based on an online application process which received 450 entries from 14 countries. These photographers then took part in a number of collaborative workshops and masterclasses with the three recipients of The Kingdom Photography Professional Grant.

After this, three winning portfolios were selected by a judging panel consisting of award-winning American environmental photographer Daniel Beltra; Zein Khalifa, founder of Tintera photography gallery in Cairo; Saudi photographer Moath Alofi and Abdullah Al-Turki, founding member of the Saudi Art Council, along with the three Kingdom Photography Professional Grant winners.

All the photographs by the 17 shortlisted nominees of The Kingdom Photography Discovery Competition will be printed and showcased in an exhibition organised by the Visual Arts Commission in Art Jameel’s new cultural centre, Hayy Jameel, in Jeddah from this Friday to Sunday.

Winners of The Kingdom Photography Professional Grant and The Kingdom Photography Discovery Competition will receive a combined total of $106,000 in cash prizes, alongside further physical prizes worth a combined total of $53,000.

Scroll through photos by the three Professional Grant recipients below

Updated: December 08, 2022, 7:16 AM