The 2016 Sony World Photography Awards


[Press Statement]

•               Record number of entries – 230,103
images from 186 countries

Entries from Singapore up over 120%

Overall winners to be revealed on 21
April 2016

Images available for publication at


(SINGAPORE, 24 February
– Two Singaporean
photographers are today named on the shortlist of the world’s biggest
photography competition, the Sony World Photography Awards – one in the awards’
Professional competition with a stunning series of work investigating an
architectural quirk unique to Singaporean housing, and one in the Open

Entries to the awards from Singapore were up over 120% from
2015 and the photographers were selected from a record-breaking 230,103 entries
from 186 countries to secure their place on the shortlist. The total number of
entries received by the Sony World Photography Awards since its launch in 2007
has now surpassed 1 million images, reinforcing the awards’ position as one of
the most respected and influential photography competitions in the world.

Selected by an expert
panel of judges (full list here)
the shortlisted photographers are:

  • Jonathan Tan, Professional Architecture category
  • Kajan Madrasmail, Open Travel category

Both Tan and Madrasmail are now
competing to win their category and the L’Iris d’Or Photographer of the Year
and Open Photographer of the Year titles plus a share of the $30,000 (USD)
grand prize. All winners will also receive the latest digital imaging equipment
from Sony. The winners will be announced at the Sony World Photography Awards
Gala Ceremony in London on 21 April 2016. In addition, both photographers will
also have their works shown in London as part of the 2016 Sony World
Photography Awards exhibition in April and May. Their works will also be
published in the 2016 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book.

The exhibition at
Somerset House will also include the first major European exhibition of the
artistic duo and fine art photographers, RongRong & inri, recipients of the
Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize at the awards. RongRong
(China) & inri (Japan) have shaped contemporary photography in Asia and are
being recognised for both their careers as artists, as well as their significant
impact on Asian photography. The exhibition will include new works from their
critically acclaimed series Tsumari Story.

Jonathan Tan
‘Your House Downstairs’ Professional Architecture category

Tan is a Senior Account
Executive for the award-winning marketing agency DDB Group Singapore, and a
photography enthusiast with a particular interest in street photography.

His shortlisted series ‘Your House Downstairs’ was shot
entirely on a smartphone – Tan believes that photography isn’t about the
equipment, but about observing and capturing the fleeting sights around us.

In this series, Tan
captured the architectural wall features of the
void decks of Housing Development Board flats – the homes of more than 80% of
Singaporeans. This ‘hole-in-the-wall’ feature comes in various shapes and
bright pops of colours which jazzes up the void decks, which are also common
spaces for Singaporeans to gather. While they are more commonly found in older
flats, these ‘holes’ are recognisable by Singaporeans as part of Singapore’s
landscape and heritage. This series aims to compile these holes that are found
in what Singaporeans would colloquially describe as, ‘your house downstairs’.

Talking about being
shortlisted, Tan commented: “As a casual
photography hobbyist, I am truly honoured to be shortlisted for such a
prestigious competition. I am glad that my photos depicting a part of
Singapore’s architectural heritage are showcased on an international platform.”

Kajan Madrasmail
‘Spin Fun’ Open Smile category

is a self-taught photographer based in Singapore who has captured beautiful
images across the Asia-Pacific; from India to Malaysia, and from Sri Lanka to

shortlisted image ‘Spin fun’ was
taken during a regular walk at the playground with his seven year old son, who
loves to spin around. With a camera hanging around his neck, Madrasmail was
able to capture the panning shot of his spinning son smiling.

Madrasmail said,
“I am very happy to be shortlisted in the
2016 Sony World Photography Awards Open Competition as it is the most precious
photography contest in the world.”

The Sony World
Photography Awards rewards and recognises the world’s best contemporary
photography. Attracting photographers of all abilities, the awards incorporate
four competing categories: Professional; Open; Youth and Student. More
information about the awards can be found at

Speaking about all the
photographers who have been shortlisted this year, Scott Gray, CEO of the World
Photography Organisation and organiser of the awards said, “We are extremely pleased with our jurors’ choices this year. Despite
the increase in the number of photographers, and the amount of imagery that
required judging, this year above all others we have witnessed a wealth of
powerful imagery in both traditionally strong social documentary categories, as
well as the art and conceptual work. It is wonderful for the medium that
it can offer such rich diversity.”

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