Theme: Origin

The theme of the fourth edition of the Tokyo International Photography Competition is: “Origin”.

Since its inception, the goal of the Tokyo International Photography Competition (TIPC) has been to create a series of cultural and geographical bridges between some the world’s largest photographic communities. And over these past 4 years, we have seen our dream take shape, connections flourish, new initiatives born: we are truly excited by all that lies ahead.

The launch of TIPC was the first step of a three-year journey that reached a key milestone with the inauguration of the Tokyo International Photography Festival in October 2015, presented by the Tokyo Institute of Photography, in cooperation with United Photo Industries of Brooklyn, NY.

Building on the success of last year’s critically acclaimed touring exhibition of the 2015 Tokyo International Photo Competition, presented in Tokyo, Japan; Guatemala City, Guatemala; New York City, USA; and Sydney, Australia, we have selected a fitting theme for the fourth edition of the Tokyo International Photography Competition: Origin.

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Etymologically speaking, “origin” denotes “beginning”, “source”, “birth”, “rise” or “start”. Marcus Garvey, a renowned civil rights activist at the turn of the previous century, said “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.

Who are we? Where do we come from? Where do we belong?

Since the dawn of time, cultures have shared origin myths, weaving an intergenerational chain linking the past to the present. From the Norse cosmology of nine home worlds unified by the World Tree Yggdrasil, to modern-day endeavors in genealogy and mapping one’s family tree, origin stories provide us with a sense and a place of belonging. Origins allow us to live in the present, with an eye on a future shaped by our collective past.

At a time of increased uncertainty and tension on both the interpersonal and global stages, photography’s role in helping us negotiate our daily existence has never been stronger. For our fourth edition of the Tokyo International Photography Competition, we ask you to capture Origin.

2016 Featured Photographers

We are pleased to announce the featured photographers that were selected by our jury for the 2016 exhibition of the Tokyo International Photography Competition:

GRAND PRIX WINNER: Bénédicte Vanderreydt – I Never Told Anyone

Featured Photographers:

Elisavet TamouridouState of Things
Andrea FoligniApuan Carbonate
Yoshiki HaseFirst Composition
Vicki ReedWhat We Leave Behind
Kai CaemmererUnborn Cities
Magdalena SoleAmerican Roots: The Delta
Naomi HarrisEUSA

This traveling group exhibition will be presented in the following cities:


Meet the 2016 Jury

Keizo Kitajima

– Photographer / Founder, photographers’ gallery (Japan)

Mark Pearson

– Founder / Director, ZEN FOTO GALLERY (Japan)

Sujon Song

– Co-Founder and co-diretor, Seoul Lunar Foto (S. Korea)

Christine Barthe

– Curator, Musée du Quai Branly (France)

Erik Kessels

– Artist / Photography Curator (The Netherlands)

Marc Prust

– Independent Photography Consultant / Curator (The Netherlands)

Sandra Phillips

– Senior Curator of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (USA)

Alejandro Castellote

– Independent curator / Writer / Professor (Spain)

Allegra Cordero di Montezemolo

– Exhibition Coordinator / Curator, Center for the Image (Mexico)

Azu Nwagbogu

– Founder / Director, African Artists’ Foundation (Nigeria)

Gwen Lee

– Director, Singapore International Photography Festival (Singapore)