By Leonard Goh (freelance writer/Singapore)
Photography takes center stage in the second half of 2016 with all these photo festivals taking place!
Singapore International Photo Festival, Singapore
19th August – 10th October
A relatively new addition to the Southeast Asian festival circuit, the biennial is on this year for its 5th edition. The festival has a strong focus on international photography alongside its commitment to promote Southeast Asian work. It runs a full programme of openings, talks, professional workshops and portfolio reviews; photobook maker to the stars, Gerhard Steidl, is among the reviewers this year.
Photo Kathmandu, Nepal
21st October – 3rd November
This little festival in Nepal is only into its second year but it has gained a lot of traction, not least because of its highly atmospheric exhibitions and delightful curation. Last year, the exhibitions and slideshows were held in public places so as to engage with the communities as much as possible. Highly recommended for anyone who might be in the neighbourhood.
Daegu Photo Biennale, South Korea
29th September to 3rd November
Daegu Photo in South Korea celebrates its 10th edition with the intriguing theme ‘We are from somewhere, but where are we going?’. This international festival of contemporary photography revolves around exhibitions, events and portfolio reviews, as well as an International Symposium of Photography.
Photo Shanghai, China
9th – 11th September
More of a fair than a festival, Photo Shanghai brings together leading galleries from around the world in response to a growing photography market in this region. The focus of the fair is on Chinese photography, but it also serves as a platform for international fine art work. Watch out for the conversation event with controversial Beijing artist Ren Hang.
Angkor Photo Festival, Cambodia
3rd – 10th December
The grand old dame of photo festivals in Asia, Angkor Photo Festival is into its 12th year this edition. It is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the most influential festivals in Asia, thanks to its free and top-quality workshops for the region’s young and emerging photographers. For the festival goer, the nightly slideshows are the main draw, along with the mostly outdoor exhibitions, featuring the best in current documentary story-telling and photojournalism. So if you’re a photographer with a documentary bent, this is one festival for your calendar.
Leonard is an advocate of photography in Singapore and also an educator in this field. He has served as senior writer for the now-defunct CNET Asia, before moving on to working for various camera companies in the business development and marketing capacities. He is also a co-founder of Platform, a not-for-profit photography initiative in Singapore which also published Twentyfifteen, a collection of 20 books to commemorate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee (SG50).
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