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ALLISON PLASS | USA | 1st Prize - $2,000


A moment of stillness between my two teenage sons after some rough play. Their adolescent bodies register so many feelings. 

The sculptural quality of their forms reminds me of early ideas of classical beauty, and their physical interaction, distilled in a photograph, reveals heightened tensions of closeness I might not otherwise see in daily life. 

What is the mystery of their masculine experience, does it even exist, and what are the biases of our own cultural moment of narrowly defined readings of boys and men?


Allison Plass is a Fine Art photographer living in NYC. She received her MA in Art History at UC Santa Barbara where she explored issues of gender and representation in European Art. She completed the Advanced Track Program at the International Center of Photography in New York in 2020. Her photographic practice is influenced by art history and the natural world and the intersection of cultural myths and stories we carry about our own lives. 

She has received numerous awards, including the LensCulture Portrait Award Finalist for 2023. Her work has been featured in several juried competitions in the US, Europe, and Australia.

RONA BAR & OFEK AVSHALOM | UK | 2nd Prize - $1,000


Nino and Olivia are a couple with downs-syndrome, captured in their home.


Rona Bar and Ofek Avshalom are a photography duo living and working in London, UK. Drawing on a storytelling-based approach to the photographic medium, the two are continuously striving to engage viewers from all backgrounds in a journey into their visual world.



Being the only breadwinner providing for two kids is not a small challenge in South Africa. A few years ago, when little Paru lost his mommy to domestic violence, his youngest aunt Zikhona adopted him and his older sister without hesitation. 

Little Paru, scarred by a devastating fire that had ravaged his tiny body when he was just two months old, requires extensive medical care and specialised daily care. What Zikhona is doing while putting her dreams and goals on hold is an incredibly inspiring act of unwavering love and steadfast courage. She chose what was right and not what was easy—in the true essence of humanity.


Angelika Kollin is a 46-year-old Estonian photographer currently based in Riverview, Florida. She is self-taught and engages with her passion for photography and art as a tool for the exploration of interhuman connections, intimacy, and/or the absence of such. Angelika has spent the last eight years living in African countries (Ghana, Namibia, South Africa), where she explored the same topic in a variety of different cultures and economic conditions.


© Takako Kido [Japan] 
Feels So Good

Jury : Danaé Panchaud
© Hendra Eka [Indonesia] Lisette

Jury : Yasuyoshi Chiba
© Joseph P Smith [Malta]  The Canteen

Jury : Sarah Gilbert
© Matteo Rea [Italy] Hold me, don't leave me alone

Jury : Sharmin Parameswaran


We would like to apologise for the delayed announcement of this year's finalists due to unforeseen circumstances.

Our judges have completed their selection rounds and we are so pleased to finally reveal the 31 top portraits that will be exhibited in Kuala Lumpur this September. We received 1,524 images in the 2023 open call via our partnership with PICTER, and one of the highest totals in recent instalments.


KLPA would like to thank all our participants for your support and for maintaining the high standards that KLPA represents, as a niche international portraiture award. Only the finalist photographers have been notified by email.


Photographing intimacy requires trust between the photographer and the subject, as the camera becomes an intrusive object breaking that very moment it intends to capture. 


This year's theme seeks portraits that depict the concepts of a much-photographed genre - the closeness of space and time, the weight of memory we fall back to, and the subconscious desires which set off an emotional response. Intimacy can be many things to many people and yet in photography, we see it as a vital ingredient or requirement as to what is an engaging portrait. Intimacy means stepping into unknown and unfamiliar territory, allowing instinct and beauty to take over. 


Self-portraits are in essence the ultimate in intimacy portraits where the roles of the creator and the created are one and the same.


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Sarah Gilbert is features picture editor for The Guardian with over 20 years experience. Previously she was a picture editor at Conde Nast and Guardian US Photo Editor. She has been a juror on a number of leading photography competitions, conducts portfolio reviews at international photo festivals and is a mentor on the Women Photograph programme. Her specific areas of interest include documentary and long-form photography, and she commissions portraits around the world and loves to encourage new talent. @sarahgilbertguardian

Yasuyoshi Chiba is Agence France-Presse’s (AFP) Chief Photographer for East Africa and the Indian Ocean, currently based in Nairobi, Kenya.  After studying photography at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, he started working as a staff photographer for the national newspaper, Asahi Shimbun. He became a freelance photographer, moved to Kenya in 2007, and joined AFP in Brazil in 2011. He was awarded numerous international contests, including World Press Photo, Photographer of the Year International and Bayeux Calvados-Normandy War Correspondents’ Award. Recently, he was chosen as Agency Photographer of the Year 2021 by the Guardian picture desk.

Danaé Panchaud is an exhibition curator and lecturer specialising in photography. From 2018 to 2021 she was the director and curator of the Photoforum Pasquart in Biel, Switzerland, and has been the director of the Centre de la photographie Genève since January 2022. Danaé trained in photography at the Vevey School of Photography before completing a bachelor’s degree in visual arts with a specialisation in curatorial practices at HEAD – Geneva University of Art and Design. She studied museology at Birkbeck, University of London, earning a master’s degree in 2017. She has held positions in several Swiss institutions in the fields of contemporary art, design and science, including the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, the Gallery SAKS in Geneva and the mudac in Lausanne. As a freelance curator, Danaé has curated exhibitions for several Swiss museums, independent spaces and galleries, and written critical texts for monographs of contemporary artists, thematic publications, and exhibition catalogues. @danaepanchaud Portrait by Anne Morgenstern

Sharmin is an independent art curator working in the Malaysian visual arts scene, with an interest rooted in the potential of collaborative art projects to engage wider audiences through experience, thought and discourse. For 10 years (and counting), she has conceived and implemented over 30 visual arts exhibitions and projects to date. In addition, Sharmin oversees the arts programming at Temu House, a privately run. inclusive and accessible art space. Full-time, she works with Astro Malaysia as VP International/Kids & VOD Content, keeping up to date with current social events and popular culture that drives digital and broadcast content from movies, TV series and fast-paced online formats.


This year we will be awarding the following prize monies to 7 photographers decided by the panel of judges :

1ST PRIZE $2,000.00

2ND PRIZE $1,000.00

3RD PRIZE $500.00


40 photographers including the winners will have their portraits printed and exhibited at TEMU HOUSE, an intimate gallery space on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur from 8 September to 1 October, 2023 and will be part of the Exposure+ Photo festival schedule.


Each photographer may enter up to 10 images per submission, as follows :

1 image $15.00
2 images $30.00
3 - 5 images $50.00
6 - 10 images $75.00

Each photographer may only submit twice to the KLPA2023.


Please submit through the Picter entry system below :

For cash/online banking entries for Malaysians, please see FAQs section.



1 February 2023

Submission start

06 MAY 2023

Midnight Malaysian time (UTC+8)

Deadline Extended

May 2023


15 June 2023

Finalists announced

August 2023

Preparation for Exhibition

September 2023

Exhibition opens at Temu House









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