The Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards [KLPA] is an annual global portrait photography prize seeking the very best and fresh entries from photographers of all levels in two main categories - Single Image open and a Project-based or themed category. Initiated in 2009, KLPA is recognised as a significant and vital award in the photography calendar, supporting and rewarding contemporary portraiture practice especially in the South East Asian region.
"During the jury process of KLPA, the most rewarding time is the deliberation on the submissions and the not-unexpected questions on what constitutes portrait photography. Each submission is fully considered, and the varied opinions and perspectives from the jury members are 'food for thought' on portraiture in today's contemporary context of social media platforms. After two full days of considering the submissions, there are images that powerfully stay in my mind. And I believe these photographs have touched me .. and perhaps words are not sufficient for the emotions elicited by them."
Director, Singapore International Photography Festival | KLPA2018 Jury
Dan Nelken with Valentine Willie, ILHAM Gallery Creative Director, Kuala Lumpur
DAN NELKEN, USA. 2019 1st Prize Theme Category. "I entered the KLPA for the global exposure it would provide. The award carries with it additional exposure opportunities for the winners at several other photography festivals around the world that have partnered with KLPA.
Attending the ceremony in Kuala Lumpur provided me with an opportunity to meet several judges and an unexpected benefit of meeting many active members of the Kuala Lumpur photographic community who befriended me. The monetary award was generous; a bonus was receiving an original art sculpture that served as a trophy to commemorate my first prize placement. Further, KLPA printed and framed my images for exhibition at no extra charge and did a fabulous job. Pro printers produced exhibition quality prints I was proud to endorse. Other competitions charge a fee to print, frame and hang your images, which is costly and a disincentive to enter. Not so here. And this step eliminates expensive international shipping costs.
More than all of the above, my work was in the company of terrific portrait photographers — some just starting out and others already with a list of well-deserved exposure. I was honoured to be selected as a winner among this global talent."
JEANNE TARIS 2019, from France posing next to her winning entry at ILHAM Gallery, Kuala Lumpur. She met with Julia Durkin, director of the Auckland Festival of Photography at the awards and has been invited to exhibit at her festival in June 2020.
Jeanne also gave a talk about her work at the Leica Store in Kuala Lumpur.
SANDRA CHEN-WEINSTEIN, winner of the 1st Prize in the 2017 Open Category, said “this contest is very helpful to all emerging photographers for getting acknowledgment and recognition for their achievement.” After only a few weeks following the award announcement, Chen-Weinstein said “I am very fortunate to be featured on the cover of The European Photography Magazine as a result.”
KATHRIN TSCHIRNER, 1st Prize winner in the 2016 Portrait category, says, “The KL Photoawards is more than recommendable. It was noticeable that the organisers have a real interest in photography. The event has been implemented with great attention to detail, recognisable by the good prints and a really masterful hanging in the beautiful rooms of the White Box Gallery.”
"It has been such a wonderful and unique experience to take part in the Kuala Lumpur Photoawards 2016. Not only did I have the honor to accept one of the Select Juror’s awards, my work was also featured in a beautifully curated show. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to physically be there, thanks to the KLPA team who made it possible. I met local and international talents who were also finalists and winners and have maintained several relationships since then.
Furthermore, I was able to present my work to the community in an Artist Talk where I also got very encouraging and valuable feedback. I look forward to see what future editions will bring! Thank you for the opportunity and congratulations on the success!"
ALIA ALI, USA 2016 Select Juror Finalist
Photos by Tang Chun Cheuh and others