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The Single Images category selection went through several rounds with the judges and 3 online sessions to narrow down to the top 40 finalists from a total of 1,220 entries. Again as a KLPA trait, all portraits were judged anonymously without the photographers information except for the titles and captions. The positioning of the final 3 winners was decisive in the end - the judges awarding the first place to an atmospheric portrait from a traditional wet plate process by Karoline Schneider, whilst the second place went to a classic style slight-profile head pose of Umaru Joji, a man affected in early childhood with river blindness, by Danish photographer Marcus Trappaud Bjørn. Third prize was awarded to a panoramic environmental portrait of Viktor in his living room, and home which he barely leaves, by Natalia Ershova from Russia. This totally mesmerising picture puts the viewer directly in his space where the eye begins to examine the room in detail.
Another challenging but successful year of KLPA has passed and thank you to all the judges and photographers that submitted their entries. We look towards the physical exhibition in September in Kuala Lumpur.
PRIZE WINNERS - SINGLE IMAGES
All pictures belong to the portrait series PEARS IN THE AFTERNOON.
Originally a fine artist, I swapped my brushes for a camera and my colours for photochemistry. That’s how the ‘paintings’ that I never painted emerged.
In wet plate photography, I found a suitable medium to bring my images into being. Due to its very analogue nature, its distorting effects and its slow unfolding the wet plate process comes very close to the process of painting. At the same time, I use the so-called objectivity of photography to develop my own artistic imagery.
My artistic focus is on the portrait in the broadest sense: I’m always looking for the special quality of my subject, whether person, prop or situation.
For me, it is never about the portrait of an individual, it’s about the portrait of the human being per se.
MARCUS TRAPPAUD BJØRN
When Umaru Joji was 15 he was bitten by a black fly which infected him with parasites. Inside his body the parasites started reproducing thousands of microfilaria that traveled towards his eyes and attacked both of them. Umaru has been blind ever since.
Onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness is the second most common cause of infectious blindness worldwide. 1.1 million people are blinded by it, 20.9 million are infected and another 205 million are at risk.
This portrait of Umaru was taken at a remote community in Taraba State, Nigeria, and allows us to witness a devastating disease almost unknown to the western world.
NATALIA ERSHOVA Russia
Viktor, 30. Hermit for ten years ~"To live against all odds"
From series 'Journey to the edge of the room.'
The heroes of my project are people who barely ever leave their homes. Many of them work at home, others are sponsored by their relatives. They are very different people, but they have one thing in common – they live in the Internet. Some of them have a lot of friends, but they communicate to them only online or in their homes. And some of them are just modern hermits.
I took pictures of my heroes in their apartments, with their animals and with their favourite things. I asked every one of them “Why do you maintain such a lifestyle? ” Also, under every photo you can find the age of the person and you can find out how many years he or she doesn’t work officially.
Now, most of the people depend on the Internet in one way or the other; and my heroes are an overacted version of the Internet addiction and social loneliness. I think that with the development of the Internet it is a very broad tendency, especially in large cities, where the pace of life is fast and where there are too many people and too much stress.