HIPA Awards – Night Photography

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The Chinese Photographer Peng Li won the $15,000 prize in the Night Photography category with this photograph of an ancient Chinese ‘Diaojiaolou’ house in the town of Fenghuang, located near the Tuojiang River in Hunan province.

Diaojiaolous, which translate loosely as ‘hanging house, are built on hillsides, with long pillars acting as downhill-facing foundations. They are often used as informal hotels in Hunan province; at night, red lanterns are used to light the buildings.

Ho Sung Wee, from Malaysia, won second place for his photograph of sulphuric fire fishing, a traditional method used by fisherman near Jinshan, Taiwan. Fishermen add water to sulphuric soil to produce acetylene, creating a light that attracts Harengula fish, who leap out of the water.


Nguyễn Minh Tân’s depiction of the traffic chaos at an intersection in his native Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, won third place. Bicycles were once used for people to get around in a city of eight million people, but is now dominated by motorbikes. With the city’s population growing and vehicle ownership increasing, the city is unable to cope with the number of vehicles on the road. Accidents and road deaths are increasingly common in the city.

The French photographer Alexandre Buisse won fourth place with this photo, taken in January 2014 at the Lau Bij climb in the Cogne Valley of the Gran Paradiso Park, in Italy’s Aosta valley.

Buisse used his camera’s flash to bring out the blue colouring and depth of the ice, as his two friends – Canadian Jen Olson and Frenchman Aurélien Vaissière climb – attempt to climb its face.

Another French photographer, Daniel Cheong, won fifth prize for this ‘vertigo view’ photo at the Address Hotel in the Dubai Marina. Cheong finds a way of blending the geometric shapes of the building’s facade, and of the city at large, reorientating the relationship between glass with steel, light and water – creating a kaleidoscope view of a familiar cityscape.

For information on how to enter HIPA 2015-2016, visit HIPA’s website.

Tom Seymour

Tom Seymour is an Associate Editor at The Art Newspaper and an Associate Lecturer at London College of Communication. His words have been published in The Guardian, The Observer, The New York Times, Financial Times, Wallpaper* and The Telegraph. He has won Writer of the Year and Specialist Writer of the year on three separate occassions at the PPA Awards for his work with The Royal Photographic Society.