A focus on British photography and emerging talent is showcased at the eighth edition of Photo London

Photographs on Sale – Enghelab Street, 1979. From the series Revolutionaries: the First Decade © Kaveh Kazemi. Courtesy of O Gallery.

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Martin Parr is this year’s Master of Photography, the Nikon Emerging Photographer Award returns with an exciting shortlist and a new Hahnemühle Student Award is announced


When Hailun Ma returned to her home in Xinjiang following her studies in fashion photography in New York, she already had her next project in mind. She was surrounded by expensive couture and Western trends in the US fashion capital, yet the garments and textiles that stood out to her were those of her community. Her series Hometown is a collection of portraits of Uyghur and Kazakh women and children, against equally potent backgrounds. It is a celebration of personal style, identity and expression through clothing, away from the fashion editorial context.

Ma’s work will be shown by Urumqi-based Gaotai Gallery, which exhibits for the first time in the Discovery section at Photo London this May. The space, once again curated by Tim Clark, is reserved for emerging galleries, which also includes London’s New Dimension, presenting a solo show by Sam Wright, as well as Koop Projects from Brighton, and Carlos Caamaño Foto-Galería from Lima. Support for emerging artists continues with the returning Nikon Emerging Photographer Award.

Installation view at Rencontres d'Arles, 2015 © Martin Parr Collection/ Magnum Photos

Ma and Wright are shortlisted, along with Chantal Elisabeth Ariëns, Lea Lund & Erik K, Evelyn Bencicova, Chieko Shiraishi, Léa Habourdin, Bootsy Holler, Arielle Pytka and Maryam Palizgir. Their work can be viewed in the Nikon space alongside last year’s winner, Max Miechowski.

New this year is the Hahnemühle Student Award, created to spotlight the work of photography students at UK universities. The winner will be awarded a “valuable residency”, details of which are yet to be disclosed. The fair celebrates its eighth edition this year, as Kamiar Maleki, the former director of VOLTA Art Fairs in NYC and Basel, takes over as its new director. Martin Parr is this year’s Master of Photography. The prolific photographer presents his most recent work, which visitors can observe from deckchairs with Parr’s images printed on the fabric around the exhibition space. The work of women photographers in the UK from the last 100 years, including rare pieces by Edith Tudor-Hart, Grace Robertson, Shirley Baker, Jo Spence,Sonia Boyce and more, is presented in a group show, Writing Her Own Script: Woman Photographers from the Hyman Collection, curated by the newly opened Centre for British Photography.

From the series Hometown, 2018 © Hailun Ma. Couresty of Gaotai Gallery

As ever, the exhibitor list is vast and international, with over 110 galleries representing some 55 cities. This year, there is a particular focus on photography from Iran, Africa and Mexico. Among the fair and exhibitions programme are two site-specific installations. The first is created by the Italian collective Sbagliato responding to their aluminium prints, and the second introduces Maisie Cousins’ new body of work about her childhood holidays.

Photo London is on show at Somerset House, London from 11 – 14 May 2023

Izabela Radwanska Zhang

Starting out as an intern back in 2016, Izabela Radwanska Zhang is now the Editorial Director of British Journal of Photography in print and online. Her words have appeared in Disegno and Press Association. Prior to this, she completed a MA in Magazine Journalism at City University, London, and most recently, a Postgrad Certificate in Graphic Design at London College of Communication.