Vantage Point Sharjah 9 (VPS9) is the ninth iteration of Sharjah Art Foundation's annual initiative dedicated to the medium of photography. The exhibition is on view from 18 September through 18 December at the Foundation's off-site venue Al Hamriyah Studios.
For the first time, Vantage Point Sharjah introduces a cash prize of USD 1,500 for one winner from each of the following categories: Conceptual, Experimental, Photojournalism and Documentary and Staged Photography. This year, VPS9 also introduces a jury consisting of Ammar Al Attar (artist), Sham Enbashi (photographer and architect), M'hammed Kilito (photographer) and Alia Al Shamsi (author and artist), who selected the winners from each category. The selected winners will be announced on the exhibition's opening day, September 18.
This year’s annual Open Call attracted over 500 applicants. From these applications 53 photographers from over 30 countries were selected for inclusion in the exhibition. Each photographer will be represented by a series of 1 to 6 images that were submitted in response to the Open Call. The wide range of work included demonstrates the unique, fascinating and infinite possibilities of photography as a medium. Through their lens, the photographers explore the world around them, drawing from personal experiences and narratives, as well as cultural, political or environmental conditions. Some reveal intimate portraits of family life and memories, others reflect on the often- troubled history and politics of their homeland. Together, the nearly 200 images on view present an evocative and inspiring insight into the life and concerns of individuals of all walks of life from around the world today.
Artists were selected for their work in the Open Call categories of Conceptual, Experimental, Photojournalism and Documentary, and Staged Photography.
Maha Alasaker, Kathy Anne Lim, Hayley Millar Baker, Aline Deschamps, Farheen Fatima, Gabriel Gauffre, Majid Hojati, Alaa Jaafar, Işık Kaya, Wendy Marijnissen, Sara Sallam, Hiro Tanaka and Han Shun Zhou.
Sarah Al Ansary, Gabi Kaiser, Carolina Dutca and Valentin Sidorneko, Devashish Gaur, Sukanya Ghosh, Brian Kerrigan, Barbel Mollmann, Ziad Naitaddi, Yudha Kusuma Putera, Tamara Saade, Mahmoud Talaat and Alexander Walmsley.
Photojournalism and Documentary Photography:
Reyad Abedin, Taha Ahmad, Nicola Chilton, Akash Joshi, Roger Moukarzel, Fajar Riyanto, Kristina Sergeeva, Javed Sultan and Jerzy Wierzbicki.
Khadija El Abyad, Dima Assad, Fatima Butt, Divya Cowasji, Soheila Esmaeili, Wiame Haddad, Babak Haghi, Khoula Hamad, Barry Iverson, Januario Jano, Jennifer Kisney, Sudip Maiti, Lakin Ogunbanwo, Martin T Raggio, Anja Ronacher, Oskar Schmidt, Buhlebezwe Siwani, Sandeep TK and Rob Voerman
VPS was first launched in the summer of 2013 with an open call for submissions from GCC-based photographers. Over the years the exhibition has focused on a variety of themes including ‘Self-Portraiture’, ‘Performance’ and ‘Architecture and Urban Landscape’ and has opened up submissions to photographers from around the world.
Devashish Gaur’s photo series ‘This Is the Closest We Will Get’ was inspired by his late grandfather, a man the photographer never met but whose habits and interests he’s often told he shares.
Reyad Abedin's work draws upon a strong understanding of his surroundings and his reflections on the human relationship with nature, the environment and the landscape.
El Abyad, Khadija
In her series ‘Défilé de l’intime’, Khadija El Abyad creates a performance that revolves around the intimacy of the female body in an isolated natural space containing plants, bodies and other objects and shapes.
Sham Enbashi’s photographic works question the relationship between objective and subjective reality.
M’hammed Kilito's work addresses issues related to cultural identity, the sociology of work and the human condition.
Al Attar, Ammar
A self-taught photographer and mixed media artist, Ammar Al Attar goes beyond documentation to engage with issues impacting the social fabric of the United Arab Emirates.
Al Shamsi, Alia
Alia Al Shamsi is an author, poet, curator and photographer with extensive experience in numerous creative fields.