24 AUG – 20 OCT 2019

New Photography Award

Since 2005 the Ballarat International Foto Biennale has been a force in the promotion of Australian and international photography. A two month-long festival event that immerses the historic town of Ballarat in photographic art, the Ballarat international Foto Biennale presents exhibitions of important contemporary photographers selected by leading curators in a rich artistic program.

Excitingly for the first time in 2019 the Ballarat International Foto Biennale will launch its NEW PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD. This award places the focus on photographic artists working throughout the Asia Pacific region; seeking to find those whose work is beginning to receive critical attention and deserves to be seen by international audiences. A selection of up to 6 artists will each receive a solo exhibition within the 2019 core program in a venue alongside other finalists, and receive one-on-one support from BIFB curators in the realisation of their exhibition.

All applicants will have their submissions reviewed by an international jury of leading curators and gallery directors. Judges will award one cash prize of AUD $10,000 to an overall winner, with an extra AUD $1,000 being awarded the People’s Choice Award, as voted by the public.

Applications: CLOSED
Finalists contacted: 1 June 2019
Exhibition opens: 24 August 2019


The premise for the 2019 Ballarat International Foto Biennale is ‘Hello World.’ At the outset, with its polite gesture – hello – this salutation acknowledges some of the major challenges facing a globalising world and its population. Specifically, this rather personifying greeting evokes investigations into human behaviour and human intervention in areas of ecology, rights, race, capital, and conflict. At the same time, ‘Hello World’ references the universally considered syntax of computer programming, recognising the omnipresence of the digital era and its rapid re-invention and re-interpretation of photography and the way it is consumed.

In 2019 the Ballarat International Foto Biennale turns its attention towards photographers representing the world in unconventional ways and in unpredictable circumstances. The state of photography is changing. Its language and ability to communicate is altering, and its viewership and the way we interpret imagery is under constant negotiation. In an era of continuous and rapid re-definition how do photographers deliver messages made for viewers of the 21st century?

Entries will be judged by:

Peggy Sue Amison

Peggy Sue is the Artistic Director of East Wing, an international platform for photography founded in Doha, Qatar. Throughout her career Peggy Sue has mentored innovative emerging and established photographers and been advisor to international photographic festivals.

As curator, writer, producer and photographic consultant, Peggy Sue has produced exhibitions in Dubai, Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Poland, the USA, and China and has written for various photographic publications and artist catalogues. Peggy Sue is also a consultant for the not for profit, artist-initiated hybrid residency/art academy, Picture Berlin in Germany.

Jagdip Jagpal

Jagdip Jagpal is the Director of India Art Fair, where she is responsible for the strategic enhancement of the fair, as well as expanding activities in India and internationally.

Jagdip is a champion of South Asian art, heritage and design. She is a member of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Task Force for Arts and Culture, a not-for-profit, industry-led organisation working with the government on drafting cultural policy. Internationally, Jagdip has played important roles in delivering UK-China and UK-South Asia projects. She is a former trustee of the Wallace Collection and Almeida Theatre in London.

She has over 30 years experience in numerous creative industries including arts and culture, publishing and media, luxury and fashion. Since 2012, she has been on the Development Board at the Royal College of Art, London and serves as a Governor at the London School of Economics where she studied Law.

Natalie King

Natalie King is an Australian curator and arts leader who has realised landmark projects in India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Italy, Thailand and Vietnam. She is an Enterprise Professorial Fellow, Victoria College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. She was a finalist in the ARR 100 Women of Influence 2018.

Natalie has curated exhibitions for the Singapore Art Museum; the National Museum of Art, Osaka; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. She has conducted in-depth interviews with Ai Wei Wei, Pussy Riot, Candice Breitz, Joseph Kosuth, Destiny Deacon, Massimiliano Gioni, Pipilotti Rist, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tracey Moffatt, Hou Hanru and Cai Guo-Qiang, amongst others. She is widely published in arts media including Flash Art International, Art and Australia and the ABC.

Image Credit: Kate Ballis

Gwen Lee

Gwen Lee is an arts initiator, curator, DECK and SIPF Director based in Singapore.
Lee established 2902 Gallery followed by the Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF) and an independent container art space ‘DECK’ with all year-round programme and residency for photographers.

Her curatorial projects includes We Defining Stories at National Museum of Singapore, After Becker at DECK (2014), Flux Reality: Contemporary Photography from China at Art Science Museum Singapore (2014), Daido Moriyama: Prints and Books 1960s-1980s, and Steidl 101 Photobook exhibition with Steidl publishing (2016). Lee has lectured on professional development for photographers, and is a frequent participant as a competition judge, and portfolio reviewer in Asia and Europe. She has curated exhibitions for Dali International Photography Exhibition, Lianzhou Fotofestival and most recently Auckland Festival of Photography 2018.

Celina Lunsford

Celina Lunsford is the artistic director of the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt exhibition program and FFF Academy. The centre is dedicated to the international photographic arts and related media. She is also the Vice President of the Deutsche Fotografische Akademie, an archive and platform for photographers, teachers and curators which organizes 2 symposia annually throughout Germany.

As a co-founder for RAY 2018 a triennial in Frankfurt/RheinMain her curatorial eye is focused on extraordinary interdisciplinary photographic themes and artists. Outside of her work in Frankfurt she has been commissioned to curate other exhibitions and festivals such as the International Photography Festival Lodz, Poland, the Lianzhou International Photography Festival, China, Fundación MAPFRE, Fundación Telefonica Foundation and the H2 Zentrum für Gegenwartskunst, Augsburg.

Image Credit: Elinor Carucci

Jim Ramer

Jim Ramer is an artist, curator and educator. His work spans photography, video, sculpture, and installation.

Jim’s work has been in recent exhibitions at Main Window, NYC; Inchon International Photography Festival, Inchon, South Korea; The Pelham Art Center, NY; Filter Space, Chicago; Pingyao International Photography Festival; Denver Month of Photography, CO; Chiang Mai Museum of Art, Thailand; among others. He has lectured internationally on photography most recently at the Net Photography Festival Daegu, South Korea; Auckland Festival of Photography, NZ; and the Singapore International Photo Festival. He has recently curated exhibitions in China, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, India as well as New York City.

In 2017 he was named curator of the Lishui Biennial International Photography Festival, Lishui, CN. He currently serves as the Director of the MFA in Photography program at Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Fiona Sweet

A prominent and highly experienced director, art director and curator, Sweet is renowned for inspiring and intelligent delivery of uniquely curated festivals and exhibitions. Currently, Sweet is the Festival and Creative Director at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in Melbourne, Australia.

Fiona Sweet is an influential and highly sought after speaker, industry judge, photographic portfolio reviewer and assessor in Australia and internationally. Currently she sits of the Public Arts Advisory Committee for the City of Ballarat, and on the Discipline of Photography advisory committee for the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, concerning matters of industry and community.

Entries for the 2019 New Photography Award are now CLOSED

Entry Terms and Conditions