To many the Covid-19 pandemic feels a million years ago, for others the scars it left are very much still here. But no matter your feelings, life since 2020 has felt very different. And the winner of Global SinoPhoto Awards perfectly captures a time before the world was turned upside down, of a city eternally linked with the coronavirus.
Bristol photographer Fergus Coyle, who mainly works as a commercial and editorial photographer, took the winning photograph. It depicts a popular park in the Chinese city of Wuhan. He travelled to there for his brother’s wedding in 2017, but stayed for another month to explore the city. Hankou Bund, the four-kilometre park along the Yangtze River, was often where locals congregated for group exercises, chess, dancing, or pose for photographs, before the pandemic.
Fergus’ photograph has since become an inadvertent time-capsule image of the city linked to the Covid-19 outbreak. The Global SinoPhoto Awards is an international photo competition celebrating Chinese culture. As well as being the overall winner of the Betser Prize, Fergus Coyle also won in the Environment category. There were also categories in Portraiture, Food and Series.
There were over 2,000 entries, with hundreds of photographers from 22 countries submitting photographs. The annual awards is an independent contest that invites photographers of “to tell their Chinese story across the diaspora, mainland China and globally.” It aims to communicate Chinese culture through imagery as well as promote international photographers.
Global SinoPhoto Awards other winners:
- Portraiture category: ‘I, Myself and Me, Quzhou, Zhejiang 2020-2022’ by Xueya Wang from China for her hidden facial expressions during lockdown
- Food category: ‘Reunion, Shanxi Province 2021’ by Peihong Hu from China, which depicts three generations of a family gathered in the yard to make dumplings in a village in Xingxian County, Shanxi Province
- Series category: ‘Solace, Netherlands, Dusseldorf, Paris and Xiamen, 2022’ by Sarah Mei Herman of the Netherlands, which shows Chinese LGBTQ couples in China, Germany, The Netherlands and France.
FUJIFILM House of Photography will exhibit all winning images in London until February 10. You can also see them here.