Please enable JS

Open Call 

Unpublished Photo 2021: winners announcement


Chaired by German photographer Han Georg Berger, the international jury gathered at MUSEC has chosen the four winners of the UP21 prize.
More than 160 applications were received in Lugano this year, with a clear predominance of Asian artists.

After an initial selection process that identified 17 finalists, the jury unanimously decided to award the prize to four photographers whose works will be exhibited at MUSEC from 23 September 2021 to 27 February 2022.
MUSEC will also dedicate an easy-to-read publication to the winning artists, in which the jury’s motivations and a biographical and critical profile will be presented.

The winners (in alphabetical order) are:

Khanh Bui Phu – (b. Vietnam, 1987), “Make a nomadic living on the water ecosystem”. With great poetic intensity and skillful use of colour contrast, the project depicts the life of nomadic fishermen on Tuyen Lam Lake in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. The fishermen of Khanh Bui Phu cannot keep up with the modern lifestyle, environmental pollution, deforestation and erosion of natural ecosystems that threaten their livelihoods. The jury also noted a strong narrative charge and a language that undoubtedly corresponds very closely to the modern literature of his country.

Avinash Mishra – (b. India, 1999), presents “The colors empire”, a reportage taken during the famous “colour ceremony” in Mathura. With a language strongly oriented towards the rendering of moving masses, the artist, through the choice of black and white photography, transforms the substance of chromatic contrasts into a vivid representation of humanity and the religious sense of life.

Mouneb Taim – (b. Syria, 2001), “War Notes”. It is an impressive document of daily life during the recent war that has bloodied Syria. The project is charged with a lyrical message and the young photographer expresses feeling part of a wounded culture. His photos have a profound note of hope that eventually prevails amidst the destruction.

Li Zhang – (b. China, 1991), “When I was a child”: with this project Zhang conducts an introspective investigation into his childhood by reworking old pictures taken by his grandfather using a scanner and camera. In this way, with a language tinged with subtle poetry, and thanks to an innovative technique, he increases the value and expressive capacity of an intimate generational connection, building a visual and stylistic bridge between the 1990s and our time.


Download Press Release | Scarica Comunicato Stampa