Welcome to Pictures of the Year Asia

Since the beginning of 2020, the number of Covid-19 cases worldwide has grown exponentially with no end in sight. No one has been spared the impact of Covid-19. The aggressive spread of this pandemic means we are required to spend more time in isolation and maintain a wider distance from others, even at times of great need. Occasionally, it can feel as if we are all alone in this, even though we are told that we are in this together.

With our individual face masks on, we may each feel insignificant, suffering our own personal losses behind a veil. Coping with our new routines goes beyond the compulsory donning of face masks or obeying strict social-distancing regulations. We are adapting to new ways to work, to raise a family, to love.

Look under the surface of these generalisations and you will find individual tales of profound strength and creativity. It is in these glimpses that we can see our humanity and come together in resilience.

As a precursor to our first POY Asia competition in February 2021, we invited photographers all over Asia to share one image that summarises his or her own Covid Experience.

These are the submissions.

From 2014 to 2018, Ki-Ho Park worked on a project on empty houses in Seoul, cumulating in a book and an exhibition at The Museum of Photography, Seoul.

The Rock & Butter from Seoul

Born into a family of creative souls, young Ki-Ho Park was advised to stay clear of the arts. But when he found his true calling in photography, there was no turning back. Over a bowl of noodle and a cup of coffee in Seoul, he shares his long journey with POY Asia Co-Director and Founding Advisor Kay-Chin Tay.

POY Asia’s first-ever POY Asia exhibition at the Mindful Art Forum(MAF), a private gallery in Seoul, South Korea, has just ended. Featuring 50 award-winning images from the POY Asia 2022 competition, the show ran from July 13 to September 3, 2022.

The exhibition is a result of the hard work by Suejin Shin, a POY Asia judge in 2021 and Director of LAMPLAB, who was suitably impressed with the works she saw and our direction after judging the inaugural competition.

Founded in 1944 by University of Missouri Professor Cliff Edom, POY’s initial exhibit was entitled “The First Annual Fifty-Print Exhibition of New and Feature Pictures”.

As part of the opening, a forum titled “The truth revealed by photojournalism and documentary photography in our era” was held at the gallery on July 12, 2022.


Pictures of the Year Asia 2022 Results

We are pleased to announce the results of Pictures of the Year Asia 2022 competition which was judged 8 — 10 April 2022.

Modelled after the prestigious Pictures of the Year International (POYi), POY Asia was created in 2020 by and for photographers from Asia. POY Asia is an official program of POYi.

Inspired by POYi’s guiding principle of “Show truth with a camera,” POY Asia is committed to seeing the world from an Asian perspective.

The 10 judges awarded the 2022 Photographer of the Year, Asia to Roman Pilipey, a China-based Ukrainian photojournalist with EPA.

In addition, the judges also recognized 29 Finalists, 31 Awards of Excellence in 10 categories.

The winners this year came from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Hong Kong, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Palestine, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA.

11 winners won in more than one category, and 11 of the overall winners are won by women/non-binary photographers.

40 awards are won by independent photographers.

Click here for the complete POY Asia 2022 Winners' List

Pictures of the Year International is proud to announce the creation of Pictures of the Year Asia, a program aimed at promoting Asia-based photographers. Inspired by POYi’s guiding principle of “Show truth with a camera,” POY Asia is committed to seeing the world from an Asian perspective.
POY Asia is created by and for photographers working and living in Asia. Kay-Chin Tay of Singapore is serving as a Co-Director. Prashant Panjiar of India, Tanya Habjouqa of Jordan and Maye-E Wong, a Singaporean based in USA, are the Founding Advisors. POYi Director Lynden Steele is a Co-Director and will serve in a supporting role.
In 2021, the group launched its first competition modelled after POYi. Please click here to go to the contest microsite.
About Us

Mission Statement

Our mission is to increase the representation of Asian photographers and stories by celebrating and sharing excellence in documentary and artistic visual storytelling throughout Asia. Through POY Asia, we hope to strengthen the growing photo community via competitions, exhibitions, publications and educational programs.

“Show truth with a camera,” as stated by POYi founder Cliff Edom in 1944, remains our guiding principle. We believe it is critical for people to see the news and issues that are shaping Asia through the eyes of those who live here every single day.

On The Record

In Conversation with Lynden Steele, Kay-Chin Tay & Suejin Shin

In an article for leading Korean photography magazine facilitated by MAF Director and POY Asia 2021 judge Suejin Shin, POY Co-Directors Lynden Steele and Kay-Chin Tay talk about the POY Asia 2022 exhibition in Seoul. While the article appears only in Korean, we are happy to provide the English transcript here.


POY Asia Presents 2021

When we created POY Asia, we made a pledge that we will not just be about a competition; and that education and robust exchange are necessary for our profession to grow. It is a well-proven fact that there are more visual storytelling talents in Asia than publicly acknowledged. We at POY Asia believe we have both responsibility and opportunity to help bring more stories and talents to the spotlight. We hope that in years to come, POY Asia Presents will become a gathering to look forward to.

The Covid Experience

Dispatches from Asia

As a precursor to our first POY Asia competition in February 2021, we invited photographers all over Asia to share one image that summarises his or her own Covid Experience.