Pictures of the Year Asia (POY Asia) is pleased to announce the results of our inaugural competition which was judged 9 — 11 April 2021.

The 10 judges awarded the 2021 Photographer of the Year, Asia to Ezra Acayan, a Filipino photojournalist with Getty Images.

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.

Kay-Chin Tay of Singapore is the Co-Director of POY Asia. 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 also POY Asia Co-Director and serves in a supporting role.

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. Three categories in POY Asia’s first competition are related to COVID-19.

The premier category in this competition is the Photographer of the Year, Asia award.

Brief history of POY Asia
First created in 2021, the Pictures of the Year, Asia competition is the annual hallmark event of POY Asia, an initiative committed to promoting Asia-based photographers and stories.
An official program of Pictures of the Year International, POY Asia was 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.
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 first competition in 2021 started with nine categories with the Photographer of the Year, Asia being the premier prize. In 2022, a new category — Recreational & Traditional Sports — was added.
Our Sponsors

Anshika Varma
Abir Abdullah
Jiro Ose
Nariman El Mofty
Suejin Shin
Bryan van der Beek
Khalil Hamra
Shiho Fukada
Rena Effendi
Wonsuk Choi

First

Joshua Irwandi
Independent
Indonesia

Third

Lauren DeCicca
Independent
USA/Thailand

Award of Excellence

Karim Mottaghi
Mamaat Art Collective
Iran

Second

Zhang Youqiong
Nanfang Daily
China

Award of Excellence

Younes Mohammad
Middle East Images
Iraq

Award of Excellence

Rafiq Maqbool
AP
India

First

Danish Siddiqui
Reuters
India

Third

SL Shanth Kumar
The Times of India
India

Award of Excellence

Chan Long Hei
Independent
Hong Kong

Second

Hassan Ammar
AP
Lebanon

Award of Excellence

Ahmad Hasaballah
IMAGESLIVE
Palestine

Award of Excellence

Anas Alkharboutli
DPA
Syria

First

Supratim Bhattacharjee
Independent
India

Third

Lee Heehoon
ohmynews
South Korea

Award of Excellence

Sergei Stroitelev
Independent
Russia

Second

Oded Wagenstein
Independent
Israel

Award of Excellence

Zohre Sabagh Nejad
Middle East Images
Iran

First

Sebnem Coskun
Anadolu News Agency
Turkey

Third

Andre Malerba
Independent
USA/Thailand

Award of Excellence

Moniruzzaman Sazal
Independent
Bangladesh

Second

Ezra Acayan
Getty Images
Philippines

First

Drama of Block 65

Karim Mottaghi
Mamaat Art Collective
Iran

Third

Time To Be Together

Alexey Pavlov
Independent
Russia

Award of Excellence

The Final Days of the Lockdown in Wuhan

Roman Pilipey
EPA
Ukraine/China

Second

The Exhausted Holocaust

SL Shanth Kumar
The Times of India
India

First

The Last Portrait

Mehrdad Vahed
Independent
Iran

Third

Portrait of My Mother

Anuj Arora
Independent
India

Award of Excellence

Safety Cards

Arseniy Neskhodimov
Independent
Russia

Second

When War Comes Home

Amit Chakravarty
India Express
India

First

Afghan Asylum Seekers in Iran

Zobair Movahhed
Middle East Images
Iran

Third

The Land of Soul

Ksenia Ivanova
Independent
Georgia

Award of Excellence

TB in Prison

Jes Aznar
Independent
Philippines

Second

Red is the Colour of Spring

Prasiit Sthapit
Independent
Nepal

Award of Excellence

Hong Kong, Times of Dissent

Ivan Abreu
Independent
Brazil/Hong Kong

First

Living Lullabies

Hannah Reyes Morales
Independent
Philippines

Third

Dacha

Kristina Rozhkova
Independent
Russia

Award of Excellence

Right To Believe

Fyodor Telkov
Independent
Russia

Second

Lost Legacy

Santanu Dey
Independent
India

Winner

Ezra Acayan
Getty Images
Philippines

Finalist

Sebnem Coskun
Anadolu News Agency
Turkey

Finalist

Dar Yasin
AP
India