Nyimas Laula is an Indonesian photojournalist whose works focus on environmental and human rights issues across the country. In 2015, Nyimas documented the arrival of Rohingya refugees in Aceh and covered one of the worst forest fires in the country’s history. For six months in 2019, she followed the trail of plastic pollution on the island of Bali for National Geographic. Nyimas’s work were  recently displayed in a collective exhibition by UNDP on Far-Reaching Fallout of COVID-19 at Photoville in Brooklyn. Her ongoing work INSIDE, about personal experience facing the global pandemic, has traveled to Photoville in New York City, Hong Kong Press Club in Hong Kong, Jamii Esplanade in Toronto, Canada. She co-directed a documentary film series about the impact of COVID-19 in the community of coconut sugar farmers in Central Java, Indonesia. Her works have been published in The New York Times, National Geographic, Reuters, Washington Post Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal.

Born and raised in Taiwan, Liang-Pin Tsao is an artist based in Taipei, Taiwan. He holds an MFA degree from Pratt Institute, and is the recipient of Fulbright Grant, New York Residency Program sponsored by the Ministry of Culture Taiwan, and scholarship from Pratt Institute among others. His recent works, Becoming / Taiwanese, investigate the Chinese Martyrs’ Shrines in Taiwan and their relational tension between colonial history, self-identity and value awareness especially in light of transitional justice and biopolitics. Liang also devotes himself to art education, public service and open culture. He is an adjunct assistant professor at National Chengchi University, and is one of the advisory committee members of the establishment of National Center of Photography and Images. He initiated a symposium project, Photo Talks, in 2015 to promote contemporary photography in Taiwan. In 2016, he established Lightbox Photo Library, a non-for-profit organization, which is free and open to all, and employed as a method to pursue cultural autonomy, knowledge equity and a more inclusive community.

Armenian photographer Anush Babajanyan is a member of VII Photo Agency and a National Geographic Explorer. Anush focuses her work on social narratives and personal stories. In addition to working extensively in the South Caucasus, she continues to photograph in Central Asia and around the world. She is currently working on an environmental project in Central Asia, supported by the National Geographic Society, and also working on a book on Nagorno-Karabakh, in the South Caucasus.

Ikuru Kuwajima is a Moscow-based artist born in Japan, educated as a photojournalist at University of Missouri, but living and working in Eastern European and Central Asian countries, such as Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, in the past 13 years. His works explore identity, culture, history and social issues primarily in the post-Soviet states through photography and other media. He also attended European contemporary photography workshop Reflexions Masterclass from 2010 to 2013.

Tanvi Mishra works with images as a photo editor, curator, and writer, based in New Delhi, India. Among her interests are South Asian visual histories, peoples’ movements as well as the notion of fiction in photography, particularly in the current political landscape. Until recently, she was the Creative Director of The Caravan, a journal of politics and culture published out of Delhi. She is part of the photo-editorial team of PIX, a South Asian publication and display practice. She works as an independent curator and has been part of the curatorial teams of Photo Kathmandu, Delhi Photo Festival as well as the upcoming BredaPhoto Biennial in 2022. Her writing on photography has been published in various platforms including Aperture, FOAM and The Caravan. She has served on multiple juries, including World Press Photo, Hindu Photojournalism Awards and the Catchlight grant. She has also been a mentor for the Women Photograph program and is part of the first international advisory board of World Press Photo.

Samuel He teaches photojournalism at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His images and films have been published and screened by The Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia and International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam. He is a founding investor in Our Grandfather Story, Singapore’s most well-loved micro-documentary content publisher. He still serves on the company’s board of directors.  He is currently working on Migrants NFT, a community initiative to build a digital museum and artistic representation for migrant artists.

Jean Chung


Jean Chung is an award-winning photojournalist from South Korea who gained international recognition for her photographic documentations in Afghanistan and Africa. She is a Grand Prix winner of prestigious CARE Humanitaire Reportage in 2007 and the inaugural Pierre & Alexandra Boulat Award in Perpignan, France in 2008; first prize winner of Days Japan Photojournalism Awards and WHO’s Stop Tuberculosis Partnership Award in 2008; second prize winner of Days Japan Photojournalism Awards in 2010; and the Special Jury’s Award of Days Japan in 2011.

Sanjit Das, currently a photo editor with Bloomberg’s Asia desk, is a member photographer of Panos Pictures. His career has spanned over two decades and with a deeper understanding of social and political issues, Sanjit independently produced long form photographic projects as well as reportage for international publications and development agencies. He now lives in Hong Kong.

Maika Elan

Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM

After studying sociology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Hanoi, Maika Elan started to take pictures of her daily and private life in 2006. From 2008, she turned professional, and soon started various collaborations for editorial clients and fashion firms in Vietnam. In 2010, she switched to documentary photography and her first project, The Pink Choice, which focused on personal life of gay couples in Vietnam, has been published in many magazines, print and online, in USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain, China, India and Brazil. In 2013, The Pink Choice won 1st prize stories, Contemporary Issues, at World Press Photo and 1st prize documentary story at Pride Photo Award 2013. Maika participated in the 2013 Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam, and was selected for the VII Mentor program from 2014 to 2016. She also honoured in the Forbes Vietnam 30under30 list in 2014.

Oded Wagenstein, an award-winning photographer and lecturer, is a Sociology, Anthropology, and Film and Television graduate from Tel Aviv University. Oded uses the photographic medium to explore the relationship between aging and exclusion. His work has been published, among other platforms, by National Geographic, The Washington Post, BBC, The Guardian, VOGUE and has been displayed internationally, including exhibitions presented in the National Portrait Gallery (London, UK), the United Nations (NYC, USA), and the Red Square’s State Historical Museum of Russia (Moscow, Russia). He is also the author of three books on Visual Storytelling. For more than a decade, Oded has been teaching photography students around the globe. As a senior lecturer at the Galitz School of Photography, based in Tel Aviv, he teaches hundreds of students each year, both Jewish and Muslims, how to use their cameras as a bridge. Oded’s image of Mordechai Zilberman won second place in the portrait category of POY Asia 2021.

Statement of Judging Ethics

The mission of Pictures of the Year Asia is to recognize excellence in the photojournalism and documentary photography. “Show truth with a camera,” remains the guiding principle as articulated by POY founder Cliff Edom in 1943.
Pictures of the Year Asia selects judges who apply the highest journalistic and ethical standards to their selections as well as their own actions as jurors.
We recognize that our profession is a close network and that judges are also working journalists.We carefully consider any potential conflicts and then counsel all members about their obligations to be fair and impartial.
The judging process is an open forum for all to observe in person or virtually. Our goal is to conduct POY Asia with transparency and integrity.
The decisions regarding the winning entries reflect the collaborative effort of the entire judging team. Just as the results are viewed as an example of excellence in visual journalism, the judging process itself sets a standard of professionalism.

Judging Process

The judges will meet virtually, and each will make a pre-selection on his or her own. These final projects and images will be selected by the judges which will be broadcast live.
Please join us for live discussions through @poyasia Facebook page as we review the entries.


The judges are nominated by Prashant Panjiar, Maye-E Wong, Tanya Habjouqa, Lynden Steele and Kay-Chin Tay, all Founding Advisors of POY ASIA.