Stunning photo of girl dancing in light beams wins Global SinoPhoto Award

global sinophoto award 2021 chinese new year culture competition category winners
Dancing Dreams of a Mountain Girl (Image credit: Li Huaifeng / Global SinoPhoto Award)

The Global SinoPhoto Awards, now in its second year, is all about conveying Chinese stories through the medium of photography. It welcomes professional and amateur photographers from all over the world, regardless of location, background and nationality – and almost 2,000 entries were received from across the globe.

This year's category and overall winners have now been unveiled, ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year – which falls on 01 February. The overall winning image (above), titled The Dancing Dreams of a Mountain Girl, depicts a girl dancing for her grandmother while she works making toy tigers in a small rural village. 

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Photographed by Li Huaifeng, the judges felt that this beautiful image captured a moment of joy, and an almost otherworldly vision, as if grandma had been watching the child dancing through a hologram of sorts. The photograph also won the Work & Play category, where further comments from judges stated that the image radiates the warmth of home, childhood and family life. 

Family Stuff – The Golden Anniversary Couple (Image credit: Huang Qingjun / Global SinoPhoto Award)

The awards this year covered three other categories: Water (2022 being the year of the water tiger), Home and Environment. Huang Qingjun won the Home category with their image of an old married couple, Family Stuff – The Golden Anniversary Couple.

The Environment category winner was Yang Tongyu for their image titled Seasonal Sea, that depicts the war on local green algae and promotes the importance of marine protection.

The Water category was an exception to the aim of celebrating Chinese culture, with a different goal to absorb the creativity of other traditions, offering photographers total creative freedom to express their own relationship to water through a personal lens – which, in return, will enrich Chinese culture. 

‘Seeking’ - Taken in Yeqing, Wenzhou, China, 2016. (Image credit: Huang Jianjun / Global SinoPhoto Award)

This category winner was Huang Jianjun for Seeking, a stunning black-and-white image of smoothed surface water (which was, as it happens, taking in Yeqing, Wenzhou, China).

Yintong Betser, founder of the Global SinoPhoto Awards, shared that, "We were delighted by the high level of entries to the Water category from many non-China locations, as this element represents the ultimate life source according to Chinese philosophies and is a way for all cultures to share their inspiration and delight for this element." 

The category winners of the awards will each receive cash prizes of €366 (approximately $413 / £306 / AU$579) plus certificates, with the overall winner receiving €2,888 ($3,256 / £2,418 / AU$4,569). All winners will have their work exhibited, and each will be granted a complimentary membership from the Societies of Photographers.

Seasonal Sea (Image credit: Yang Tongyu / Global SinoPhoto Award)

"I am delighted to see such overall high quality of submissions," said author and judge, Betty Yao. "Although three out of the four categories required a Chinese element, I felt many of the outstanding submissions were 'universal' and that audiences from around the world would respond to them both visually and emotionally."

The Museum of East Asian Art (MEAA) located at Bennett Street in Bath, England will be hosting an exhibition of the winning images from 16 February until 14 May 2022. 

The images will also be exhibited at other locations throughout the year, including the Lau China Institute at Kings College London, England, and the World Architecture Festival in Chengdu, China in November.

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.