Dear Shaded Viewers,
Unpublished Photo is an event promoted by the Fondazione culture e musei and MUSEC Lugano.
Conceived by the Milanese gallery 29 Arts in Progress, in 2018 the project looks to attract young photographers under 36 from all over the world. In 2020, MUSEC wanted to consolidate the initiative by giving it an institutional framework with a medium- to long-term development perspective, and the aim of highlighting the main international trends in young art photography.
It is MUSEC’s intention to also establish a proper archive of contemporary photography in Lugano, which will be housed alongside the museum’s existing collection of 19th century photography of exoticism.
The exhibition, to be staged in the iconic Spazio Maraini of The Villa Malpensata in Lugano, presents 24 large-format photographic prints.
The protagonists of the temporary exhibition are four young artists selected by the international jury of the UP22 global prize, chaired by the German photographer Hans Georg Berger. The four portfolios presented touch on themes such as environmental degradation, the search for self-identity and overcoming limits, and the importance of traditions and crafts.
At the end of the exhibition, the exhibited works will become part of the main MUSEC collections, thus enriching the photographic collections that today feature more than 40,000 works from the mid-19th century to the present day.
The UP22 first prizewinner gets their work featured in a dedicated (bilingual English/Italian) catalogue to accompany the exhibition a monetary prize of CHF 2,000; the second prizewinner receives CHF 1,500, while the third and fourth runners-up receive CHF 1,000 each.
The first prize went to Vietnamese photographer Quan Nguyen Ho, the second to Indian photographer Dipak Ray. Third and fourth place were awarded respectively to Malagasy photographer Tolojanahary Ranaivosoa and Russian photographer Olga Dmitrienko.
A special prize was awarded by Artphilein Editions of Lugano, consisting of the publication of a prestigious monograph of the works, went to Tolojanahary Ranaivosoa.
FIRST PRIZE: Quan Nguyen Ho (1986) – Life garbage
Quan Nguyen Ho was born in Vietnam in Ha Tinh Province. An architectural engineer, he lives and works in Hanoi. He began taking photographs of his travels in 2016, but collecting memories soon became a fully-fledged passion. Over the years, his sensitivity towards the issue of the environment led him to focus on photography that can raise public awareness about the most current themes that are often overlooked.
«Life garbage» is a project created between 2021 and 2022. It records the tragic conditions of open-air landfills in the Hanoi suburbs, where foul-smelling toxic waste is collected, and paradoxically represents a source of survival for people and animals. Tons of waste are deposited and burned each day. Nguyen Ho’s pictures portray people who with their bare hands and without even covering their faces pour water on the fires to contain the combustion in order to have enough time to search through waste products amidst the torn bags. Their hopes being to find something they can sell to earn a living. Nguyen Ho’s photographs capture images that nobody really wants to see, like the place where everything that people
Dispose of from their lives ends up. This might be described as an apocalyptic landscape, where humans and animals wander about amidst the toxic waste neglecting that what they are looking for to survive could also harm them permanently.
SECOND PRIZE: Dipak Ray (1986) – Frame within frame Dipak Ray was born in Kolkata, India, and works as a teacher in a government- funded school. Photography has been his greatest passion since he was in secondary school, when he was given his first pieces of equipment, a camera and a roll of film. In 2010 Ray bought a Nikon D7000 and began doing research and carrying out experiments in the world of digital photography. The project «Frame Within Frame» is a dream that finally came true after being cultivated for a long time. The portfolio was created in 2019 and 2020, along the Kangsabati in West Bengal, a river that is often dry, and that is mainly fed by rainwater. During the winter the fog cloaks the river banks, and it is indeed in the fog, in the water, thatRay positions some of his wooden frames and asks his brother to walk around them. The result of this is a series of thought-provoking, evocative photographs.
For Ray the frame, a symbol of order and stability, outlines the space and the visual field of the viewer, but at the same time it encourages the latter to look beyond and to escape from mental build-up and physical constructs. The river waves instead represent flotation, the instability of the frames themselves and of human nature and the never-ending change that is ever constant in life. The frames seem as though they were «suspended» over a white shroud, while the human figure is blurred. The mist with its veil, seems to be asking us to look more closely, more carefully, and with more attention.
THIRD PRIZE: Tolojanahary Ranaivosoa (1987) – The Yellow Revolution Tolojanahary Ranaivosoa was born in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, and is a geographer. He approached photography in 2011 as a self-taught photographer and then honed his skills by regularly participating in workshops and training courses. He became particularly interested in documenting moments of everyday life, capturing aspects that are curious, tragic, or exhilarating. In 2014, he began portraying the streets of his city. Little by little, as he took pictures, he became aware of the frequent presence in his shots of one or more yellow tanks used for water supplies. In 2019, while protest movements took place in the city to express dissatisfaction with the supply and distribution of water, Ranaivosoa began taking a series of images in different parts of the city center of Antananarivo aimed at denouncing the decay and the state of social malaise. This led to the creation of the project «The yellow revolution» in which the artist shows the extent to which life in the capital on the island revolves around those yellow tanks, which represent both the shortage of water and the gap between social classes. Present in almost every country in Africa, those containers, referred to as gallons, arrive from Europe or America filled with oil. Once they reach Africa, they are reused for water transportation or storage. They are an integral part of daily life in poor neighbourhoods, where people do not have access to uncontaminated water sources.
FOURTH PRIZE: Olga Dmitrienko (1986) – Artigiani e artisti genovesi [Genoese craftsmen and artists] Olga Dmitrienko was born in Moscow, where she studied at the School of Journalism and specialized in mass media design. She began taking photographs during her studies; she soon realised that what interests her most is the “human being”, and that she loves to capture the faces of people that strike her. After graduating from university, it was during one of her trips that she discovered Italy. She found Genoa to be a people-oriented city, where she encountered both kind gestures, smiles, and a notion of time without the frenzy of everyday life that our society tends to forget or steal from us. This led to the project «Artigiani e Artisti Genovesi» [Genoese craftsmen and artists] in which the artist presents a series of photographs portraying the faces of artisans in their workshops or homes. The outbreak of the pandemic interrupted Dmitrienko’s project, which she hopes to be able to resume in the near future. Through these images, Dmitrienko narrates a city that remains tenaciously attached to a memory to be cherished, fond of the precious traditions and skilled crafts handed down from generation to generation. In addition to capturing the intimacy and essence of the artists and artisans portrayed, Dmitrienko is fascinated by what their hands are capable of creating, focusing on the gesture acquired after years of study and hard work. It is a portrait that goes beyond the photograph, becoming a narrative space that is not exhausted in the shot itself. Behind those faces, those hands, and those artefacts is history, wealth of knowledge, and the value of tradition.
Hans Georg Berger – Photographer (President)
Riccardo Calimani – writer and historian
Francesco Paolo Campione – Director of the MUSEC Lugano
Luca Casulli – Co-founder of 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery
Caterina De Pietri – Director of De Pietri – Artphilein Foundation
Paolo Gerini – President of the Ada Ceschin and Rosanna Pilone Foundation Giovanna Palandri – Chancellor of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti Tiziana Serena – Professor at University of Florence (History of Photography)