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New Cosmos of Photography 2016: Grand Prize Winner Announced!


New Cosmos of Photography is a project by Canon to support new photographers in challenging themselves to express themselves through photography. This project, which was extended not just to Japan but also all over Asia, received a record breaking number of applicants. The Grand Prize winner for 2016 was selected, and we will find out more about her winning work.


Grand Prize winner Kim Sajik’s “STORY” illustrates her search for her homeland

The New Cosmos of Photography 2016 (39th competition), a cultural support project by Canon received 1,723 individual (or groups of) applicants, which was the highest number ever. This time the application was open to various Asian countries, and there were many types of work. Out of all these, there were 7 prize winners of the Excellence Award, 14 winners of the Honorable Mention Award, and the Selection Committee picked Kim Sajik’s STORY to be the Grand Prize winner. She was awarded JPY 1 million in cash alongside a EOS 5D Mark IV/ EF24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens kit.

The work that won the Grand Prize, “STORY”, was by Kim Sajik, a 4th generation Japan-based Korean. It explored the existing festivities of her people in her pursuit to discover her homeland. She said that during the process of her photography journey, she discovered “something” that she seemed to have always known, although it did seem very unlikely that she would come to know it. That “something” resonated with her and resulted in this photography work.

“This was something I composed 10 years ago and I slowly allowed it to materialize. I did not lie to myself. This piece of work was the result of being honest to myself. I’m happy that my work managed to touch hearts,” she shared after she received her prize.

The decision to award the Grand Prize to Ms. Kim was a unanimous decision by all in the Selection Committee. Osamu James Nakagawa, one of the committee members who selected her work for the Excellence Award mentioned during the award ceremony, “Kim’s work actually strikes a chord with us, and she captured those in-between gazes well. This is an excellent piece of work that portrays the minority races in Japan, and I hope to see more of such work.”

With Canon’s support, Kim Sajik will have an individual exhibition booth for her latest work at New Cosmos of Photography Tokyo Exhibition in 2017.

“STORY” by Kim Sajik, Grand Prize winner.


The 7 winners of the Excellence Award including Grand Prize winner Kim Sajik.


Welcoming new photographers who wish to challenge their potential in photography

The New Cosmos of Photography is a yearly project that aims to discover, develop, and support new Canon photographers. It started in 1991, and 2016 marks its 26th year. It is a stepping stone to fame and success for young photographers, and many stepped into photography careers enjoying soaring success upon winning awards at New Cosmos of Photography.

The contest was held in an open-invitation format where anyone would have a chance to have his work reviewed by a member of the selection committee. It is open to all regardless of format of work, number of works submitted, or the age or nationality of the applicant. Since 2015, video works have also been accepted. It is also possible to apply online or send a hard copy of one’s work by post, so people outside Japan could easily apply.

Application is open between April and June every year. The 7 judges on the Excellence Award Selection Committee each pick 1 winner for the Excellence Award and 2 winners for the Honorable Mention Award. Altogether, there will be 7 individual (or groups of) Excellence Award winners and 14 individual (or groups of) Honorable Mention Award winners selected. The cash prize for the Excellence Award winner is JPY 200,000, and the cash prize for the Honorable Mention Award winner is JPY 30,000.

The details for the application can be found on the website, so those who wish to apply may check the website next year for more details. Application is free-of-charge.

Website for New Cosmos of Photography

The selected works are displayed at the Tokyo Exhibition for New Cosmos of Photography held every late October at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. The Grand Prize winner will be decided in early November at the Grand Prize Winner Selection Conference by 7 committee members.

The Grand Prize winner will showcase his works in a separate booth at the Tokyo Exhibition for New Cosmos of Photography in the following year. In March next year, the works of the Grand Prize winner and the Honorable Mention Award winners will be showcased as an “Award Winner Series (New Cosmos of Photography magazine)” in schools, museums, and galleries.

Tokyo Exhibition for New Cosmos of Photography 2016: “Sword & Sandal”, Exhibition of Teppei Sako, Grand Prize winner for 2015.


Prize winning works from past years may be found on the website.


The subtitle of the New Cosmos of Photography contest is “What can we do through photography? What is possible only through photography?” With this concept, the contest hopes to encourage creative activities that bring out the possibilities in photography. This is apparent from the previous prize-winning works, which may be viewed on the website (http://www.canon.com/scsa/newcosmos/). Aspiring photographers from all over the world are welcome to apply. Who knows? Your work may just be the next winner.


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