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New Cosmos of Photography 2018 Photo Competition (Update: Winner Announced)


If visual art is your passion, this is the perfect opportunity to test, expand and enrich your scope of creative expression. Canon Inc’s New Cosmos of Photography photo competition aims to discover, nurture and support talented new photographers from all over the world in their creative endeavours. Applications for the 2018 competition are open from now to 6 June, and still images and video entries are welcome. Read on to find out more.

New Cosmos of Photography 2017 winning entries


Update: New Cosmos of Photography 2018 Grand Prize winner announced!

On 2 November 2018, Mr. Song-Nian Ang from Singapore was declared the Grand Prize winner for the New Cosmos of Photography 2018 at a public meeting of the Grand Prize selection committee held at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum.

His winning work "Hanging Heavy On My Eyes", visualized the invisible by documenting the recurring haze situation in Singapore through a series of silver halide photographic prints. (More details in the news release) Congratulations, Mr. Ang!

For those keen on joining next year's competition, bookmark the New Cosmos of Photography Photo Competition website and stay tuned for updates. Applications usually open in April.




A gateway to success for budding photographers

The New Cosmos of Photography is Canon’s cultural support project, and aims to discover, nurture and support talented new photographers in their pursuit of new possibilities in creative photographic expression. Founded in 1991, the year 2018 marks the 41st edition of the competition and its 28th year running. 


Encouraging bold, creative visual expression

Contestants are encouraged to push the possibilities of photography to create new creative photographic expression, including those that do not conform to the commonly-held notion of still images and video as separate modalities.

Photographers who can show that they are not confined by existing ideologies, and whose works give the judges a sense of foreshadowing about the next generation, will stand in good stead to win the contest. Works that draw an eye toward the various issues in our present society and represent them as contemporary art in the form of photos, videos or a combination of both are also warmly welcome. 


The opportunity to be seen and evaluated by renowned visual arts leaders

Judged by a panel of seven judges who are esteemed practitioners and other professionals in the visual arts, the competition provides a rare opportunity for aspiring photographers to have their work seen and evaluated from by leaders in the various visual arts genres. 

Previous judging panels have included not only photographers and photo critics, but also artists, art directors and curators. The panel for the 2018 competition includes Artistic Director of the Dutch photo and video exhibition Unseen, Emilia van Lynden, and Sandra Philips, Curator Emerita of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA).

With the exposure and opportunities provided by the competition, many of its winners go on to become renowned photographers who work worldwide. The competition has also provided budding photographers with a platform to be recognised globally.

Judges of New Cosmos of Photography 2017

The judges of the 2017 edition of New Cosmos of Photography.


Judging the Excellent Award category 2017

Judges reviewing entries for the Excellent Award category in 2017.



Anyone, anywhere in the world can take part regardless of nationality, age, gender or experience. The contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers.

Applicants may choose to enter as an individual or as a group but not both. However, do note that entry by group is restricted to groups that plan to continue activities as a group in the future. 


Prizes and Opportunities

There will be up to 7 Excellence Award winners (each judge picks 1 winner) and 7 to 14 Honorable Mention Award winners (each judge picks 2 winners). 1 Grand Prize winner will be selected from among the Excellence Award winners. 

The winners stand to win cash prizes and publicity opportunities as follows:

Grand prize (1 winner)
- JPY 1 million in prize money (including JPY 200,000 prize money for the Excellence Award)
- Opportunity to hold a solo exhibition at the New Cosmos of Photography Exhibition to be held in Tokyo in 2019.
- All Excellence Award gifts and publicity

Excellence Award (up to 7 winners)
- JPY 200,000 in prize money
- Invitation to participate in the Grand Prize selection committee meeting
- Works exhibited at the New Cosmos of Photography Exhibition 2018
- Works showcased on the New Cosmos of Photography website
- Works published in the next issue of New Cosmos of Photography magazine

Honorable Mention Award (7 to 14 winners)
- JPY 30,000 in prize money
- Works exhibited at the New Cosmos of Photography Exhibition 2018
- Works showcased on the New Cosmos of Photography website
- Works published in the next issue of New Cosmos of Photography magazine

2017 winners (group photo)

The 7 winners of the New Cosmos of Photography 2017 (including 1 group with two members).


What kind of work is accepted?

Entries may be on any theme as long as they are original photographic works and have not been published or submitted to/selected by any other awards or competitions. 

The works may submitted be in digital format or printed format. For digital submissions, do note that restrictions on number of files, file size and format apply.

There are no restrictions on photographic equipment—you can use a film camera if that is your tool of choice. The competition also accepts works that have been processed and manipulated with in-camera apps or other image-editing software, as long as no third-party rights are infringed upon.


Examples of Winners in 2017

“17 toner hvitt” by Trond Ansten & Benjamin Breitkopf, 2017 Grand Prize winner

This film essay serves as a metaphor for issues and tensions in today’s Arctic Circle. It impressed the judges, who saw in it new photographic and artistic expressions as well as “possibilities of how far artwork can go in the future”.
Learn more about this work here


“I travelled on an island”, Giancarlo Shibayama

“I travelled on an island”, Giancarlo Shibayama, 2017 Excellence Award winner 

The sixty-nine still images in this work are a mix of surreal images and snapshots that work together to both represent and transcend the artist’s mixed Japanese and Peruvian heritage and identity.
See more of this work here


“ID”, Ai Mizobuchi

“ID”, Ai Mizobuchi, 2017 Excellence Award winner

A collection of twenty portraits of women, this work strips away social fabrications (cosmetics and fashion) to capture the “in-between point” between social media and real-world personas.
See more of this work here

Works from the 2017 winners and winners of past editions of the New Cosmos of Photography may be viewed in the New Cosmos of Photography Gallery


How to apply

Application is free of charge and can be done online. Simply follow the following instructions:

1. Make your entry application by 6 June 2018 (wed) via the New Cosmos of Photography website
*Applications must be received by 23:59 JST (UTC +9) on June 6

2. Submit your entry by 13 June 2018 (Wed).

For online submissions:
- Do refer to the application guidelines for information about format and file size.
- Online submissions will be accepted until 23:59 JST (UTC +9) on 13 June 2018.

For submissions by post:
- This is for printed works only. Submissions on DVDs or other media will not be accepted.
- Your submission must be postmarked or picked up by a courier on 13 June 2018.
- Contestants will be responsible for the cost of postage.


Dates to note

6 Jun
Entry application deadline

13 Jun
Entry submission deadline

Early Jul
Judging process for Excellence Award and Honorable Mention Award

By 3 Aug
Excellence Award winners and Honorable Mention Award winners announced on New Cosmos of Photography website

27 Oct to 25 Nov
New Cosmos of Photography Exhibition 2018 (Tokyo)

2 Nov
Selection of the Grand Prize winner by the selection committee. (Will also be announced later on the New Cosmos of Photography website)

March 2019
All winning works to be published in Issue No. 33 of the magazine of winning works.


If challenging existing boundaries, redefining them and creating fresh perspectives through photography and/or videography is your artistic vision and mission, this competition might just be your platform to greater heights. Dare to dream, dare to create, and who knows? Your work might just be the next winner.

For more details on application guidelines, please refer to the New Cosmos of Photography homepage:

For articles on previous editions of the New Cosmos of Photography, check out:
New Cosmos of Photography 2016: Grand Prize Winner Announced!


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