The WMA Commission engages image makers to further provide in-depth studies of the yearly socially relevant theme, and extend public interest locally and globally. Each year the WMA Commission invites entries for proposals from artists and photographers from both Hong Kong and the international community, to create new research based photography work in Hong Kong, focusing on the annual theme. This year the theme of the proposals had to contextually relate to the theme MOBILITY and to HONG KONG.
A five-member Selection comprising of John Stanmeyer, photojournalist and educator, Kurt Chan, Professor, Department of Fine Arts, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Ying Kwok, independent curator, founder of Collector Club, Melissa Karmen Lee, public art curator, consultant, and Dr. Anthony Ng, WYNG Foundation Trustee selected Xyza Bacani as this year’s WMA Commission recipient.
According to John Stanmeyer, “The artists submitting projects to this year’s WMA Commission were of a caliber of excellence. Submissions arrived from all over the world, highlighting the importance the WMA Commission has become in the art world, both for Hong Kong and internationally. As Chair of this year’s selection committee, our decision for choosing from such talented photographers was difficult — the finalists presented profound story ideas, equally wrapped with vision and purpose. After deliberation, photographer Xyza Bacani was selected to receive this year’s grant. Both Xyza’s proposal and her keen eye in distilling the complex narrative of Mobility from the perspective of foreign domestic labor in Hong Kong, will allow this artist to highlight a topic well known to Hong Kong citizens, taking viewers far deeper into the realities facing more than 300,000 women working in the SAR. It has been a pleasure to be a part of the WMA program since its inception, pleased that this year’s Commission recipient will extend upon the work she has already committed three years to, a project that is both personal and universal. A story that needs to be seen and understood.”
Finalists included (in no particular order): Aaron Asis, Florencia Levy, Kristina Chan, Wawi Navarroza and Nicolas Combarro, Lynn Cazabon, Anush Babajanyan, Joseph Fung and Carol Chow.
Bio of Xyza Bacani- WMA Commission Recipient:
Xyza Bacani is a Filipina Street and Documentary Photographer who has been featured in New York Times Lens Blog, CNN and various international media publications not only for her excellence in photography but also for her inspirational story. Working as a domestic worker in Hong Kong for almost a decade, she used photography to raise awareness about under-reported stories, focusing on migrants and human rights issues. She is one of the MAGNUM FOUNDATION HUMAN RIGHTS FELLOWS 2015, has exhibited worldwide, won awards in photography and is the recipient of a resolution passed by the Philippines House of Representatives in her honour, HR No. 1969. Xyza is one of the BBC’s 100 Women of the World 2015, 30 Under 30 Women Photographers 2016, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2016, and a FujiFilm Ambassador.