ING Unseen Talent Award: Previous Editions

ING Unseen Talent Award

The ING Unseen Talent Award is an exclusive photography award created by ING and Unseen, focused on new photography talent. The award provides an international platform for emerging European photography talent to present their work on a global scale.

ING Unseen Talent Award 2016

During Unseen Amsterdam 2016 Thomas Albdorf (AT, 1982) was announced as the winner of the ING Unseen Talent Award. He was awarded a €10,000 prize to fund a new project. The winner was chosen from five exceptional ING Unseen Talent Award finalists: Thomas Albdorf (AT, 1982), Laurianne Bixhain (LU, 1987), Felicity Hammond (UK, 1988), Miren Pastor (ES, 1985) and Tereza Zelenkova (CZ, 1985).

The winner of the ING Unseen Talent Award Public Prize 2016 was determined by an online poll. The winner, Miren Pastor (ES, 1985), was awarded a commission to create new work for the ING Collection.

Each of the finalists created an artwork for the ING Collection in response to the theme Fool for Love, which explores the passion and devotion required to pursue one's dreams.
The finalists’ work was exhibited at the ING Unseen Lounge during Unseen Amsterdam 2016.

The ING Unseen Talent Award winner was selected by an international jury comprised of a range of professionals working across the industry, which included Martin Barnes (Senior Curator, Photography Department, Victoria & Albert Museum), Lucy Conticello (Director of Photography, M, le Monde), Rineke Dijkstra (Artist and 2014 & 2015 edition coach), Azu Nwagbogu (Director, Lagos Photo Festival, African Artists’ Foundation and National Art Competition) and Sanne ten Brink (Global Head Curator, ING Collection).

The finalists were rewarded with the ING Unseen Talent Programme, consisting of an empowering online coaching programme and a commission for the ING Collection. Whilst working on this programme, the finalists were coached by internationally established American artist Todd Hido. The online coaching programme was made up of three sessions. Furthermore, there was an onsite spokesperson session with an ING press officer, a workshop by Tim Zeedijk (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam) and a speed date style dinner with all the talents, involved scouts, coaches and jury members of the ING Unseen Talent Award 2016.

A06C0454.jpgFinalists and coaches of the ING Unseen Talent Award 2015: f.l.t.r. Sébastien Bonin, Marcel Feil, Rineke Dijkstra, Lara Gasparotto, Olya Oleinic, Sophie Jung

ING Unseen Talent Award 2015

The 2015 edition of the ING Unseen Talent Award provided an international platform for new Belgian, Luxembourg and Dutch photography talent. During the official opening night of Unseen, an international jury announced Sophie Jung as the winner of the ING Unseen Talent Award. She received a project production fund of €10.000. Sophie Jung (LU, 1982) received her BFA from the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and her MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Along with the winner of the Jury Award, Lara Gasparotto (BE, 1989) was announced as the winner of the Public Award. The prize for this competition consisted of a commission to create a new work for the ING Collection. The winners were part of a selection of five exceptional finalist: Sébastien Bonin (BE, 1977), Lara Gasparotto, Sophie Jung (LU, 1982), Sjoerd Knibbeler (NL, 1981) and Olya Oleinic (NL, 1991). The artists created work in response to the theme Who are we here for?

SophieJung.jpgWinning photo of ING Unseen Talent Award 2015 by Sophie Jung

Three photography professionals in the Benelux were invited to select five photography talents from a specific region. In order to qualify, these talents had to have graduated within the last five years and had to be based in the Benelux. The scouts of 2015 were: Christophe de Jaeger (Director of Photography, BOZAR, The Centre for Fine Arts, Belgium), Michèle Walerich (Curator, Photography Department, CNA, Centre National de l’Audiovisuel, Luxembourg) and Marcel Feil (Deputy Director of Artistic Affairs, Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, the Netherlands).

These artists were rewarded with a coaching programme and with a commission for the ING Collection. Whilst working on the ING Unseen Talent Programme, the selected photographers were coached by one of the world’s leading photographers, Rineke Dijkstra and several professionals from the field including Marcel Feil (Deputy Director of Artistic Affairs, Foam), Bert Danckaert (Photographer, Curator and Associate Professor of Photography, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp), Tim Zeedijk (Head of Exhibitions, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam) and Frans Middendorff (Press Officer, ING Netherlands). The final works were exhibited at Unseen Amsterdam in the Gashouders’ niches, giving these young artists the opportunity to introduce their work to the international art world.

The ING Unseen Talent Award winner was selected by an international jury
including: Kaat Celis (former Chief of Photography, De Morgen and founder of arts management company Sluitertijd), Paul di Felice (Co-director and curator of Café Crème edition and European Month of Photography Luxembourg), Duncan Forbes (Director and Curator, Fotomuseum Winterthur), Frits Gierstberg (Curator, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam), Sanne ten Brink (Global Head Curator, ING Collection).

ING Unseen Talent Award 2014

The winner of the 2014 edition was Anne Geene (NL, 1983), chosen for the authenticity, technical skill and originality of her work. Geene on her final piece: "I picked these leaves from a tree in Berlin that stands in the shade most of the day. Its leaves grow round the corner because it's sunny over there: they seem to move away from the status quo with apparent ease. I'm interested in the truthfulness and evidential value of photographs, and I hope my way of showing that puts a little smile on people's face”.

Other finalists from 2014 included photography talents Maurice van Es (NL, 1984), Alexandra Hunts (UA, 1990), Lana Mesić (NL/HR, 1987) and Jan Rosseel (BE, 1979).


Winning photo of 2014: Modifications, 2014 © Anne Geene

ING Unseen Talent Award 2013

Recognising the Netherlands’ reputation to uphold in the field of photography, ING Art Management took the initiative towards creating a new photography award as a way to encourage emerging talent by providing recent local photography graduates a stage for launching their career to a broad audience.

In this very first edition, Ola Lanko (NL, 1985) was announced the winner among finalists Florian van Roekel (NL, 1980), Natascha Libbert (NL, 1973), Anika Schwarzlose (DE, 1982) and Willem Popelier (NL, 1982). According to the jury, it was Ola Lanko who best portrayed the theme Face of the Netherlands.


Winning photo of 2013: Selective Encyclopedia of Visual Metaphors, 2013 © Ola Lanko

Read about the current edition here.