Jury Review - Wang Qingsong
Documentary photographs are not like the souvenir pictures tourists take; documentary photographs must express truth or relative truth, recover truth, and deepen truth, instead of simply hovering on the surface. As a new prize, the Inter Art Center New Documentaries Prize must feel dependable and grounded, yet full of warmth. You can take a good topic and photograph it in an effective, considered way, but if anyone, or even several people, could work on this topic, then the project did not entirely meet our criteria. Our prize should be given to photographers who are the only people who could have done their projects, in part because others may not have been interested.
After the judging ended, I had the sense that these ten finalists would not inspire much debate, but the grand prize winner would certainly spark controversy. We need controversy; as a young prize, if the winning entry was very normal, and after the results came out, everyone agreed that there was nothing wrong with the work and it should have won, then how is this prize different from any other? I wanted the Inter Art Center New Documentaries Prize to be seen as different from the others, and the final result is certainly very different. There’s nothing wrong with controversy.