WMA Commission 2015/16. Deadline: January 15, 2016

The WMA Commission invites entries for proposals from artists and photographers from both Hong Kong and the international community. The Commission recipient will be invited to create new photo-based work in Hong Kong, focusing on the theme of IDENTITY. Project proposals must contextually relate to both the theme IDENTITY and to HONG KONG. A four-member Selection Panel will choose the WMA Commission recipient, who will be awarded a HKD$250,000 grant which will contribute towards production of the successful proposal and a public event featuring the completed work. The call for proposals is open to all local and international applicants. The WMA Commission is a part of the WYNG Masters Award programme.

By facilitating and supporting original, creative interpretations of IDENTITY the WMA Commission encourages a unique perspective on how Hong Kong is affected by an issue that has global implications, while increasing public awareness and knowledge. The HKD$250,000 award grant covers artist fee, creation (including such activities as research, travel and production; resources such as an assistant or translator and daily expenses) and a public event [1]. It does not include accommodation (for overseas artists) [2] and venue costs for public presentation which are covered by the organisers. Overseas participants should ensure that they are able to stay for at least one month for the project and also set aside time for the public presentation.

Grant Total: HKD$250,000

Approximate breakdown:
Artist fee – $50,000
Creation & Expenses – $100,000
Public presentation – $50,000
Others – $50,000

Submission Period
October 15, 2015 – January 15, 2016.
Project period – June 2016 – June 2017 (1 year period)


“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else” – Margaret Mead

Certain aspects of one’s individual identity such as race, gender, ancestry, genetic makeup and so on, come naturally at birth.  One could, however, consciously choose other aspects such as nicknames, profession, religion, hairstyles, ways of life, gender expression et cetera, to make oneself more unique.
Between choice and nature, there are aspects such as nationality, history, psyche and social roles, which influence our sense of identity. Identity could simply be personal disposition, or an unwilling imposition by the society at large.

If identification of self makes the person, collective identity allows for mutual recognition—security as well as solidarity.  Group attributes, though, could be real or virtual, lasting or ephemeral, like one’s profile on social media. Overemphasis of the collective, however, could result in alienation, prejudice, confrontation and even enmity.

In the age of globalization, a local majority could easily become a minority in the wider world.  As global citizens, we hope for and embrace the belief that elastic and flexible identities can bring diversity and progress, rather than confrontation.

If defining our collective identities in this city seems like an almost impossible pursuit, images could, perhaps, provide a platform to start.

“Most people are other people.  Their thoughts are someone else’s opinion, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation”  – Oscar Wilde

Objective of the Commission

The WMA Commission is committed to programs and activities that foster deeper understanding of issues facing Hong Kong. The grant brings focus to the issue of Identity through artistic means introducing new perspective and expanding public awareness and knowledge. It presents the opportunity to explore the particularities of this global issue as it specifically relates to Hong Kong.

Who Should Apply

This is a grant for experienced and professional photographers and visual artists. Potential applicants can reside and practice anywhere in the world. This grant is meant to enable further professional development and to support the creation of work that provides additional information and perspectives on the issue addressed. A successful applicant must have experience working independently and be resourceful in the development of his/her project.

How To Apply

Project applications should be submitted in the form of a PDF. Each applicant is required to put together materials listed below into a single PDF document (size under 20Mb). Included in the PDFis the following: 1) project proposal 2) budget and timetable 3) a brief expression of interest 4) basic personal information 5) professional biography or Curriculum Vitae (CV) 6) portfolio of past work 7) a written recommendation.
Submissions can be made in English or Chinese and submitted digitally by email to commission@wyngmastersaward.hk or any large files transfer services.

1. Project proposal serves to outline the applicant’s proposed project related to the theme of IDENTITY, detailing what it is and how it would be approached. The form in which the final work might be presented to the public can also be included if the applicant has already developed ideas. Images, drawings, video links supporting the project idea may be included in the PDF proposal.

2. Budget and timetable for the project.

3. A brief expression of interest (max 500 words/1 page) answering the following questions: 1) Why do you want to do this project with WYNG Masters Award? 2) What will you get out of it? 3) What would you bring to the project?

4. Personal information basic information should be provided by the applicant on the cover page of the PDF proposal. The following basic information is required: full name, mailing address and country of residence, email, skype and telephone contacts.

5. Professional biography or Curriculum Vitae

6. Portfolio a minimum 12 images / maximum 20 images of existing photographic project(s). Purpose of portfolio is to show that the applicant can sustain a long-term project, convincingly articulate an idea and to showcase applicants’ photographic style, aesthetics and formal strategies.

7. Written recommendation applicants are required to get one referee to support her/his submission with a written recommendation. Referees can be anyone with a standing in the professions of photography, art, visual arts or art media, this includes past or current WYNG Masters Award advisors and judges, except for those who are currently on the Selection Panel of the WMA Commission. The referee’s recommendation should include her/his full name, title, organisation and/or title, email and phone contact.

Selection Process

Phase 1: Submission period October 15, 2015 to January 15, 2016.

Phase 2: Selection Panel members review submissions independently and each chooses a shortlist of proposals to consider with the full panel. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an in-person or skype interview. Those applicants will be contacted by late February 2016 to schedule the interview which will be conducted in early March 2016.

Phase 3: Selection Panel meets in Hong Kong to discuss shortlisted proposals. Shortlisted applicants are interviewed by the panel either in-person or by skype one day to be confirmed during the first two weeks of March 2016, after which the grant recipient is chosen and announced in early April 2016 at the WYNG Masters Award exhibition in Hong Kong.

Selection Panel

1. Fung Ho Yin, Assistant Professor, School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

2. Melissa Lee public art curator, consultant, and on the faculty at the English Department at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

3. Ying Kwok artist and curator and founder of the Collector Club

4. WYNG Foundation Trustee

[1]  Public event could take a number of forms including a press conference, seminar, press conference and or a workshop.

[2]  Accommodation costs covered is restricted to overseas artists only and is for a maximum period of 2 months subject to discussion with organisers.


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