All photographs, from those found in family albums to those that grace the covers leading international publications, are personal to their creators; the trick, of course, to unforgettable imagery lies in capturing what is essential about all of humankind. For some, the human condition is interwoven with notions of ethical rights and wrongs; for others, it represents the painful knowledge of our mortality and the thirst for meaning in that which will inevitably be lost. Now in its third edition, the Tokyo International Photography Competition is inviting photographers worldwide to interpret the theme of the human condition.

The Tokyo International Photography Competition (TIPC) is devoted to connecting Japanese photographers with international audiences, and in turn, introducing non-Japanese artists to the thriving market that exists within the country. Open to all photographers over the age of eighteen, the competition is about closing the gaps that exist within the industry, of discovering talents and images that transcend both language and geographical barriers. This year, TIPC will also introduce the first Tokyo International Photography Festival in October, a collaborative achievement made possible by Tokyo Institute of Photography and Brooklyn’s United Photo Industries.

Eight winning photographers will be selected by an esteemed jury composed of international photographers, curators, publishers, educators, and industry insiders, including Roger Ballen, RongRong & inri, James Estrin, Sarah Leen, Shihoko Iida, Felix Hoffmann, Alvaro Matias, Peggy Sue Amison, Claudi Carreras, Rei Masuda, JJ Estrada & Clara de Tezanos, Hester Keijser, Moshe Rosenzveig, and John Fleetwood.

All selected photographers will be exhibited as part of a traveling exhibition that will show at United Photo Industries Gallery and the Tokyo International Photo Festival, in addition to the GuatePhoto Festival in Guatemala City, the Head On Photo Festival in Sydney, Australia, with more hosts soon to be announced. A single Jury Grand Prix Winner will be awarded with an all-expenses paid visit to Tokyo to see the Photo Festival as well as to participate in participating portfolio reviews. The winner will also be featured in a double-page spread in PHaT PHOTO magazine and receive features in both LensCulture and British Journal of Photography online.

As photography evolves, so too does our understanding not only of what it means to be human but also of those manifold things that bind us together as a species. The Tokyo International Photography Competition could not have picked a more timely theme, or one that resonates with such a diverse community of artists. Submit today!

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