Winner Award Newcomer 2015: Wiktoria Wojciechowska
The Leica Oskar Barnack Award Newcomer, first presented in 2009, has been won by Wiktoria Wojciechowska for her series „Short Flashes“. She receives a prize of 5,000 euros and a Leica M camera and lens.
In her winning series, the Polish photographer Wiktoria Wojciechowska focuses on fleeting moments of everyday life in China. Over a period of several months, she portrayed Chinese cyclists pedalling their damp ways through the incessant rain of the sprawling megacities of Beijing and Hangzhou. The project was shot as the streets were almost flooded in the typhoon season of 2013 and 2014.
Alone, and without speaking a word of Chinese, the young photographer explored this new terrain without any means of communicating with the people around her. She identified with and felt the anonymity of the nameless cyclists and scooter riders who whizzed past her on the streets. This was the source of her idea for giving these people an identity – picking them out from the masses – and preserving them in captured instants. Her snapshot-like images tell the truth of genuine moments. Because, in contrast to posed and tightly controlled portraits, these spontaneous and unnoticed exposures show the reality and authenticity that exists between ingrained behavioural patterns.
Wiktoria Wojciechowska was born in 1991 in Lublin, Poland, and is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Her work has already been shown in various exhibitions and at festivals and has been published in magazines such as „ArchivoZine“, „Beijinger“, „ArtPhotoMag“, „Gente di Fotografia“, „GUP“, „L’Oeil de la Photographie“ and „Urbanautica“.