Nurturing Talent: Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund

by Unseen September 11 2017

In celebration of emerging talent, Unseen Amsterdam collaboratively hosts a number of awards and prizes that highlight and support the very best artists working today. Each initiative was created by Unseen in partnership with forward-thinking organisations who share a passion for nurturing leading artists of the future. In this feature, we look back at the past recipients of the Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund, reflecting on their exhibition prizes and subsequent success!

The Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund is a partnership between Unseen and Outset Netherlands , providing an institutional platform for emerging talent. Scouting the Fair before opening hours, an international curatorial committee selects one outstanding artist exhibiting their work who has never had a solo exhibition in the Netherlands. The jury will select the recipient of the award, who will receive the opportunity to have a solo exhibition at Foam Fotografiemuseum, to open in Spring 2018. This year, for the fifth instalment of the Fund, the curatorial committee consists of Federica Chiocchetti (critical writer and Founding Director of Photocaptionist, London), Caroline von Courten (PhD candidate in Photography Theory, Amsterdam) and Francesco Zanot (Chief Curator at CAMERA, Turin).

Looking Back at Previous Recipients

The first recipient of the Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund was Daisuke Yokota (b. 1983, Japan), who presented his exhibition Site/Cloud at Foam in 2014. Using a combination of digital photography and traditional film to shoot and re-shoot images, Yokota further manipulated his photographs using photocopying and Photoshop techniques. Since exhibiting at Foam, Yokota’s work has appeared in numerous international exhibitions, and the photographer has received a number of other accolades, including the tenth annual Foam Paul Huf Award in 2016.

Following Yokota, Regine Petersen (b. 1976, Germany) presented her exhibition Find A Fallen Star in 2015, which was a multi-layered exploration of how the past is bridged with the present. The photographer created three stories about falling meteorites, mixing fiction with reality to incite conversations about science and art. Find A Fallen Star has since been exhibited in various cities throughout Germany, France, Italy and the UK. Additionally, Peterson was the recipient of the German Photobook Award in 2015 and was the 2016 Artist in Residence at Light Work in Syracuse.

In 2016, photographer Vincent Delbrouck (b. 1975, Brussels) presented his work in the exhibition New Paintings after winning the previous year’s Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund. The show was a meditation on the beauty of bright colours, reflected by simple objects, plants and the human body – all encountered by the photographer during his numerous travels. Delbrouck has since published a number of photobooks, and his work has continued to be exhibited all over the world.

Last year’s recipient, Ren Hang (1987-2017, China), exhibited his work this year in the solo show Naked/Nude at Foam. The show featured images of swans, peacocks, fish, snakes and plants, all employed as absurd accessories for male and female nude models. In his signature style of staged, washed out photography, the show was a meditation on how the nude form can avoid pornographic connotations. The artist’s unfortunate passing coincided with the exhibition at Foam, but Ren’s work has been shown in various exhibitions and magazines throughout China, Europe and the USA, and has been featured in countless publications including a number of his own self-published photobooks.

Unseen Amsterdam thanks Outset Netherlands for their longstanding partnership and continued support in nurturing the talent of young artists from around the world.

Be sure to purchase your tickets for this year’s Unseen Amsterdam to see the work of this year’s recipient, who will be announced on Friday the 22nd of September at Unseen!

Photo: Work of last year's Outset Exhibtion Fund Recipient - Ren Hang Unseen 2016 © Iris Duvekot