Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund

Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund is a unique annual partnership between Unseen and Outset Netherlands providing an institutional platform for emerging talent in contemporary photography. Each year, an international curatorial committee selects one outstanding artist exhibiting at Unseen Amsterdam who has never before had a museum solo exhibition in the Netherlands.

Timing Marks, 2017 Theo Simpson  Webber Gallery SpaceWeb_0.jpg Photo: Timing Marks, 2017 © Theo Simpson/Webber

2017 Winner

Theo Simpson (b. 1986, UK) is the winner of this year’s Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund! Scouting the Fair before opening hours, an international curatorial committee selected Simpson as this year’s outstanding artist who has never had a solo exhibition in the Netherlands.

2017 Curatorial Committee

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).


The Outset | Unseen winner is given a solo exhibition that will take place at Foam Fotografiemusem, devoted entirely to presenting upcoming talent, in spring 2018.

Previous winners of the Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund include Ren Hang Vincent Delbrouck (1975, BE) in 2015 and Regine Peterssen (1976, DE) in 2014. Previous jury members include Shoair Mavlian (Tate Modern), Eva Eicker (The Photographers’ Gallery) and Joachim Naudts (FotoMuseum Antwerp).

2016 Winner

Unseen congratulates Ren Hang (b. 1987, China), winner of the 2016 Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund. Deliberately provocative, Ren Hang’s images challenge conventional codes of morality in a still highly conservative society. The artist’s work has appeared in leading independent magazines in China and around the world. 

The jury says: “Employing the language of fashion photography, Ren Hang’s irreverent and playfully sexual compositions create new sculptural forms using the body. The curatorial committee are impressed by the consistent quality and sophistication across his practice and within each image.”

It is with great sadness to lose such a proactive and young member to the photographic community. Unseen's thoughts are with those closest to the late Ren Hang. His work will go on to inspire generations to come.