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.


Image: Eva O'Leary, Outset Unseen Exhibition Fund announcement, 2018 © Almichael Fraay

2018 Winner

Congratulations to Eva O’Leary on winning the Outset Unseen Exhibition Fund 2018! An international curatorial committee comprising of Melanie Bühler (Curator of Contemporary Art, Frans Hals Museum), Rodrigo Orrantia (Art Historian and Curator and Creative Director of Champion Photobooks) and Marina Paulenka (Artistic Director, Organ Vida) select an artist exhibiting at Unseen Amsterdam who has never before had a solo exhibition in a museum in the Netherlands. The artist is awarded a solo exhibition at Foam in spring 2019.

2017 Winner

Theo Simpson (UK, 1986) was announced as the winner of the Outset Unseen Exhibition Fund 2017. Scouting the Fair before opening hours, an international curatorial committee selected Simpson as the 2017 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 consisted 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 was given a solo exhibition taking place at Foam Fotografiemusem, devoted entirely to presenting upcoming talent, in spring 2018.

Previous winners of the Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund include Ren Hang (CN, 1987-2017), Vincent Delbrouck (BE, 1975) in 2015 and Regine Peterssen (DE, 1976) in 2014. Previous jury members include Shoair Mavlian (Tate Modern), Eva Eicker (The Photographers’ Gallery) and Joachim Naudts (FotoMuseum Antwerp).

2016 Winner

Ren Hang (CN, 1987-2017) was announced as the 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 said: “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. His work will go on to inspire generations to come.