Tokyo Exhibition

TIFA Announces 2018 Photography Competition Winners

January 14, 2019

(Monday, January 7, 2019)

The Tokyo International Foto Awards is excited to announce the winners of its 2018 Photography competition in both professional and amateur divisions. The 3rd Edition of the TIFA competition received over 5000 entries from 88 countries around the world, showing some truly stunning works of photography from across the globe.

TIFA’s international jury of renowned photography experts judged all the great entries to finally select the winners in each category, from which were chosen these outstanding winners of TIFA’s top 2 prizes—Photographer of the Year for the Professional categories, and New Talent of the Year for the Non-professional / Student categories.

Hossein Farmani, Founder and President of TIFA and its parent company Farmani Group commented: “It is a testament to the power of photography, that the whole world can be brought together through a single image. It is so powerful and moving, and this year’s selection of entries to the Tokyo International Foto Awards has taken us on a truly thrilling journey. We are so proud to be part of bringing this incredible photographic artistry to the world, and particularly the creative community in Japan. I look forward to celebrating with the winners in Tokyo!”


Kenro Izu was born in Osaka, Japan, studied at Nippon University College of Art, and subsequently moved to New York City where, after further studies in Fine Art Photography and working as an assistant to professional photographers, he established Kenro Izu Studio in 1975, to specialize in still life photography, both commercial and fine art. In 2000 Izu started developing his trademark technique of printing Cyanotype over Platinum to achieve infinite deep blue-black images which express the inner sanctuary of within the human body and other objects. Izu has traveled to over 30 countries in the past 40 years and continues his series of portraits in Bhutan and still-life work in studio. Other current projects include “Requiem” in Pompeï, “The Sacred Land” in Fuzhou and “Noh Masks” in Japan. Read more about Izu’s life and photographic career.

For a full list of TIFA’s international Jury, click here!


After evaluating so many truly remarkable images, the Jury selected Joachim Bergauer as the 2018 “Photographer of the Year”, for his illustrated book, “Life in a Leprosy Village”. The grand prize in the professional division earned Bergauer a $3,000 Cash Prize and the TIFA trophy.

“Does leprosy still exist in the 21st century? Yes, this village called M’balling. It is 84 km away from Dakar, the capital of Senegal. Here, healthy and sick people are trying to defy a cruel fate. The sick make up a third of the population. My book is a journey through M’Balling Since 2009, showing the life, the village, the inner and outer beauty, but also the dark side. It is a journey into a country where people’s will to survive despite their devastating living conditions is so great that they still smile.”

Evelyn Bencicova took the top spot in the amateur/student categories, and was named 2018 “New Talent of the Year” for her searching series of self-portraits, “Alice”. Bencicova also received the TIFA trophy and a $2,000 Cash Prize.

“Alice is a self-portrait done through another character. It reflects the certain moment of my life through the state of mind experienced in a mental-health center. Diary notes from the time still remind me of questioning ones own existence, of doubt and mistrust towards the space and institution that draws a very thin line between cure and torture.”

The category winners have also been announced and can be found on the winner’s page of the TIFA website HERE. The first place winners in each category receive a cash prize and all winners are awarded the TIFA winning seal and a winner certificate.

Representing Japan in the Winners List are:

Takashi Nakazawa—1st Place, Nature, Professional
Comyu Matsuoka—1st Place, Nature, Non-Professional
Masahiro Masuda—2nd Place, Editorial, Non-Professional
Hitomi Hasegawa—2nd Place, Book, Non-Professional

The grand-prize winners and all 1st and 2nd place category winners will be exhibited from February 20th-24th, 2019 at the Shibuya Art Center in Tokyo from 10 am to 6 pm.

Opening evening will take place on 20th February from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Address: 23-21 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0031