Scouted from all over Europe; here are the ING Unseen Talent Award 2018 finalists

18 July 2018 ... min read Listen

18 July 2018

Five stand-out photographers have been named as the finalists in this year’s ING Unseen Talent Award. They are Dávid Biró (1992, Hungary), Jaakko Kahilaniemi (1988, Finland), Pauline Niks (1982, Netherlands), Eva O’Leary (1988, Ireland) and Alexey Shlyk (1986, Belarus). Their work impressed scouts seeking out new talent across Europe. And as earlier editions have proved, the award is sure to boost the careers of these young artists.

<em>N-TOKYO 1 from the series N-TOKYO</em>, 2018 © Kenta Cobayashi _ G_P gallery

N-TOKYO 1 from the series N-TOKYO, 2018 © Kenta Cobayashi _ G_P gallery

Initiated six years ago, the ING Unseen Talent Award gives up-and-coming photography talents an opportunity to present their work on a global scale. It is a collaboration between ING and contemporary photography platform Unseen.

“Those first steps after graduation are crucial in an artist’s career. It is precisely at this point that we want to make our expertise available. I am happy to see so many of these photographers are really growing in their work and careers. And I am proud of being able to say we were there with them from the beginning,” says Sanne ten Brink, head curator of the ING Collection.

Miren Pastor about how winning the prize impacted her life (ING Unseen Talent Award 2016 Public Prize winner

ING Unseen Talent programme

ING Art Management and Unseen select the five finalists from a long-list provided by expert scouts associated with well-known photography publications and institutions like the British Journal of Photography (UK) and PHotoESPAÑA.

Once selected, they get access to the ING Unseen Talent programme, which encourages emerging artists to explore the boundaries of contemporary photography. This year’s programme is led by British installation artist, filmmaker and photographer Isaac Julien. Under his supervision, the finalists will create new work for the competition within the theme ‘New Horizons: Exploring the promise and perils of the future’.


The international jury includes Florian Ebner, chief of photography, Centre Pompidou, Emma Bowkett, director of photography, FT Weekend, and visual artist and filmmaker Fiona Tan. The winner of the ING Unseen Talent Award 2018 (Jury Prize) will receive a €10,000 project production fund. In addition, the finalist with the most online votes (the Public Prize winner) will be commissioned to create a new work for the ING Collection.

The winners will be announced at the official opening of Unseen Amsterdam on 20 September 2018.

ING and art

Although art and banking may seem far removed, ING has been active in the art world for almost 45 years as a collector, exhibitor and sponsor, for example of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. ING sees an important role for artists in society with their often provocative and insightful perspectives. Like the bank itself, the ING Collection aims to foster a culture of innovation and change. One of the pillars of ING Art Management is to encourage new and upcoming talent through partnerships like the ING Unseen Talent Award and CREATIS, which backs creative entrepreneurs in Belgium.

Find below earlier work of the five finalists

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