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World Photography Organisation and Photo London Announce New Partnership

The World Photography Organisation and the founders of Photo London announce a new partnership, bringing together two of the leading global photography organisations dedicated to the development and cultural enrichment of the medium.

© Graham Carlow

The move follows the World Photography Organisation’s (World Photography Awards Limited.) acquisition of 25% in Photo London. The Fair returns to Somerset House from 12-15 May 2022 for its seventh edition, presenting a roster of noted international galleries and photography dealers alongside an acclaimed public programme of exhibitions and talks.

The World Photography Organisation is the organiser of PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai, the leading destination in Asia-Pacific for discovering and collecting photo-based art and the World Photography Awards, one of the world’s biggest photography competitions, sponsored by Sony.

This new partnership seeks to further develop the contemporary photography art market by drawing on shared resources and providing galleries, artists and collectors with an enhanced range of opportunities for engagement and discovery. Central to this is the fostering of a creative dialogue and cross-cultural collaborations between PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai and Photo London. Through a joint programme of curated content and presentations, the two platforms will focus on new fine art and digital practices in photography and highlight the work of emerging talents across both regions.

Scott Gray , Founder and CEO, World Photography Organisation says: ‘We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Photo London. After many years of working alongside each other as respected industry peers, we look forward to cooperating with Photo London in this new framework to develop existing and future opportunities. This collaboration will further the reach of the fair through our network in Asia whilst also widening the scope for Asian artists and galleries to showcase in Europe.’

Founders Michael Benson and Fariba Farshad explain the thinking behind the move: ‘Photo London is widely regarded as a key global cultural event and fixture in London’s creative calendar, yet the years since its launch in 2015 have been eventful to say the least. That the Fair has not only weathered the twin storms of Brexit and the global pandemic but has flourished during this period is extraordinary. It has done so through innovative programming and through the support of its artists and exhibitors as well as partners such as the FT and Nikon. Today the Fair is widely admired and respected for its determination to support emerging artists and to champion the cause of women in photography.‘

‘We have been humbled by the wide-spread support we have received from the photography community over the last two incredibly difficult years. During this time it became clear to us that we had a responsibility to the diverse range constituencies that support the Fair to devise a plan to strengthen what is an important and much loved cultural asset. There were many routes that we might have taken to achieve that, but this partnership with our long term collaborators the World Photography Organisation feels like exactly the right fit. It strengthens Photo London as well as significantly increasing the global reach of the Fair, particularly in the emerging Asian market. Together we are the world’s largest organisation dedicated to photography. We now have a great platform from which to build in many new and exciting ways.’

The World Photography Organisation is a leading global platform dedicated to the development and advancement of photographic culture. Our programming and competition initiatives provide valuable opportunities for artists working in photography and help broaden the conversation around their work. Through our fairs we play a key role in driving the growth of the contemporary art market for photo-based art and deepening audience engagement with the medium. The World Photography Organisation’s portfolio includes: the Sony World Photography Awards, one of the world’s biggest photography competitions, PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai the leading fair in Asia Pacific dedicated to photo-based and digital artworks and Photo London the international fair held annually at Somerset House, London.

Photo London is organised by the cultural consultancy Candlestar who remains the majority shareholder of the fair. Candlestar is an internationally renowned cultural consultancy that specialises in the development of innovative projects in art and education. Candlestar runs a range of photographic projects including producing Prix Pictet on behalf of the Pictet Group, the prestigious award for photography and sustainability now in its ninth cycle.

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