Shanghai, September 9, 2017 – HUAWEI launched the first annual NEXT-IMAGE Awards today with the International Center of Photography (ICP). The Vice President of HUAWEI Smartphones, Li Changzhu, and the Executive Director of ICP, Mark Lubell, signed a MoU at the launch ceremony, officially kicking off the NEXT-IMAGE Plan in locations around the world.
“HUAWEI’s innovation in domains like AI, VR/AR, holographic imaging, and optics are given new forms of physical expression in our smartphones,” Li said at the signing ceremony. “These technologies also give rise to endless new possibilities in visual expression, making the creative process more enjoyable than ever before.”
Back in April 2016, HUAWEI released the P9 series with its ground-breaking Leica dual-lens camera. The company later released the Mate 9 series in November of 2016, and the P10 series in February the following year. In September 2017, HUAWEI announced the release of the Kirin 970, the world’s first smartphone chipset with a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that supports on-device AI processing. Moving forward, HUAWEI will redefine visual culture together with hundreds of millions of smartphone users around the world, while continuing to build on its foundation of next-generation visual imaging and optical technology.
As smartphone penetration grows and mobile camera technology becomes more advanced, more people are using their phones to create compelling visual content – content that is far more expansive and diverse than ever before. In effect, smartphone photography is no longer just a form of entertainment, but a new and impactful phenomenon in visual culture. The NEXT-IMAGE Plan is the culmination of HUAWEI’s efforts to redefine visual expression and culture with more professional and intuitive smartphone cameras. With the right technology and a unique style, HUAWEI wants to explore the next-generation of visual expression together with smartphone users around the globe.
Together with ICP, HUAWEI will hold a series of cross-media activities, including competitions, exhibitions and collections, and educational opportunities designed to enrich visual expression based on three core elements: technology, style, and culture. Through NEXT-IMAGE, all HUAWEI smartphone users will rediscover the joy of creating and sharing visual content.
The annual NEXT-IMAGE Awards are an important component of the overarching NEXT-IMAGE Plan. Starting in 2017, the awards will provide smartphone users from around the world with a gallery where they can showcase their best work.
“The International Center of Photography is the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture. I am thrilled that the NEXT-IMAGE awards and future projects with HUAWEI will scale up ICP’s reach and impact, and allow both ICP and HUAWEI to find new ways to activate smartphone technology to increase visual literacy globally and across generations. The synergy between ICP and HUAWEI will inspire and increase our connections to each other through presenting new ways of learning and innovative ways for creating and sharing visual content,” says ICP Executive Director Mark Lubell.
The “NEXT” in NEXT-IMAGE refers to the next generation of photographers using the next generation of tools to create and spread the next generation of visual content – all with new forms of interaction and feedback. The “IMAGE” part of the name refers to both static images and new forms of dynamic visual expression. The 2017 Awards are broken down into seven different categories:
- Me, Myself & I
- Hello, Life!
- Citizen Witness
The Plan will also include an act of collective creation initiated by ICP to be activated during the awards and for the months immediately following aimed to encourage and sustain participation from imagemakers who are utilizing smartphone technology. All in all, the competition takes a fresh approach to traditional contest elements like category design, submission, and judging. Visual creatives from around the world will compete to become NEXT-IMAGE finalists, ultimately contending for best-in-category awards and the grand prize – a cash award for the NEXT-IMAGE creative champion.
Call for entries officially began on September 9, 2017, and winners will be announced on December 19. For more details, please refer to the official award website: http://gallery.consumer.huawei.com.
The ceremony was also attended by Erin Barnett, the Director of Exhibitions and Collections at ICP; Christopher Phillips, Curator of the Walther Collection; Jane Cui, President of Leica Asia; and Liu Heung Shing, the Pulitzer prize-winning founder of the Shanghai Center of Photography (SCoP).