Yehyun Kim

Hartford, Connecticut/USA

Yehyun Kim grew up in South Korea, and took a risk when she was 21 to live a life doing what she’s passionate about. After living in New York, D.C., Missouri, Maine, Texas and Denmark as a documentary photojournalist, she is working as a staff photojournalist at the CT Mirror in Connecticut as a corps member of Report for America. Her work focuses on religion, immigration, criminal justice and family. She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and the Danish School of Media and Journalism. In 2020, she was named College Photographer of the Year and will be headed to National Geographic for an internship as part of the award.

Suzanne Liem


Suzanne Liem was born in 1965 in the city of Delft, Netherlands. Her first camera was given to her by her father when she was 8 years old. From then on she photographed the people around her. In 2002 she decided to attend the Academy of Photography in Amsterdam where she graduated in 2006. Her specialties are ‘documentary portraits’. Her photographs show people as she sees them in their own environment. Suzanne has a special interest in the plight of widows, and after reading a devastating international report in 2008 on the position of widows worldwide, she decided to devote a considerable portion of her practice documenting these special women. A prolific exhibitor, juror and speaker, Suzanne is the author of The Widows of Rawagede and is currently working on a few other books. Her latest exhibition – Lain Sayang Lain: Four generations of Moluccans in The Netherlands – will open this year at the Nationaal Monument Kamp Vught. She has also been published widely in newspapers and magazines.

Hannah Reyes Morales


Hannah Reyes Morales is a photographer whose work documents tenderness amidst adversity. Her photography, both visceral and intimate, takes a look at how resilience is embodied in daily life. She grew up in a crowded Manila, witnessing loved ones depart from home each year. These departures, along with the discovery of a shelf of dusty photographic magazines stirred her interest in concerned photography. Through her photography she has reported on forced marriages in Cambodia, documented women’s experiences with assault in the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, and explored the long term effects of colonisation on women’s bodies in the Philippines. She has photographed the toll of Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, and documented the Filipino Diaspora and the effects of it on the island nation where she is from. She contributes work to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and National Geographic Magazine, among others. The World Economic Forum named her a cultural leader in their ASEAN forum. In 2019 she participated in the World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass and received the Tim Hetherington Visionary Award. She is a 2020 National Geographic Explorer. Hannah is currently working on longer term projects, focused on safe-space making and care giving.

Ezra Acayan


Ezra Acayan is a documentary photographer based in Manila covering politics, religion, and issues concerning human rights. Since 2019, he has regularly worked on assignment for Getty Images. In 2017 he was awarded a special merit at the Human Rights Press Awards for multimedia reporting on the Philippines’ drug war. In 2018 he received grants from both the Ian Parry Scholarship and the Lucie Foundation, as well as being named Young Photographer of the Year at the Istanbul Photo Awards. In 2019, he received a World Press Photo Award in the Spot News category. His work—along with work by other journalists who cover the drug war—has been exhibited in Geneva for three straight years at the United Nations Human Rights Council. It has also been exhibited at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Thailand (FCCT), in France during the Prix-Bayeux Calvados Award for War Correspondents, in Sarajevo during the WARM Festival, and in Germany during the Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism. In 2021, he was awarded a World Press Photo Award in the Nature Stories category for his work on Taal volcano’s eruption, and was considered a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography for his work covering the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines. In the same year he was also named Photographer of the Year at POY Asia and received several more awards from Picture of the Year International (POYi), National Press Photographers Association, and Society of Publishers Asia. He has done work for various outfits such as Getty Images, Reuters, European Pressphoto Agency, and Agence France-Presse. He has also done work for institutions such as the World Bank, Agence Française de Développement, and the African Development Bank; and for NGOs such as Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, Care International, and the French Red Cross.

Jes Aznar


Jes Aznar is a full-time photographer, both as a documentary and photojournalist, currently based in Manila, focusing on Asia and the Pacific. He has exhibited in China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and The U.S. and has won numerous awards including the prestigious SOPA award for best in photojournalism in his coverage of the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan for The New York Times. After working for Agence France-Presse, he dedicated years of his life to document Mindanao in the Philippines in which he was nearly killed in the wake of the Ampatuan Massacre where 58 people were assassinated, including 37 journalists, in one single day. Jes is currently contributing primarily to The New York Times and Getty Images. Nearly two years during the onslaught of the Philippine government’s brutal campaign against drugs, he started @everydayimpunity on Instagram as a platform where we can visually see the consequences of impunity in our society.

Arin Yoon

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA

Arin Yoon is a Korean American documentary photographer, visual artist, and arts educator. Her work focuses on the military, families, and women and issues of representation and identity. Arin is a National Geographic Explorer and currently a grantee of We, Women and the National Military Family Association. She has been a recipient of the Darkroom Residency Program through Baxter Street Camera Club of New York. She is a member of Women Photograph and an alumna of the 72nd Missouri Photo Workshop. Her work has been featured in National Geographic, Reuters, ProPublica, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and The Korea Times. Arin has exhibited at venues such as the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History in Seoul, Daegu Arts Center, Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, Anthology Film Archives and A.I.R. Gallery in New York City. Her work is currently on view at the 14th Biennale at the Krasnoyark Museum in Russia in a group exhibition called ‘Mapping the Multitude, contemporary photography of Korea’.

Roman Pilipey

Beijing, CHINA

Roman Pilipey is a Ukrainian photojournalist working for the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA). His photography career started from freelancing for different Ukrainian news agencies and newspapers while at the same time studying journalism at one of Kyiv’s universities. The first main event he witnessed as the photographer was the Euromaidan revolution in 2013-2014, and which he covered from the beginning until the end mainly for EPA as the freelance photographer. From 2014 he was covering the war in eastern Ukraine, and the same year became the EPA staff photographer. For the next few years, Roman’s focus was mainly on the eastern Ukraine conflict and its aftermath. In 2017 Roman relocated to Beijing from where he works on photo stories and covers major news events in China and around the world as the EPA photographer.

Wonsuk Choi


Wonsuk Choi is a photojournalist and photo editor at The Korea Times, nation’s first English newspaper founded in 1950 during the Korean War. Before joining the newspaper, Choi also worked as a photojournalist with AFP and St. Joseph News-Press in Missouri.

Choi spent 10 years in the United States, graduating with a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Arts in Photography from Ohio University. For his master’s project, Choi examined the effects on lives of people affected by the building of the Nelsonville bypass in Southwest Ohio.

After returning to South Korea, Choi joined The Korea Times as a staff photojournalist.

Over the past 8 years, Choi covered various news events as presidential election, 2019 North Korea-United States Hanoi Summit.

Between July and September 2019, Choi was in Hong Kong four times to document the democracy protests, capturing some of the most dangerous moments as protesters clashed with police.

But above all, Choi believes in local journalism and finds a lot of joy telling life stories of ordinary citizens in small neighbourhoods.

Oded Wagenstein

Jerusalem, ISRAEL

Oded Wagenstein is a photographer and lecturer. His work has been published, among other platforms, by The Washington Post, National Geographic, BBC, The Guardian, VOGUE and has been displayed around the world, including in exhibitions presented in the National Portrait Gallery (London, UK), the United Nations (NYC, USA) and the State Historical Museum of Russia in the Red Square (Moscow, Russia). Oded’s image of Mordechai won second place in the single portrait Category in POY ASIA 2021

Joshua Irwandi


Joshua Irwandi (Jakarta, 1991) is a freelance documentary photographer and a National Geographic Explorer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Irwandi received a B.A. in English literature from the University of Exeter, and pursued graduate studies in photojournalism and documentary photography at London College of Communication. While working in West Papua, Indonesia, Irwandi was embedded as museum staff at the Asmat Museum and focused on a long-term project on the changes in identity and landscape of the Asmat people. His project ’Not A Blank Canvas’ has been awarded the National Geographic Society storytelling grant in 2021. Irwandi’s work is part of the Forhanna Foundation Fund for Young Talent grant and National Geographic Society’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists project. One of his images, ‘The Human Cost of COVID-19’, sparked controversy in Indonesia when it went viral after publication by National Geographic. In 2021, he was selected as one of the speakers for the National Geographic Society’s Storytellers Summit. Recently, he was awarded the 2021 World Press Photo Award in General News, First Place in the COVID-19 category in Pictures of the Year Asia 2021, and selected as a finalist of The Pulitzer Prizes in Breaking News Photography. Irwandi’s work has been featured in National Geographic, The Times of London, CNN, TIME, and The Guardian.

Anshika Varma

New Delhi, INDIA

Anshika Varma is a photographer, editor and curator with an interest in personal, collective and mythical histories. Combining her curiosity to study cultural and social evolution with storytelling, her work often looks at the emotional connection between the individual and their environment. With photography and book-making, she is interested in exploring the intricate relationship between memory and object as markers of one’s identity. She is the Founder of Offset Projects, an initiative that works to create channels of engagement in photography and book-making through workshops, residencies, artist talks, pop-up reading rooms and collaborative exercises in publishing. Anshika has previously worked in editorial and journalism as a features and chief photographer for national political and cultural magazines in India. She continues to work as a freelancer with news organisations such as Bloomberg and The Quint and works with collaborations in publications with the development sector. Anshika’s works and curations have been shown at Goa Photo (2019 and 2017), Photo Kathmandu (2018), Chennai Photo Biennale (2016, 2019), Angkor Photo Festival (2018), Tbilsi Night of Photography (2018), Kochi Biennale (2014), New York Biennale for Contemporary Art (2013), India Art Fair (2012, 2013) and the Florence Biennial (2009) and published by various national and international media. Anshika is a strong believer in the power behind inclusive education and has conducted art therapy programs for children from challenging social and economic strata, as a mentor for children of Anjali House, Cambodia (2013-2018) , Clicking Together (Punjab and Chennai, 2017) and the Delhi Photo Festival (2013-2015). She judged the inaugural POY Asia competition in 2021.

Liang-Pin Tsao

Taipei, TAIWAN

Born and raised in Taiwan, Liang-Pin Tsao is an artist based in Taipei, Taiwan. He holds an MFA degree from Pratt Institute, and is the recipient of Fulbright Grant, New York Residency Program sponsored by the Ministry of Culture Taiwan, and scholarship from Pratt Institute among others. His recent works, Becoming / Taiwanese, investigate the Chinese Martyrs’ Shrines in Taiwan and their relational tension between colonial history, self-identity and value awareness especially in light of transitional justice and biopolitics. Liang also devotes himself to art education, public service and open culture. He is an adjunct associate professor at National Chengchi University, and is one of the advisory committee member of the establishment of National Center of Photography and Images. He initiated a symposium project, Photo Talks, in 2015 to promote contemporary photography in Taiwan. In 2016, he established Lightbox Photo Library, a non-for-profit organization, which is free and open to all, and employed as a method to pursue cultural autonomy, knowledge equity and a more inclusive community.

Abir Abdullah


Abir Abdullah is the photo editor(a position he will be vacating soon) of the largest Bangla newspaper Prothom Alo in Dhaka, Bangladesh. An independent photographer and tutor, Abir was born 1971 in Bagerhat in southern Bangladesh. He holds a Masters in Marketing (M. Com) from Dhaka University. Making a significant career change to become a photographer, he studied at the Bangladesh Photographic Institute in 1993 and then at Pathshala Media Institute, gaining a diploma in photojournalism in 1999. Following this the World Press Photo Foundation – Netherlands supported him on a three-year seminar (Pleasure of Life).

He worked as a staff photographer at European Pressphoto Agency (2005-2017), Drik PLC (1996 to 2005); was a Founding partner of DrikNews (2006); Principal of Pathshala South Asian Media Institute (2018-2020) and was a Jury Member of the World Press Photo in 2011. Abir’s numerous awards includes the Mother Jones Award 2001 for his work on Freedom Fighters (Veterans of the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971) and the 1st Prize National Disaster category NPPA best of photojournalism award 2008. His work continues to gain recognition and he was the Alexia Foundation Professional grants winner 2013 and the recipient of the Leica Reportage prize in the Vevey International Photography Awards in Switzerland 2013.

Abir’s work has been published in New York Times, New Yorker, Time, Guardian, The Telegraph, Stern, Der Spiegel, the New Internationalist Magazine and many other international publications. He was one of the photographers featured in the book BLINK, published by Phaidon, featuring 100 photographers worldwide and in the book titled New Stories commissioned and published by World Press Photo.

About POY Asia Presents
When we created POY Asia, we made a pledge that we will not just be about a competition; and that education and robust exchange are necessary for our profession to grow.
It is a well-proven fact that there are more visual storytelling talents in Asia than publicly acknowledged. We at POY Asia believe we have both responsibility and opportunity to help bring more stories and talents to the spotlight.
We hope that in years to come, POY Asia Presents will become a gathering to look forward to.
If you are keen to share at this event, please let us know your topic and estimated time required for your presentation. We reckon that by default, each presentation should be around 20-30 minutes. We will add on 5-10 minutes to each speaker for Q&A. Email us at