Pictures of the Year Asia is very pleased to welcome Singapore potter and ceramic artist Kim Whye Kee as a partner.

A former gang leader and drug addict, Whye Kee spent a decade in prison.

When he was given special permission to attend his father’s funeral while serving time, he was determined to turn his life around.

This was around the same time that he rekindled his interest in art, specifically pottery.

His talent was spotted by a few good souls who sponsored his tertiary education. He repaid their generosity and faith by graduating with honours from a fine arts programme.

These days, he is only addicted to two things — creating beautiful pottery and enjoying his tea.

He also wants to give back. When we approached him to create a ‘trophy’ for POY Asia, he agreed without hesitation.

Being a full-time artist is very tough and he appreciates the challenges faced by photojournalists and documentary photographers.

He has first hand experience of the struggles faced by artists in trying to create art and putting rice on the table.

“Rice bowl,” Whye Kee said, “I will create a unique rice bowl for POY Asia every year.”

We could not ask for a more potent symbol of what it means to be a working artist in Asia.

So thanks to Whye Kee, we are happy to share that starting from POY Asia 2024, the winner of the Photographer of the Year, Asia category will receive a beautiful rice bowl, edition 1/1, sealed and dated.