Malaysian student shortlisted for prestigious world photo award

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019

One of Nur Hidayati's pictures from her second series.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian student makes it into the shortlist for the student competition of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards.

Malaysian student Nur Hidayati Abd Rahim, 20, from the Faculty of Creative Media, Multimedia University, has been shortlisted among 10 other young photographers for the prestigious competition.

She was shortlisted after submitting a series of captivating photos depicting the famous “Mowgli Malaysia.”

The awards will offer her the opportunity to showcase her art to a global audience and serve as vital support for her to make a career in photography.

Produced by the World Photography Organisation, the internationally-acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards is one of the most important fixtures on the global photographic calendar.

As one of the world’s largest and most prestigious global photography competitions, the awards annually celebrate and promote the best contemporary photography from the past year across a wide variety of genres.

This year, the awards received the most number of entries for the four categories - Professional (for a body of works), Open (for a single image), Student (for academic institutions) and Youth (for 12 to 19-year-olds).

A total of 326,997 entries from 195 countries and territories were submitted across the four categories this year.

In the student competition, students were first challenged to produce a series of three to five images according to the brief, “Evolution”.

Here, Nur Hidayati was shortlisted for her first series, Rural Life in Urban World.

From this, Nur Hidayati and the ten shortlisted students received Sony cameras, with which they created a second series of works inspired by the brief “Belong”.

Her second series, titled Soul of The Wild, focused on the harmony between humans and animals.

In this series, Nur Hidayati depicted the young teenager named Muhammad Syukur Khamis, who was dubbed “Mowgli Malaysia” and “Kampung Boy”, earlier this year after a number of captivating photographs illustrating his bond with animals.

Syukor comes from a small town near Kuala Terengganu and grew up surrounded by animals on his father’s livestock farm where he developed close bonds with them.

Nur Hidayati’s series captures the interactions and unique bond between the buffaloes and the Kampung Boy.

Through this second series, she successfully demonstrated the sense of belonging Syukor has amongst these huge animals.

Nur Hidayati explained how it was a challenging process of capturing these moments between the famous Kampung Boy and the buffaloes as she was initially not brave enough to go near the huge animals.

“This idea was really challenging because I needed to find the right moments of animal behaviour with Syukor.

“I’m not someone who is brave enough to touch these animals or even go near them. However, I tried to overcome my weakness little by little to capture those beautiful moments.

“I took a lower angle of Syukor and his buffaloes to give the picture more impact. Next, I took a picture from further away to capture a group of buffalo with Syukor to give a sense of belonging.

“I faced difficulties from unwelcome weather; heavy rain made it harder for me to take the pictures I wanted,” she said.

The winner of the coveted ‘Student Photographer of the Year’ title will be announced April 17.

The winning student will also receive €30,000 (RM 138,313.66) worth of Sony digital imaging equipment for their institution.

The student competition will begin in April when Nur Hidayati, her tutor, and the nine other shortlisted students will be flown to London to attend the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards ceremony.

The students will then receive expert portfolio reviews, a masterclass with world-renowned artist Nadav Kander (recipient of the Awards’ 2019 Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize).

They will also have their works shown as part of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition.

The images will be exhibited in London from April 18 until May 6, 2019 before touring globally to countries including Japan, Italy and Germany.


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