International Photography Contest: 地方 Place and Space

07 Mar 2023

Photo by Pinglang Zhou

地方: Place and Space

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China, announces its international photography contest titled 地方: Place and Space, open to photographers worldwide. The competition allows photographers to share a story or provide insight into a place or space in China.

The closing date for submissions is Saturday, 1 April 2023, and images should have been taken no earlier than January 2018.

The first-place winner’s photos will be featured in XJTLU’s digital magazine, Light & Wings, launching in May. The winning photos, and those of the other top entrants, will appear in a digital exhibition on the magazine’s dedicated webpage. In addition, the top three participants will receive prizes.

The entries will be judged by Pinglang Zhou, a photographer and journalist based in Shanghai who strives to raise awareness of societal issues through the visualisation of everyday phenomena. You can see his work at

“We are honoured that Pinglang Zhou will be involved with our contest,” says Tamara Kaup, the contest coordinator and International Content Manager at XJTLU. “He has worked as a photojournalist since 2011 and has received many awards. His photos appear in well-read publications like The Paper and Sixth Tone.”

Kaup says she hopes the winners’ work will enable people around the world to glimpse more of China.

“China covers such a vast area with places that can be described by many adjectives: urban, rural, modern, historical, mountainous, flat, populated, empty – the list goes on,” she says. “No single person can travel enough to see all the aspects of China that are part of its rich character. We hope the work in the magazine and virtual exhibition will enable viewers to see more through the photographers’ unique perspectives.”

Deadline: 1 April 2023 at 11:59pm in your country’s time zone

For more details, please see below:


  • The contest seeks entries of 3-10 photos per series taken by the entrant in China since 1 January 2018 in the style of documentary or street photography. The photos in a series should be of a place or space in China, together telling a story or providing insight into the place or space.
  • We will run the first-place winner’s photos in XJTLU’s new digital magazine, Light & Wings, to debut in May. The top winners as selected by our professional juror will appear in a digital exhibition on our magazine’s dedicated webpage.
  • Juror: Pinglang Zhou, a photographer and journalist based in Shanghai who strives to raise awareness of societal issues through visualization of everyday phenomenon:


  • The first-prize winner will receive an Amazon gift card worth $500 USD or a gift card worth 3,500 RMB
  • The second-prize winner will receive an Amazon gift card worth $200 USD or a gift card worth 1,400 RMB
  • The third-prize winner will receive an Amazon gift card worth $100 USD or a gift card worth 700 RMB


  • Entry is free of cost and open to photographers of all levels above 18 years old worldwide.
  • By submitting an entry, the entrant confirms that they have read and agree to the Entry Rules.
  • Only one entry is allowed per individual participant. If a participant submits more than one entry, only the first entry will be considered.
  • Participants can only submit entries via the online form HERE
  • Submissions will not be accepted once the deadline lapses.
  • An entry is a series of at least 3 but no more than 10 photos in the theme of 地方: Place and Space that were taken in China between 1 January 2018 and the date of submission.
  • When photos are uploaded, participants must include at least the date and place description of each photo. A photo caption for each photo uploaded is optional.
  • All participants should ensure the authenticity and accuracy of submitted content. Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University will not be responsible for any misunderstandings or errors that result from incomplete, incorrect or inauthentic entries.
  • Each photo should be in JPG or JPEG format and less than 5MB. All the photos should be in one of the following dimensions:
    • 1080px by 1080px
    • 1080px by 566px (horizontal)
    • 1080px by 1350px (vertical)
  • There should not be any identifying marks, borders, or copyright marks visible on the images.
  • Because this is a contest for documentary-style and street photography which is intended to portray an authentic view, use of models or posing subjects is prohibited.
  • Basic colour correction/enhancement, filters, and cropping of photos is acceptable. However, editing that would impact the authenticity of the work, such as removing, adding, reversing or distorting subjects, is not allowed.
  • Photos must adhere to the laws and regulations of the People’s Republic of China and not contain any pornography, violence or reactionary elements.
  • In submitting photos to this contest, the participant guarantees their entry is their own original work, that they own the copyright to the submitted work and that no third party may own or control any materials the photo contains. The participant guarantees that they will bear all legal responsibilities and economic losses associated with their entry, including but not limited to those resulting from infringement of trademark, copyright, portrait rights and reputation rights, moral rights, defamation, intellectual rights, rights of privacy of any entity or person, and any violations of laws and regulation. The participant shall compensate XJTLU for all economic and reputational losses caused by the infringement of their entry. XJTLU reserves the right to cancel the eligibility of the participant, or withdraw the award issued to the participant.
  • Futhermore, the participant warrants that in submitting photos to the contest, they have agreed that Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) has the unlimited and permanent right to non-exclusive use of their high-resolution photographs for non-commercial purposes, including but not limited to publishing in XJTLU’s Light and Wings magazine, print and/or digital photo exhibition in XJTLU’s museum and on its website, WeChat official account, Weibo and other domestic and international publicity platforms, and in social media promotions for future editions of the magazine and/or photo contest, and that the participant agrees they will not be paid for such use.
  • The Entry Rules and any dispute, proceedings or claim of whatever nature arising out of or in any way relating to the Entry Rules (including any non-contractual disputes or claims), shall be governed by laws of the People’s Republic of China.
  • Any dispute arising from the Entry Rules (whether contractual or non-contractual) shall be decided solely and exclusively by the competent court of the People’s Republic of China with jurisdiction where XJTLU is located.
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University retains the right to disqualify any entry that does not meet the contest rules or that is deemed inappropriate. The conditions set out in the Entry Rules are binding, and Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University reserves the right to refuse or exclude any entry at its own discretion.
  • Entries will be judged by a juror on behalf of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). All decisions are final.
  • Any prize(s) must be collected by the winner(s) and is non-transferable.
  • Any winner(s) will be contacted via the email address provided during entry. If no response is received after five business days, a new winner will be selected and the previous winner will forfeit all rights to any prize.
  • XJTLU reserves the right to immediately terminate or suspend the competition in case of any legal prohibition or restriction.
  • Employees of the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) University Marketing and Communications office are prohibited from entry.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT: contest entry form


Please submit any questions by 30 March to with the email title: XJTLU International Photography Contest

07 Mar 2023


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