In 2016, Japan and Belgium mark the 150th anniversary of friendship and diplomatic relations, which were established in 1866. As a celebration act, IBASHO, the Belgian gallery specializing in Japanese photography, would like to commemorate this milestone by issuing an international photo competition around the theme of Japan. This international competition is open for photographers of all abilities whose work has been made in or inspired by Japan. Based on the results of the jury, an exhibition at IBASHO will be curated presenting the winners of the competition.

Each photographer wanting to enter the competition is asked to submit a selection of at least 5 and maximum 10 photographs as well as a biography and an artist statement. In this artist statement, contesters should clearly state the link with Japan.


The winners will be included in an exhibition at IBASHO Gallery from 24 November until 18 December 2016. All production and/or framing costs will be taken care of by IBASHO. The overall winner will also receive a cash prize of € 1,000.


  • Submission deadline ——————15 September 2016
  • Winners announced ——————1 November 2016
  • Exhibition ————————————24 November - 18 December 2016

A shortlist of six photographers has been nominated by the jury.
All photographers on the shortlist will be included in the exhibition.
The overall winner will be announced shortly.
Click here to see the shortlist


An international jury of highly reputable professionals from the world of photography will judge the work and select the winners of the competition:

  • JOACHIM NAUDTS ——————Curator at Foto Museum (FOMU), Antwerp
  • TOSHIO SHIBATA ——————Japanese photographer
  • ZIPPORA ELDERS ——————Former Curator at FOAM (Photomuseum in Amsterdam) / Artistic Director Fort bij Vijfhuizen, Centre for Art and Heritage
  • STEPHAN VANFLETEREN ——————Belgian Photographer
  • JULIET HACKING ——————Photobook writer and program director of the Masters of Photography program at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London
  • ANNEMARIE ZETHOF ——————Director at IBASHO


Your submission has been fully uploaded!

We will review your work and keep you posted on all further events of the competition.

Thank you for entering the compettion,

IBASHO gallery.

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All entries will be reviewed and pre-screened by IBASHO. Screened entries will then be reviewed by the international jury of experts, and the international jury will choose the winners. The decisions of the jury are final.

Each photographer retains copyright of his or her images, and proper credit lines will be attributed to each photographer when exhibited or screened anywhere by IBASHO.

The cash prize of € 1,000 is a gross amount, subject to possible applicable taxes.

IBASHO reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify and remove any photograph that does not comply with the following requirements:
You warrant, in respect of the photographs submitted by you, as follows:
You are the sole copyright owner and creator of the photographs.
You have the right to enter your photographs in this competition.
To the best of your knowledge, the photographs do not contain any infringing, threatening, false, misleading, abusive, harassing, libellous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, scandalous, inflammatory, pornographic or profane content.
To the best of your knowledge, the photographs do not contain any material that could constitute or encourage conduct which would be considered a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any law.
The photograph does not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, contract rights, or any other intellectual property rights of any third person or entity, or violate any person’s rights of privacy or publicity, and your photograph does not include:
trademarks owned by third parties.
copyrighted materials owned by third parties.
names, likenesses or other characteristics identifying celebrities or other public figures, living or dead.
entries in which you have purchased or secured the rights to use stock images.
You agree to fully indemnify IBASHO in respect of all royalties, fees and any other monies owing to any person by reason of your breaching any of the foregoing.
You confirm that each person depicted in the photograph has granted permission to be portrayed as shown. Any costumes, props or other materials used must be rented or borrowed with the permission of the owner, and all other relevant permissions must have been obtained.

All entrants agree that all photograph(s) submitted to the competition may be reproduced (with photographer copyright credit) and used to conduct and promote IBASHO competitions. You hereby grant IBASHO with a right to use submitted photographs in the framework of such promotional activities.

You agree to participate in related publicity and to the use of your name and winning images for the purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity for IBASHO and the competition without additional compensation. Such requests will not be unreasonably withheld.

The winners are invited to sell their work during the exhibition. Prices of the works will be agreed between the photographer and IBASHO and proceeds will be split 50/50 after production costs.