Objectifs Documentary Award 2022 Recipients

The Objectifs Documentary Award champions Objectifs’ mission to broaden perspectives through image making, by supporting original voices in visual storytelling in Singapore and the wider region. The Award enables photographers to work on new or existing projects, encouraging them to tell stories about their native communities. It welcomes different creative approaches to non-fiction storytelling, from conventional documentary photography to visual experiments. Projects may be presented in still images or use multimedia.

Successful recipients will be given professional and financial support to work on their projects over a 6 month-long period. The final works are exhibited at Objectifs in March 2023.

The awardees were selected by the following panel of 5 jury members:

  • Muhammad Fadli Documentary Photographer and Producer, Emerging Category Mentor for 2022
  • Siddharta Perez Curator, Educator and Organiser, Open Category Curator for 2022
  • Hannah Reyes Morales, Documentary Photographer, Emerging Category Mentor for 2021
  • Kamiliah Bahdar, Curator, Open Category Curator for 2021
  • Chelsea Chua, Programme Director, Objectifs

OPEN CATEGORY – Irene Barlian

Irene Barlian is an independent documentary photographer based in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Her documentary photographic interest primarily focuses on social, environmental,  cultural, and women’s stories. She has a particular fondness for the vibrancy in Southeast  Asia and continues to document social life and witness history. The most significant  element of her professional ventures is devoted to personal, long-term projects.

She has contributed works to publications such as The New York Times, Los Angeles  Times, Reuters, Vice, Sidetracked, amongst others. Her works were exhibited in a group  show in the U.S.A, France, Switzerland, and Greece.

Project description

Drawing upon personal narratives from communities in Indonesia, Land of The Sea documents the devastating impact of the climate crisis on various aspects of life and the ways in which these communities are surviving and adapting to climate change.

Through this project, Irene Barlian seeks to highlight the urgency of the issue and to spark conversations that could prompt collective action in tackling the issue.


Jomar Tingson is a storyteller based in Batangas, Philippines who is focused on personal projects exploring themes such as identity, subcultures and environmental issues while tracing the chaos and beauty of forgotten folklore and its reemergence in the modern world.

Project description

The Centurion Original documents the Centurions, a local theater group based in the mystical town of Paete, Laguna, the Woodcarving Capital of the Philippines. This theatre group offers the Passion Play or Cenakulo in Catholic tradition, a dramatic presentation depicting the Passion of Jesus Christ, as a way of penitence and to show their faith and devotion to God.

Through this project, Jomar Tingson seeks to explore the faith, folk-beliefs and traditions that are passed down and celebrated across generations of Filipinos.

Yong Li Xuan strives to be a journalist with heart and loves to tell stories through text and photos. She is passionate about uplifting her community and hopes to help others empathise with the marginalised through journalism and photography.

Project description

According to a Singapore Mental Health Study conducted in 2016, depression is the most common mental disorder in Singapore. In Fighting Demons, Yong Li Xuan traces the journey of her collaborator Ashley Poo, who was diagnosed with with depression and anxiety in November 2019 and has been seeking help for her condition since. By presenting an unflinching look at how these disorders affect Ashley and her family, Li Xuan’s project hopes to destigmatize mental health disorders and spark a conversation on mental health that embodies care and compassion.