Japanese photographer Momo Okabe has won this year’s Foam Paul Huf Award. Okabe’s prize-winning projects, Dildo and Bible, are a powerful but open-hearted portrait of the relationship between two of the photographer’s transgender lovers, Kaori and Yoko, both still undergoing surgery and treatments.
Okabe, now based in Tokyo, was chosen from a list of 100 nominated photographers from 26 countries. She is the ninth winner of the prize, organised by the Amsterdam photography museum and awarded to photographers under 35. Previous winners include Taryn Simon, Pieter Hugo and Alex Prager.
Foam said the five person international jury were unanimous in their choice of winner. 'We were impressed by the emotional power of her projects and the extremely personal nature of her work,' the jury said. 'Momo combines tenderness with a raw intimacy which is revealed through her use of colour, variety of subjects, and sensitive handling of an important and complex social issue like transsexualism. She operates in the lineage of Japanese photography but has created and aesthetic that is entirely her own.'