Filipino student wins prestigious Canadian photography award
Filipino artist and 4th-year Emily Carr University (ECU) photography student Khim Mata Hipol won the prestigious Audain Travel Award 2022. The news was shared via his alma mater’s website.
Born in 1999 in City of San Fernando, La Union, Philippines, North Vancouver’s Hipol was at work upon receiving the news.
“I was shocked,” Hipol says, “I was trying to compose myself, but on the inside I was trembling. It’s just a surreal moment.”
The annual Audain Travel Award is a prestigious annual award which encourages travel to view art and provides $7,500 annually to young artists enrolled in a full-time fine arts program. This year, the awarding ceremony was held at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Hipol shares that he did not see himself or his culture reflected in the media while growing up in Canada, that being recognized for his work “definitely feels special,” but he also feels “a responsibility.”
“For me, making Filipino work comes from seeking that representation and struggling to find it,” Hipol says. “There was just no one making work like that. Or none that I have been told or taught. I thought maybe I could start doing it and see if there’s a conversation there.”
Hipol will use the prize to travel to the Philippines to research colonial history and decolonization of his birth country. His work focuses on the “subjectivity of his identity, culture, and childhood upbringing and how all change when migrating.”
Hipol holds a Certificate of Photography from Emily Carr University of Arts and Design and is currently finishing his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree majoring in photography and a minor in Image + Text.
His work has been showcased in Exposure Festival in Calgary, “New and Emerging” in Seymour Art Gallery (February 2022), Capture Photography Festival 2021 as part of the Revision Exhibition by Emily Carr University Photography Department, Fort Gallery in Langley and The Plaskett Gallery, New Westminster, Places Des Arts, Coquitlam, and the gallery by Mui, USA. He also has part of a book published in 2021, The Working Artist I, in the United Kingdom; also with the Vancouver Street Photography Collective in 2020, and the FAKfulness Art Magazine October 2019 Issue 2019 in Canada.
His work can be found via his website https://www.khimhipol.com.