En Foco Announces 2016 Photography Fellowship Winners

En Foco, one of New York metropolitan area’s leading clearing houses and supporters of photographers of color, proudly announces its Photography Fellowship’s five photographers that are representative of New York City’s diversity. The “Fellows” are Anthony Hamboussi, Tommy Kha, Adeline Lulo, Danny R. Peralta and Lawrence Sumulong—all New York City residents. The En Foco Photography Fellowship provides each photographer with a $1,000 financial stipend, a group exhibition and a feature in Nueva Luz.

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The EnFoco Fellowship has been redesigned in order to broaden its reach and efficacy to core constituents. Its successes are predicated in building networks with citywide intermediaries and organizations like the Bronx Documentary Center, Harlem Arts Alliance, the Asian American Arts Alliance, P.R.I.D.A. and Amerinda. These networks ultimately generated 97 submissions for this year’s Fellowship, and the awardees were selected after three rounds of deliberations through a peer panel process.

The panelists are all distinguished members of the arts community: Leenda Bonilla, Bronx artist and photographer; Sarah Calderon, former Casita Maria Executive Director and currently Managing Director of Art Place; and Wendel White, professional photographer, cultural activist and museum educator. Each brought their significant experience in this process of supporting and advocating on behalf of artists of color, recognizing the contributions these artists make to their communities and to the art world as a whole.

Kim Rose, En Foco’s Online Fellowship Administrator and Layza Garcia, Programs Manager managed the entire Photography Fellowship experience. They sustained En Foco’s commitment to excellence and integrity. Bill Aguado, En Foco’s Interim Director, stated, “we are committed to system of providing financial support to our artists and we are fortunate to have two young professionals, like Kim and Layza, carrying on the tradition established in the mid-seventies by En Foco’s founders.”

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In Anthony Hamboussi’s Cairo Ring Road series, the photographer concentrates on the economic and environmental devastation in the construction of cities in the desert of Egypt. Although the people of Egypt are absent from these photographs, Hamboussi manages to create a narrative of the country and of the city of Cairo through a photographic exploration of the land itself. He illustrates the bleak and immoral neglect that is currently wrecking environment havoc on the land and reveals the fundamental cruelty of ecological devastation and a country in post revolutionary turmoil. Hamboussi’s photographs have been published in the New Yorker, Domus Magazine and The New York Times.

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In today’s image-heavy culture, where Facebook and Instagram proliferate photographs at an increasing velocity, Tommy Kha creates photographs incorporating existing images through Google’s Reverse Image Search. These self-portraits question the actual existence of the image, and thus of the artist as well. Kha’s work speaks directly to the need for personhood and recognition, especially with his own experience as a son of immigrants, while growing up in the Southern United States. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Kha has published photos in The Huffington Post, Slate and Butt Magazine. He has been exhibited internationally and holds a MFA in Photography from Yale University.

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Adeline Lulo’s photo essay Si Dios Quiere, or God Willing, portrays the lives of families in the Dominican Republic, as well as Dominican immigrants living in the United States. Lulo’s own upbringing as a Dominican-American in Washington Heights, New York inspired her to photograph her community in the Heights, as well as her family’s homeland in DR. Lulo beautifully depicts the tight-knit communities and cultures found in both of these places, especially evident in her photographs of homes, where children’s wide faces and living room walls full of family photos illustrate a sense of need, desire and hunger for life. Lulo earned a BFA from Parsons School of Design and was selected for The New York Times Portfolio Review. Lulo was the recipient of the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship.

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Danny R. Peralta’s series Bout That Life follows a young Dominican man as he navigates living and working as an undocumented immigrant in the Bronx. In each image, Peralta’s subject’s face is slightly obscured, alluding to the thousands upon thousands of undocumented immigrants living in the United States, and their consistent marginalization from society. Bout That Life tells a compelling story of life on the street, struggle and survival. Peralta is the Managing Director of The Point, CDC in the Bronx where he lives with his wife and two children.

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Lawrence Sumulong’s series Trapo could be described as reverse propaganda. The images of politicians and political posters from the Philippines, slowly deteriorating with age and wear, highlight the decline of trust the Filipino people have in their government officials and state sponsored programs. The disfigured images parallel the distorted words that come from government officials who continue to ignore the Philippines long history of brutal dictatorship. The images here bubble and congeal like a lava lamp, distorting and bringing contemporary Filipino life into focus. Sumulong’s previous work is included in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum Library and New York’s Museum of Modern Art Library.

Image credits: Anthony Hamboussi, Maadi Gardens, Zahraa’ al-Maadi, Cairo Governorate from Cairo Ring Road series; Tommy Kha, Mine (I), Syracuse NY from Untitled series; Adeline Lulo, Utensilios de Limpieza (Cleaning Tools), República Dominicana from Si Dios Quiere series; Danny R. Peralta, ‘Bout That Life 020315 from ‘Bout That Life series; Lawrence Sumulong, Marcos and Binay from Trapo series.

En Foco, Inc. supports contemporary fine art and documentary photographers of color and diverse cultures, using photography as a platform to speak on behalf of issues related to cultural equity and access. En Foco provides its photographers, curators, critics & cultural activists with forum to advocate on behalf of an inclusive cultural policy that historically has been lacking in substance. En Foco supports its constituent artists with direct and indirect funding opportunities, professional development services, curated exhibitions, publications and networking events with industry and cultural leaders. Learn more at www.enfoco.org and follow us on facebook.com/enfoco & twitter.com/enfoco.

The En Foco Photography Fellowship is made possible with funds by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts and the generosity of an anonymous donor.

Contact: Layza Garcia & Bill Aguado
Email address: info@enfoco.org
High-resolution images available Upon Request

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