School of Visual Arts, NY, student beats photographers worldwide in 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus 

“Amazon Burger” © Iris Xing, School of Visual Arts, NYC, US, Shortlist, Student Focus, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

School of Visual Arts student Iris Xing was announced today as one of the shortlisted photographers for the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Student Focus program.

The awards are the world’s largest photography competition, and the student program has proved to be a launchpad into the industry for many emerging photographers and a stage on which its young photographers are given global recognition.

The ten shortlisted students, who span from Argentina to Australia, were selected from entries from 230 educational institutions worldwide. They were chosen by an expert panel of judges from the World Photographic Academy and will now compete for the Student Focus Photographers of the Year title and €35,000 worth of Sony photography equipment.

Iris, aged 23 from Beijing, China, secured her place on the shortlist with an image titled “Amazon Burger.” The image was shot in response to a brief asking for a single image symbolizing contemporary consumer culture.

Talking about the shortlisted photograph Iris comments: “This picture deals with consumption culture. Hamburgers are a metaphor for fast, consumable things. I take different things that people consume very fast and make them into hamburgers. The layers of this burger were made by an Amazon box and packaging. I made the Amazon Burger and took this picture in SVA’s MFA Photo studio, in 2014.”

She continues: “Being shortlisted for the Student Focus programme is a great chance for a student like me to gain a deeper and better understanding of the art world, and to see and experience many different kinds of work.”

Iris is a keen photographer who studied advertising before being accepted into the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media program at SVA in 2013.

As a shortlisted photographer Xing has won a full frame camera from Sony – the α7 with the 28-70mm kit lens – which she must now use to fulfil the second brief of the competition: shoot a series of images under the title “The edges of our cities”. Judges are looking for between 6 and 10 images that capture the unseen and undocumented outskirts of our cities. From this work, the judges will select one winning series will be chosen by the judges from this work.

As the other part of their prize, all ten shortlisted students, including Iris, will be flown to London with their tutor to attend the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony in London on 23 April.

At the ceremony the winner of the 2015 Student Focus Photographer of the Year title will be revealed and the winner receive the grand prize of €35,000 worth of Sony photographic equipment for their university.

In addition, each shortlisted photographer will see their “The edges of our cities” series shown as part of the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London from 24 April -10 May and have their work published in the 2015 edition of the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.

Talking about his student’s success, Charles H. Traub, School of Visual Arts MFA Photography, Video and Related Media department Chair, comments: “Iris Xing is wonderfully representative of the outstanding talents that SVA MFA Photography, Video and Related Media is delighted to nurture in aspiring young image makers from around the world. Her Burger It project is universal in its critique of consumerism, globalism, and most specifically, the impersonal nature of fast culture. We are honoured as a department and a school to have this inspiring emerging artist represented in the Sony World Photography Student Focus shortlist. It is a unique opportunity to expose her abilities and wonderful work.” 

For more information about the Student Focus programme go to

Images are available to download at 

For further information please contact:

Kristine Bjørge, PR Manager, World Photography Organisation

+44 (0) 20 7886 3146/


  • The shortlist were chosen by a panel of photography experts including: Tom Hind, UK, Senior Director, Content Development, Getty Image; Jacqueline Hassink, Netherlands, Photographer, and Krishna Sheth, UK, Photography Editor
  • Judges were required to select one shortlisted student per continent (six in total) plus a further four student’s work from anywhere in the world.  Students who entered the competition were  judged on a single image
  • The shortlisted photographers are:
  • Argentina – Lucia Moron, Al Aire
  • Australia – James Farley, Charles Sturt University
  • France – Yannick Délen, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie
  • Hong Kong – Ngai Man Yan Katherine, PolyU Hong Kong Community College
  • Russia – Nadezhda  Aleksandrova, St Petersburg State University of Culture & Arts
  • Russia – Svetlana Blagodareva, St.Petersburg State Polytechnic University
  • South Africa – Jannah Ruthven, Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography
  • Spain – Angela Silva Cerna, Institut D’Estudis Fotografics de Catalunya (IEFC)
  • United Kingdom – Tom Parker, Southampton Solent
  • United States – Iris Xing, School of Visual Arts
  • About World Photography Organisation (WPO)

WPO is a home where photography is celebrated and the art of the photographer is recognised.  Working with professional, enthusiast and student photographers alike, the World Photography Organisation provides a global network across the photographic industry to not only to raise the level of conversation around the subject, but to increase awareness and appreciation of this artform.  WPO hosts a year-round portfolio of industry and public events including: Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition and accompanying global exhibition; the World Photography Student Focus Programme, inspiring and working with the next generation of photographers, and Photo Shanghai, Asia Pacific’s premier art fair dedicated to photography.  In addition, WPO has a thriving online presence via its website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and addresses the industry’s latest issues in its monthly online publication, The Magazine.  For more information please visit

  • About Sony Corporation 

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world.  Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $75 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.  Sony Global Web Site:


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