Curator Selection / 2021 / /

Hawler Psychiatric Hospital in Erbil, Southern Kurdistan (Iraq)

  • Photographer
    Simon Chang
  • Credit
    Simon Chang

The sound of the leaky fountain transformed the deserted lobby, devoid of doctors rushing to private practices and nurses hurrying to their part-time jobs, into an ethereal cavern. The ghosts that moved between these metal bars, the patient’s singing and roars, the listless sculpture-like stares from between the cracks in the rusted metal rails—I realized I was inside the cavern, witnessing life forms degrade into inanimate matter, before its imminent collapse.

Hawler Psychiatric Hospital is the only psychiatric facility that admits male patients in Erbil, Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq.

Simon Chang was born in Taipei, Taiwan, 1978.

Simon was first awarded the Slovenia Press Photo Awards in the best story category (people/sport) in 2011 and was honored again in 2012 and 2015. He also received the Kaohsiung Awards in 2011 and was twice awarded the Golden Tripod Awards in 2018 and 2020; these are two of the most prestigious contemporary art and book publication accolades in Taiwan. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries both in Europe & Asia, including the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid (Spain), the National Centre for Contemporary Arts in Moscow (Russia), etc.

Awards 2021 “Shepherds and the Slaughterhouse” – 2nd place of the international photo contest, Rovinj Photodays 2021 (documentary), Rovinj, Croatia.
2020 “Scene of creativity” for Oneday Monthly - Golden Tripod Awards – The best column of the year, Taipei, Taiwan.
2019 “Shepherds and the Slaughterhouse” – Winning series of “The State of the World” photography competition - PX3 PRIX DE DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE PARIS, Paris, France.
2018 “Fleeing from the Dark Side of the Moon” - Golden Tripod Awards – The best non-fiction publication of the year, Taipei, Taiwan.
2015 “Mixed Martial Arts” - The best reportage of the year (Sport) – Slovenia Press Photo 2015, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2015 “They / Ward 2” - Emerging Talent Jury Award – Eyetime 2013 photography competition, New York, USA.
2012 “Ashura” - 1st Prize of Eyetime 2012, New York, USA.
2012 “MIDVA 2010 - 2028” - Winner of 2012 Fotopub Festival Thursday Award, Novo Mesto, Slovenia.
2012 “A mei - R U Watching?” - 2nd prize of the Professional Advertising Category (Music) - PX3 PRIX DE DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE PARIS, Paris, France.
2012 “Ashura” – 1st Prize of the Professional Press Category, PX3 PRIX DE DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE PARIS, Paris, France.
2012 “Boxing Blues” – The best reportage of the year (Sport), Slovenia Press Photo 2012, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2012 “The Veterinarian” – The best reportage of the year (People), Slovenia Press Photo 2012, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2012 “PIECES”, 1st prize of the best Photography of the year 2012 / 18th EMZIN Photography competition, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2012 “MIDVA (Us two)”, 2nd prize of the best Photography of the year 2012 / 18th EMZIN Photography competition, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2011 “World Fight Champion 12” – The best reportage of the year (Sport), Slovenia Press Photo 2011, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2011 “MIDVA (Us two)” – The best reportage of the year (People), Slovenia Press Photo 2011, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2011 “Evaporation”, Kaoshuing Awards, Kaoshuing Museum of Fine Art