2015 The Documentary Photography Prize

The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation For Documentary Photography & Film

Mo Yi – 2015 Documentary Photography Prize

Mo Yi, born 6 April 1958 in Lhasa, is a Chinese contemporary photographer. Considered one of the founding figures of Chinese art photography, his work is distinguished by its post-modern style, its humanist approach and its political and social commitment.

Mo Yi’s work is quintessentially different than the work we have come to expect and admire from Western photographers. Seen through the eyes of a simple street photographer’s point of view, it is hopeful, at times poetic, and certainly tinged with a dose of political interpretation about a people that only yearn to be included in a global conversation and marketplace. China is no doubt a growing Super Power. With great power comes great responsibility not only to itself, but to the world and all of her people. As a foundation that yearns to reach out to everyone, it is therefore our duty to insure that all people in this world have an opportunity to be heard. This includes certainly the voices of photographers in The Peoples Republic of China. Mo Yi is not only the obvious choice for us as our 2015 MRO Foundation Prize recipient for the incredible years and sacrifice he has put forth as a photographer in China, but for the role model that he becomes to over a billion people, many of whom are likely the Chinese Mo Yi’s of tomorrow.

As a foundation, we decided to be a part of the solution that makes global photography today inclusive and representative of everyone! And as the foundation mirrors its very essence and existence from the hard times that I have lived through personally and the experiences of a ceiling so often thick with glass, it is our duty to insure that voices like Mo Yi are heard loud and clear. This is the prime reason why we exist!

Manuel Rivera-Ortiz

MROF Prize