Winner: TTP by Hayahisa Tomiyasu

TTP is a series of photographs made from the window of Hayahisa Tomiyasu's eighth-floor student apartment in the German city of Leipzig. His southfacing view encompasses a public park with a ping pong table, which is the focus of his deadpan pictures. Each image is similarly composed, while the times of day, the seasons and the visitors to the table change. As we turn the page the function of the table mutates, from a tischtennisplatte (table tennis table) to a sun bed, a skate obstacle, a laundry counter, a kids' climbing frame, a work-out meeting spot, and a refuge from busy streets, among numerous other uses. Thanks to Tomiyasu's sustained curiosity, we observe the habits, humour and idiosyncrasies of human behaviour at the foot of this humble table.

Hayahisa Tomiyasu was born in 1982 Kanagawa,Japan. After studying photography at Tokyo Polytechnic University, he moved to Leipzig, Germany to study under Peter Piller. He currently lives between Leipzig and Zurich, where he now teaches.

The First Book Award 2018 is published with support from Wilson Centre for Photography, Kraszna-Krausz Foundation and optimal media.

More information


2018 Shortlist

Anita Benjamin
Veronique Besnard
The Wall
Tenzing Dakpa
The Hotel
Andres Gonzalez
American Origami
Thomas Locke Hobbs
Vedute Los Angeles
Lionel Kiernan
At Night
Diane Severin Nguyen
Flesh Before Body
Dafna Talmor
Constructed Landscapes
Hayahisa Tomiyasu
Andrew Waits


Hannah Starkey
British artist Hannah Starkey’s commitment to picturing women since the mid-nineties has seen her explore a labyrinth of issues and ideas surrounding the female experience and the medium of photography. From childhood to motherhood and beyond, her work explores archetypal female characters, social values, relationships, psychology, communication, and fashion.

Amira Gad
Amira Gad is Exhibitions Curator at the Serpentine Galleries in London, where she has curated exhibitions by Simon Denny, Jimmie Durham, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Torbjørn Rødland. Prior to this, Gad was Managing Curator & Publications at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam where she worked from 2009 to 2014. Gad is also Commissioning Editor for Ibraaz, an online platform dedicated to visual culture in the Middle East and North Africa.

Martin Barnes
Martin Barnes is Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) London. Since 1997 he has worked on the Photography Gallery at the V&A, curating exhibitions such as Diane Arbus Revelations (2005-6); Twilight: Photography in the Magic Hour (2006); Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography (2010) and co-curator of Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography (2011).

Polly Fleury
Polly Fleury is Director of Special Projects at the Wilson Centre for Photography where she works closely with museums, artists, galleries and publishers, bringing historical and contemporary photography to public view.

Michael Mack
Michael Mack is the publisher of MACK.

The winning project will be announced at the opening of Photo London at Somerset House, London, on 16th May 2018.


First Book Award

The First Book Award is a photography publishing prize open to photographers who have not previously
had a book published by a third party publishing house (this does not include self-published print on demand projects).

The award was established in 2012 to support emerging photographers. The call for submissions emphasises a predilection for projects conceived in book form: works that find a voice through the book.

From 2012 to 2018, the award was not an open submission; each year, a diverse array of international nominators were asked to recommend suitable projects.

Submissions for the First Book Award 2019 are not limited to nominated projects and the award is open to all emerging artists who wish to submit a coherent book project. Please see the Submission Guidelines page for further details.

Previous winners include: Anne Sophie Merryman (2012), Paul Salveson (2013), Joanna Piotrowska (2014), Ciarán Óg Arnold (2015), Sofia Borges (2016) and Emmanuelle Andrianjafy (2017).

We are grateful for the support of:

Wilson Centre for Photography
Kraszna-Krausz Foundation