Strike a pose

Dorsett Hotel London exterior

This month Dorsett Hospitality International and Sony World Photography Awards embark on a world tour showcasing their creative collaboration, reports Ali Catterall . . .

It’s not completely unheard of, but it’s nevertheless fairly unusual for a prestigious hotel group to focus on supporting the arts, culture and local communities. So it is newsworthy indeed that Dorsett Hospitality International – one of Asia’s fastest-growing international hotel groups – is this year partnering with the Sony World Photography Awards, one of the world’s leading photography competitions, in order to support local talent and artists around the world.

“We are delighted to be the [Sony World Photography Awards] sole official hotel partner worldwide,” said Dorsett Hospitality International’s Executive Director and President, Winnie Chiu, one of Asia’s leading businesswomen, and who has been called ‘one to watch’ by Forbes. “[This will give] guests and visitors the opportunity to connect with a prestigious collection across our hotels internationally,” she says.

It surely will. The multi-award-winning hotel group (54 hotels and a global presence across 27 cities), has monopolised the Hong Kong market alone, and is currently expanding its London-based operations, capitalising on its previous Dorsett Shepherds Bush and Dorsett City (there are plans for more hotels in East London and Crouch End).

Their patronage will be a boon for the Sony Awards, which celebrates the best imagery and photographers worldwide. Said Chiu, “Aiming to achieve our brand promise – stay vibrant – the synergy between the Dorsett Hotels brand and Sony World Photography Awards highlights our passion for contemporary art and photography.”

It’s a dream partnership for Chiu, who has previously spoken of “embracing cultural differences”, and Dorsett Hospitality International generally, which embraces art and culture in every city. The dream team set sail this 9th May with an exhibition at Dorsett Shepherds Bush, where hotel guests and visitors can feast their eyes on 15 truly extraordinary images. They photographs have been pooled from the Awards’ Open competition and National Awards programme, and have been carefully selected to support local talent. The award-winning photographers include Albert Tan Chee Hiang from Singapore, Michael Chee Yen Chuan from Malaysia, Rachel Yee Laam Lai from Hong Kong, and Pan Jianhua from Mainland China.

One of the most important fixtures on the global photographic calendar, the internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards has four areas of competition (Professional, Open, Youth and Student), and offers photographers an fantastic opportunity to showcase their art to a global audience. Previous winners and shortlistees have enjoyed career-boosting benefits from such exposure, including exhibitions, gallery representation and publishing deals.

The Sony World Photography Awards themselves are produced by the World Photography Organisation, a global platform for photography initiatives, working across 180 countries, and with an aim, the Organisation says, “to raise the level of conversation around photography by celebrating the best imagery and photographers on the planet”. Following its pop-up at Dorsett Shepherds Bush, the exhibition continues across Dorsett Hotels located in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China.

The full 2019 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition, featuring all winning and shortlisted images can be seen at Somerset House and runs until the 26th of May, 2019.