Person covered in rice papers
press overview

Hiền Hoàng wins Foam Paul Huf Award 2024

Hoàng’s surprising installations, use of diverse media and layered visual aesthetic made her work stand out from the beginning.

Foam is thrilled to announce that the 18th Foam Paul Huf Award goes to Hiền Hoàng (1990, Vietnam). Her work is unique for its integration of photography, sculpture, video, installations and performances. As seen in past editions, a jury of five industry specialists reviewed more than 100 submissions of artists, who had been brought forward by 24 international nominators. Hiền Hoàng was nominated by art researcher and independent curator Aldeide Delgado and is the first Foam Paul Huf Award winner from Southeast Asia.

Press release | Amsterdam, June 2024

The jury report states:

“We are impressed by the outstanding work of Hiền Hoàng whose practice displays a powerful and innovative visual language. She explores cultural narratives, such as the relationship between humanity and nature and the role of identity. For the series Asia Bistro – Made in Rice Hoàng uses food symbolism and unconventional surfaces to demonstrate the stereotypes that exist in Western narratives with regards to Asian culture. The work provides a sensory experience. Hoàng’s surprising installations, use of diverse media and layered visual aesthetic made her work stand out from the beginning. Her photographs escape from the static moment of a flat surface to a freely flowing moment, emitting emotions and gaining the power of connection. In doing so, Hoàng’s work bridges the gap between reality and imagination, building layers of diversive meanings.”

The jury extends a special mention to the Australian-Iranian artist Hoda Afshar whose work pushes the boundaries of where documentary and conceptual photography intersect. The jury particularly highlights her project In Turn which refers to the ongoing women’s rights protests in Iran.

Hiền Hoàng’s reaction:

“I am deeply honored to receive this award, which recognizes and affirms my exploration of cultural identity, human-nature interactions, and societal narratives. Asia Bistro - Made in Rice (2019-2021) dissected stereotypes faced by Vietnamese and Asian immigrants in the West, utilizing food symbolism and performance. This work challenged perceptions of ‘foreignness’ and ‘exoticness’, examining the traumatic experiences and coping mechanisms immigrants use to integrate into society. Following this, Scent from Heaven, completed in late 2023, delved into the relationship between humanity and nature, focusing on the culturally significant Agarwood from Vietnam. This project explored how pain and value are perceived and manifested through its history and usage. Currently, positioned at the intersection of art and science, my work investigates the narratives and memories associated with nature. This award inspires me to deepen my explorations, pushing further into these complex themes.”

The prize

Hiền Hoàng will receive a cash prize of €20.000 and a solo exhibition at Foam in 2025. She will see her name added to an impressive list of alumni. Previous winners include Colombian artist Felipe Romero Beltrán (2023) and South African artist Lebohang Kganye (2022).

Collage of Asian props

Under an Ideology, part of Asia Bistro - Made in Rice, digital image, 2020

@ Hiền Hoàng.

Hairy tofu printed on plexiglass

Smooth silk, part of Asia Bistro - Made in Rice, UV print on destructed plexiglass, 2022

@ Hiền Hoàng.

Person standing in red room with rice

Made in Rice, still from the 3-channels performance video, 2021

@ Hiền Hoàng.

Person holding eye open

Scent from Heaven - still from the performance video, 2023

@ Hiền Hoàng.

Tongue held by chopsticks

Rhey ran’t ro rhe R!, part of Asia Bistro - Made in Rice, digital image, 2019

@ Hiền Hoàng / Performer: KUOKO, photography by Julia Gaes.

About the jury

John Fleetwood is a curator, co-head of BA Photography at the KABK and director of Photo, a multifunctional platform in South Africa for the development and promotion of socially engaged photography. Anna-Alix Koffi is a creative director, editor and the founder of OFF the wall cultures photo, Woman Paper Visa, and SOMETHING WE AFRICANS GOT. Felipe Romero Beltrán, the previous Foam Paul Huf Award winner, is a photographer whose work is deeply rooted in exploring social issues, particularly focusing on the introduction of new narratives within documentary photography. Kathrin Schönegg is a curator, awarded author on photography, and the head of the photography department at the Münchner Stadtmuseum. Sunyoung Kim is senior curator at Museum Hanmi and leads the open call program MH Talent Portfolio, a programme aimed at fostering diverse collaborations between young artists and the museum.

About Hiền Hoàng

Hiền Hoàng is a multimedia artist from Vietnam and is based in Germany. Her artistic journey is characterised by pushing the boundaries of perception through diverse media—from experimental films to immersive installations—engaging viewers in emotive landscapes and introspection. She holds a master's degree in photography and design from HAW Hamburg. Hoàng's exhibitions have been featured at prestigious venues, including Rencontres de la Photographie d'Arles, Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center Budapest, Centro Cibeles Madrid, among others. Her portfolio was included in Foam Magazine #63 FOOD!

International experts

To produce an internationally representative selection, Foam approached twenty-four nominators from various parts of the world. Each expert was asked to select five talented upcoming visual artists in their own region. The award is open to artists from all ages, working in all photographic genres: from documentary or applied photography to photojournalistic or independent work. The winner’s work must exhibit a clear visual language and contribute significantly to today's photographic community in both form and content. 

Shortlist 2024

Eleonora Agostini, Hicham Gardaf, Hoda Afshar, Katrin Koenning, Mari Katayama, Oleg Savunov, Silvia Rosi, Tarrah Krajnak and Tereza Zelenkova.


Aldeide Delgado, Ali Shobeiri, Azu Nwagbogu, Bindi Vora, Clothilde Morette, Daniel Boetker-Smith, Daria Panaiotti, Drew Sawyer, Elisa Medde, Emma Bowkett, Fernanda Prado Verčič, Irina Chmyreva, Katerina Stathopoulou, Luis Juárez, Markéta Kinterová, Matthew Leifheit, Santiago Escobar Jaramillo, Dr. Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Navab, Takahiro Itō, Tanvi Mishra, Taous R. Dahmani, Tommaso Parrillo, Yining He and Zied Ben Romdhane. 

About Paul Huf

The Dutch photographer Paul Huf (1924-2002) was known for his innovative photographic technique and was an important ambassador for the establishment of Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam in 2001. To honour this special relationship, the Foam Paul Huf Award was created in order to stimulate and support photographers on a global scale. Foam has presented the annual award since 2007, and the winner is chosen by an independent, international jury. In the Fall of 2024, Foam will open an exhibition dedicated to the work of Paul Huf.

Previous winners

2023 - Felipe Romero Beltrán (1992, Colombia) 
2022 - Lebohang Kganye (1990, South-Africa) 
2021 - John Edmonds (1989, United States) 
2020 - Laia Abril (1986, Spain)  
2019 - Eric Gyamfi (1990, Ghana) 
2018 - Daniel Shea (1985, United States) 
2017 - Romain Mader (1988, Switzerland) 
2016 - Daisuke Yokota (1983, Japan) 
2015 - Momo Okabe (1981, Japan) 
2014 - Daniel Gordon (1980, United States) 
2013 - Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs (1979, Switzerland) 
2012 - Alex Prager (1979, United States) 
2011 - Raphaël Dallaporta (1980, France) 
2010 - Alexander Gronsky (1980, Estonia) 
2009 - Leonie Hampton (1978, United Kingdom) 
2008 - Pieter Hugo (1976, South Africa) 
2007 - Mikhael Subotzky (1981, South Africa) and Taryn Simon (1975, United States) 

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The Foam Paul Huf Award is made possible by the generous support from Mentha.

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