Sony has named fine-art photographers RongRong & inri as winners of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize at this year’s Sony World Photography Awards.

In the Great Wall, China, 2000 No.3 © RongRong & inri

Husband and wife team RongRong & inri will be honoured for their ‘significant impact on Asian photography’ and for shaping contemporary photography ‘in China and beyond’.

In response to the news, the photographers said: ‘This award genuinely encourages us to put more efforts into the development of photography.

‘We have faith in this career we choose and love.’

The work of RongRong, a photographer from China, and inri, a Japanese artist, will be formally recognised at the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony on 21 April.

‘RongRong & inri’s photography reflects the intimate world that they have created together and pushes the boundaries of traditional black & white darkroom techniques,’ organisers said.

ee5a7c6d-943d-4404-9778-3aa41ebf2369 Untitled, 2008 No.25 © RongRong & inri

The World Photography Organisation’s creative director Astrid Merget Motsenigos, said: ‘RongRong & inri’s contribution to photography goes well beyond their extensive and exquisite production of still images.

‘For over fifteen years they have personally contributed to the industry as a whole, specifically within their community, creating venues and resources for artists to flourish.

‘Their photography has captured the great intimacy they have shared over the years and presents their unique interpretations in critically acclaimed photo stories, collages and installations.

‘Despite the significant contribution they have made, they are not broadly known internationally and we, the World Photography Organisation, want to help change that by celebrating the remarkable influence they both have had on the Asian photography community.’

The first major European exhibition of RongRong & inri’s work, from a critically acclaimed series called ‘Tsumari Story’, is due to take place at the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition, at Somerset House, London, from 22 April-8 May.

8863dcd2-9017-484d-983a-8ad41e098408Caochangdi, Beijing 2008 No. 5 © RongRong & inri