The Photobook Award 2023 is granted to Maija Tammi’s book Hulda/Lilli

The Association of Photographic Artists and the Finnish Museum of Photography have granted the Photobook Award 2023 to Maija Tammi’s book Hulda/LilliThe winner was be chosen by photography curator Thyago Nogueira (Sao Paulo, Brazil). The award is granted annually to an exceptional fine art photographic book. The winner receives a prize worth 2,000 €, and the other finalists 500 €.

Hulda/Lilli examines empathy through storytelling. The work is an inventive human experiment, which aims to draw out an emotional reaction and encourages readers to probe into the making of their feelings. The book can be read from both ends, or both beginnings, which offers two paths with different perspectives. One path depicts the story of a predator and the other of a prey. In the middle the paths and protagonists meet.

Thyago Nogueira, who chose the winner, tells about his selection:

“Maija Tammi (b. 1985) studied biology before embracing a career as an artist. This might explain the originality of her work. In Hulda & Lilli, Tammi offers us the chance to follow the story, biological development and feelings of two different beings: a female chameleon called Hulda and a female grasshopper called Lilli. Each of the stories is told independently, starting on opposite sides of the books until the final, fatal meeting. The stories of Lili and Hulda are narrated through a combination of photos and texts meticulously crafted to personify the creatures, nodding at the famous Ant and the Grasshopper Aesop’s fable. Both ends of the book start with a sober and classic layout, interspersed with hints of humor, and later takes on the form of a comic book or an old scientific discovery magazine to reach its climax when the two adorable beings meet, back to their animal prey and predator existence”.

“The ingenuity of the work lies in personifying the creatures to build bonds of affection with the readers, the solidity of which will be tested on the final encounter. Mixing poetic and cientific images, the book smartly articulates the story and the physical object to narrate the cruel and inescapable fate of the animal world, while offering a metaphor for thinking about the moral implications built by our emotions and the cruelty of our own human existence.”

The other Photobook Award finalist are Janne Riikonen, Notes for Our Legacy, Aura Saarikoski, Grey Mélange, Lorenzo “SerraGlia” Servi, CONE WARS and Milla Talassalo, 3.

You can see more about the winner and finalists here.

The award highlights the book as a form of fine art photography and as an independent art work. The aim of the award is to encourage and motivate authors of photobooks and to invite the public to become familiar with the art form. The award is granted to a Finnish photographic artist or an artist residing in Finland. In spring 2024 the award is granted for a book published in 2023.

The Photobook Award 2023 books are available for purchase at and the gallery’s bookshop at Yrjönkatu 8–10.