The only national award for Singapore photographers between the ages of 13 and 25, CDL Singapore Young Photographer Awards (SYPA) was initiated by CDL and spearheaded by the late Deputy Chairman, Mr Kwek Leng Joo. Born from his love of photography and belief in youth development, SYPA was implemented in 2005 in celebration of Singapore’s 40th Birthday and aims to promote the art of photography amongst young Singaporeans while also recognising and cultivating promising artistic talents.


The theme for the 8th edition of CDL SYPA was ZERO, which called on contestants to rethink climate-related problems and how we should change to achieve a more sustainable future. Creative interpretation and presentation was encouraged and sought after. Issues could be regarding zero waste, zero energy, zero marine pollution that linked back to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life Below Water), and 15 (Life on Land).

The CDL SYPA 2020 recognised work that emphasised the theme and associated key message. Judges comprised professional photographers and sustainability experts.

There were two grand winners and four merits recipients who received cash prizes amounting to a total of S$10,000. During the open call period, a series of engagement programmes took place to spur contestants to explore the theme and to improve their technical skills.

Submission was open to all students aged 13 to 25 years old in Singapore, including students from international schools. Participants submitted their presentations online to either the Junior or Youth categories.

In November 2020, SYPA joined the Singapore International Photography Festival for the first time, in which the winners were announced and their works were showcased. Commencing its 7th edition this year, the Singapore International Photography Festival is one of the biggest photography platforms in Southeast Asia.

More information on the 8th CDL SYPA can be found in our Q4 2020 Sustainability Quarterly Report.


2018’s CDL SYPA focussed on UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), inviting young photographers to envision and capture the ideas of sustainable development and urban landscapes.

Click below to see the past winning entries.