The Hasselblad award was presented for the ninth time on Saturday 30 September 1989. The award winner, Sebastião Salgado, received the award from Her Royal Highness Princess Lilian, at a ceremony in the foyer of the Göteborg Concert Hall. The award sum was FRF 200,000. In conjunction with the ceremony an exhibit of the award winner's photographs was displayed in the foyer of the concert hall. In autumn of the same year, the Hasselblad Center arranged a major exhibition of works by all nine Hasselblad award winners "Nine Masters of Photography" at Wernerska Villan, Göteborg with a separate exhibition of Sebastião Salgado's work in his capacity as the award winner of the year.
No citation was published in 1989. A summary of the press release follows:
Sebastião Salgado is one of the foremost and most widely known contemporary working social documentary photojournalists. He has demonstrated a unique ability to link journalism, discrete intrusion, loyal involvement and photographic aesthetics. He uses his medium to tell the story of people's lives, lives he observes with respect however harsh their circumstances. His pictures are moving and important to our understanding of peoples and cultures. His work has also brought income to projects such as Doctors Without Borders.