15 finalists vying for SGD 60,000 Grand Prize revealed today
SYDNEY, Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation today announced the 15 finalists of the APB Foundation Signature Art Prize 2014. Now in its third installment, the prize spotlights the most compelling contemporary artworks created by artists in the Asia Pacific region over the last three years.
Selected by a panel of five eminent judges from around the region, the finalists’ works were chosen from 105 nominated artworks from 24 countries and territories. Innovative and exciting creations from recent years, the contemporary artworks represent the very best of the region and are intentionally not limited by genre. Spanning various mediums from painting to sculpture, photography, video works and performance art, they each address topical issues and collectively shed light not just on our region’s contemporary art landscape but also on the topics and conversations relevant in our society today.
The 15 finalists represent 13 countries and territories including Thailand, South Korea, Pakistan, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, mainland China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, India, Bangladesh and Taiwan. They include:
- Golden Teardrop (2013) by Arin Rungjang from Thailand
- Custos Cavum (Guardian of the hole) (2011) by Choe U-Ram from South Korea
- Kahani Eik Shehr Ki (story of a city) (2012) by Farida Batool from Pakistan
- One places / on "the room" (2013) by Go Watanabe from Japan
- PYTHAGORAS (2013) by Ho Tzu Nyen from Singapore
- In Pursuit of Venus (2012) by Lisa Reihana from New Zealand
- Trace (2011) by Liu Jianhua from mainland China
- I’m a Ghost in My Own House (2012) by Melati Suryodarmo from Indonesia
- Rankin Street, 1953 (2013) by Naeem Mohaiemen from Bangladesh
- Unsubtitled (2013) by Nguyen Trinh Thi from Vietnam
- Infinite Love (2011) by Owen Leong from Australia
- Letters From A Distance (2012–2014) by Peng Wei from mainland China
- House of Opaque Water (2013) by Ranbir Kaleka from India
- Mirage — Disused Public Property in Taiwan (2010–2013) by Yao Jui-Chung + Lost Society Document (LSD) from Taiwan
- Eskimo wolf trap often quoted in sermons (2013) by Zhao Renhui from Singapore
(For detailed artist’ statements and biographies, please visit http://www.singaporeartmuseum.sg/apbfSAP2014.html)
Selecting this year’s Finalists is a judging panel comprising Mr. Chris Saines, Director of Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art; Mr. Feng Boyi, eminent independent art curator and critic of Chinese contemporary art; Ms. Luckana Kunavichayanont, Director of Bangkok Art and Culture Center; Ms. Pooja Sood, Director of KHOJ International Artists’ Association; and Dr. Susie Lingham, Director of Singapore Art Museum.
A statement from the jury panel stated, "We’re excited to be presenting the finalists of the APB Foundation Signature Art Prize 2014. Narrowing the choice from over 100 works to the final 15 involved a rigorous selection process and intensive discussions — testament to the high caliber of entries that were refined, rich and diverse. Overall, the 15 works selected offer a glimpse of the future of our region’s rich and constantly evolving contemporary art scene. The finalist works stood out for their strength of concept and execution and despite stemming from such diverse contexts, histories and cultural backgrounds, cleverly explored similar issues of identity, immigration, urban expansion, depletion of natural resources, fading of old values, cultural diversity and more."
Owen Leong’s Infinite Love, a subtle video that is cleanly positioned yet extremely violent, is the only Australian artist shortlisted for the prestigious title. Infinite Love is a visceral and poetic performance that explores the body as a physical site for social, cultural and political forces in relation to his Asian-Australian identity.
Other finalists works include Melati Suryodarmo’s I’m a Ghost in My Own House, an intense and powerful 12-hour long performance that sees the artist grind and crush hundreds of kilograms of charcoal, a symbol of life’s energy. Choe U-Ram’s Custos Cavum (Guardian of the hole) takes the form of a mesmerizing and highly imaginative sculpture that depicts a mythical creature that is at once from the past yet also from an apocalyptic future and Arin Rungjang’s Golden Teardrop, revisits pivotal moments in Thai history and looks at the human movement and the exchange of cultures.
Employing the use of meditative visuals, Go Watanabe’s One places / on "the room" presents a technically challenging and deeply absorbing piece that changes the way we look at time and space; Ranbir Kaleka’s House of Opaque Water uses a narrative structure to present the idea of displacement and society’s response to these situations; and New Zealander Lisa Reihana’s work In Pursuit of Venus reflects the beauty of the Pacific Islands while offering a nuanced critique of its colonial legacies.
Works shortlisted from Singapore include Ho Tzu Nyen’s PYTHAGORAS, a creation that serves as an immersive experience for audiences to explore the concept of the unseen and the concealment of power, sound or the voice; while Zhao Renhui’s seemingly minimalist installation titled Eskimo wolf trap often quoted in sermons, draws on his experience of traveling through the Arctic and being overwhelmed by its starkness.
From mainland China the works shortlisted include Liu Jianhua’s Trace, a striking piece inspired by the traditional art forms of calligraphy and porcelain to comment on societal ills and Peng Wei’s Letters from a Distance, which is steeped in traditional practices and utilizes Chinese aesthetic objects like scrolls and leaves melded together with texts from Western philosophers.
Exemplifying how art has the power to highlight a social issue for scrutiny and exact real change, Yao Jui-Chung & Lost Society Document (LSD)’s Mirage — Disused Public Property in Taiwan is an investigative political work on Taiwan’s "mosquito halls" while Nguyen Trinh Thi‘s Unsubtitled looks at freedom of expression through an installation about Nhan Van-Giai Pham — a suppressed literary movement of the 1950s.
Finally, exploring spaces and places, Pakistan’s Farida Batool’s Kahani Eik Shehr Ki (story of a city) brings viewers on a walk down a busy city street in Lahore, capturing the side of a city that people may not know of via 21 long lenticular prints while Naeem Mohaiemen of Bangladesh presents Rankin Street, 1953, an intimate work that reveals the artist’s memories of his family using his family home as the subject and uncovering the past through vintage photograph negatives.
The APB Foundation Signature Art Prize is worth $100,000 with $60,000 awarded to the Grand Prize winner and $15,000 each for two Jurors’ Choice Award winners. A People’s Choice Award of $10,000 will also be offered to the artwork that receives the highest number of public votes via on-site and online submissions (voting opens from 14 November 2014).
The APB Foundation Signature Art Prize Exhibition will take place at SAM from 14 November 2014 to 15 March 2015 with the winners announced at an awards ceremony on 22 January 2015. For more information, please visit the APB Foundation Signature Art Prize webpage at http://www.singaporeartmuseum.sg/apbfSAP2014.html.
About the Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation
Instituted in June 1994, the APB Foundation seeks to ignite compassion and inspire through our philanthropic efforts. We set resources in motion to help people and organisations improve talents, enhanced educational and research endeavours as well as better living conditions. In turn, we fuel society and enable the communities, where we live and work, to flourish.
Committed to supporting Human Excellence, Creativity Development and Humanitarian Causes, the APB Foundation is involved in a variety of initiatives that range from arts funding and backing talent-building projects for human capital development, to engaging in meaningful partnerships with organisations or individuals who share our common goal to serve the society.
The APB Foundation is a registered charity managed and funded by Heineken Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. (HEINEKEN Asia Pacific).
About the Singapore Art Museum
The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) focuses on contemporary art practice in Singapore, Southeast Asia and Asia within the global context. It advocates and makes accessible interdisciplinary contemporary art through research-led and evolving curatorial practice. Opened in January 1996, SAM has built up one of the most important collections of contemporary art from the region. It seeks to seed and nourish a stimulating and creative space in Singapore through exhibitions and public programmes. These encompass cross-disciplinary residencies and exchanges, research and publications, as well as outreach and education. SAM was the organiser of the Singapore Biennale in 2011 and 2013.
SAM was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee on 13 November 2013 and has moved from the National Heritage Board to the Visual Arts Cluster (VAC) under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). The other institutions under the VAC are the National Art Gallery, Singapore (NAGS), and the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI).
For more information and images of the artists and judges, please contact:
Ogilvy Public Relations
Singapore Art Museum
Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation