Mo money mo art
The longlist for the second APB prize is out.
A number of Singaporeans were nominated, including the ever awe-inspiring Jane Lee and the Puck-ish Heman Chong. The competition this year has been expanded to include almost all of Asia, and, accordingly, the prize money for the big winner has been upped to a cool forty-five grand SGD.
I wish they’d stop using the term ‘Asia-Pacific’ though; countries like Nepal and Bangladesh (which feature on this year’s list) don’t really fit in there. More importantly, doesn’t a pan-Asian prize in general just sound so much more … impressive, than simply one for the Asia-Pacific region ?
ST write-up below. Longlist of nominees and other pertinent information available over at the SAM’s website.
BREWERY’S ART PRIZE GOES REGIONAL
Prize funding also doubles with more than three times the entries from previous run. By Deepika Shetty.
The triennial Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation Signature Art Prize is getting bigger. The second edition this year will include nominations from the whole Asia-Pacific region.
The competition will see 130 works from 24 countries vying for the $45,000 grand prize, more than three times the number of entries for its inaugural run in 2008 which featured 34 works from 12 countries.
The APB Foundation has also doubled its prize funding from $2.25 million for five editions to $4.45 million.
As a media briefing held yesterday at SAM at 8Q, Ms Sarah Koh, APB’s general manager for corporate communications, said they were encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the inaugural edition.
She said the foundation decided to expand the focus from South-east Asia to the Asia-Pacific to create opportunities for a wider pool of talented artists from the region.
The prize is aimed at recognising artworks created in the preceding three years and encouraging the development of contemporary art across the region.
Apart from the grand prize, there will there will also be three Juror’s Choice Awards worth $10,000 each and a $10,000 People’s Choice Award.
All artworks have been nominated by art experts in each country and they are being judged by an international jury panel. The jury comprises Fumio Nanjo, director of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Gregor Muir, executive director at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Hendro Wijanto, South-east Asian writer, critic and curator; Ranjit Hoskote, Indian critic and curator; and Tan Boon Hui, director of the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), which is organising the competition and will be exhibiting the winning artworks ranging from paintings and sculptures to new media and installation works.
The jury will shortlist 15 finalists, whose names will be announced by Oct 1, and an exhibition of their works will open at SAM on Nov 11. The winner will be announced on Nov 18.
Museum director Tan, 41, said: “The expanded reach of this year’s prize enables us to validate and profile even more artists and their practice.”
Seven local artists have been nominated by for the competition by Ms Joanna Lee, an art consultant and independent curator, and Ms Audrey Wong, programme director of the MA Arts and Cultural Programme at Lasalle College of the Arts.
These include several instantly recognisable names such as artist Jane Lee, who made a splash with her massive painting Raw Canvas at the Singapore Biennale in 2008, and award-winning photographer and film-maker Sherman Ong, who won the first Icon de Martell Cordon Bleu award for photography last year. (See side story.)
Also on the nominated list are several big contemporary art names such as leading Pakistani artist Rashid Rani. His work Desperately Seeking Paradise, a conglomeration of numerous miniscule details, was recently on show at the Musee Guimet, France’s national museum of Asian art.
Japanese artist Kohei Nawa’s PixCell-Deer#17, which explores how people interact with virtual reality, has also been nominated. The artist sources taxidermied objects from online auction sites and layers them with transparent glass beads. The veil of differently sized glass beads on the surface of the taxidermied animal magnifies it in some areas and distorts it in others. this piece was exhibited in Trans-Cool Tokyo, a show held at SAM at 8Q last November.
Adding to the range and the contest are artists such as Qiu Anxion from China, Sopheap Pich from Cambodia, Eko Nugroho from Indonesia and Tracey Moffatt from Australia.
Said Mr Tan: “The range as well as the quality of the art shows that we are at the heart of the most dynamic region and this award will help us uncover ground-breaking artworks of lasting significance.”
FROM SINGAPORE: SEVEN ARTWORKS
RECONSTRUCTING SENTOL, 2008 – 2010, Khairuddin Hori. Digital print on paper, 14 pieces. Appropriating ideas and images from Mat Sentol films of the 1960s, the artist creates new pictures, giving each one of them a contemporary and often idiosyncratic touch. He juxtaposes real and imagined landscapes with characters from the films.
THE GARDEN OF FORKING PATHS, 2010, by art collective Vertical Submarine. Installation. Inspired by Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges’ 1941 short story of the same name about a maze, this tongue-in-cheek installation was shown by artist jason Wee’s art space, Grey Projects, in Zion Road. The constructed labyrinths led to rooms that alluded to central characters in Borges’ story.
SECOND-HAND CITY, 2010, by Michael Lee. Digital print on archival paper, set of 10. Melding science fiction with cultural studies, the series Second-Hand City (2010 – 2011) weaves several themes in contemporary life and art in the city. These range from the demolition or collapse of structures to their physical disappearance and destruction by war or natural processes, and statuses of being abandoned, not built and forgotten. this leads a refreshing exploration of the lifecycles of buildings and cities.
TOGETHER AGAIN (WOOD: CUT) PART I NATURAL HISTORY & TOGETHER AGAIN (WOOD: CUT) PART II MAGIC, 2009, by Lucy Davis. Woodcut, woodprint collage and woodprint. Breathing new life into the term “dead wood”, visual artist Davis collected discarded wooden objects from the streets around Little India. She then transferred their woodgrains onto rice paper. this was eventually used to form tree-shaped collages and the work beautifully blended ecology with everyday stories.
A SHORT STORY ABOUT GEOMETRY, 2009, by Heman Chong. Performance involving the oral transmission of a 499-word story written by the artist via physical face-to-face encounter between two people. Focusing on a more intimate and concentrated exchange, the work is a private memory class. A participant with the help of a teacher is required to memorise a 499=word short story. The short story will not be published or adapted into any other form.
BANJIR KEMARAU (FLOODING IN THE TIME OF DROUGHT), 2009, by Sherman Ong. Video in two separate rooms, 92 minutes each. Some time in the near future, when 40 per cent of Singapore’s population is made of foreigners, the tap runs dry. Ong’s actors speak in Mandarin, Tagalog, Thai, Indonesian, Hindi, Korean, Japanese, Italian and some German. Through their fears, he reveals what a water crisis can mean for ordinary people living here.
STATUS, 2009, by Jane Lee. Mixed media. Lee continues her artistic exploration through layers of paint. Like her earlier painting, Raw Canvas, which was featured at the Singapore Biennale in 2008, this work is also created with her trademark squiggles of paint and parts of it look like a loosely woven piece of fabric.