Awards celebrate emerging Asian artists' take on issues

By Lin Qi ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-02-02 08:16:29

Awards celebrate emerging Asian artists' take on issues

Chinese artist Zhang Wei's photos, titled Artificial Theater - The Leader. Lim Yaohui / Provided To China Daily

An artist can evolve at any stage of his life or career, as long as the diversity of his works grips people, says Honor Harger, a judge of the Prudential Eye Awards.

The annual awards, launched in Singapore two years ago, recognize emerging Asian artists with the potential of reaching a wider international audience.

This year, 15 artists, whose ages range from 27 to 44, caught the award committee's attention.

The panel of judges included Nigel Hurst, director of London-based Saatchi Gallery, the New Delhi-based art writer Rosalyn D'Mello and the Chinese contemporary artist Gu Wenda.

A ceremony to give the awards was held on Jan 19, and the artworks of winners and nominees are still on show at the city-state's ArtScience Museum for public viewing through March 27. Paintings, sculptures, installations, photos, videos and digital works are among several categories of exhibits.

"One of the striking aspects about this exhibition is that judges are looking for the best artists and the best art, subjectively defined. And one can see very clear linkages and connections among the works," says Harger, who is also the museum's executive director.

This year's chosen works show the artists' approach to social, economic and geopolitical issues and their attempts to convert personal experiences into universal feelings.

In When Need Moves the Earth, Thai artist Sutthirat Supparinya, who was nominated in the video and digital category, shows two power projects in her home country. Through her camera, she talks about the challenges to the environment posed by the Srinakarin dam and the Mae Moh lignite mine.

"The two constructions are located in a sensitive geological environment. I want to explore the impact of human and industrial activities on the (sites') natural surroundings," she says.

Huang Po-chih, an artist from Taipei, provides a microcosmic insight into industrialization in Taiwan and on the mainland. His installation Production Line explores agricultural recession and individuals within the structures of manufacturing and consumption.

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