First time for Afghanistani, Kyrgyz and Iraqi artists in Sovereign Asian Art Prize finalist line-up

SOVEREIGN ART AWARD FINALISTS HONG KONG

Thirty finalists have been chosen from over four hundred nominees from all over Asia Pacific for the 2010 Sovereign Asian Art Prize. For the first time ever the list includes works from Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Iraq. In another first, the Sovereign Art Foundation will hold a major fund-raising event in Singapore, selecting twenty of the best works by Singaporean artists to be sold at a special auction dinner.

As well as being auctioned for charity, the twenty selected Singaporean works will be exhibited alongside the thirty Prize finalists. The Sovereign Asian Art Prize carries a first prize of USD25,000 and a public prize is also awarded to the painting which receives the most votes from the public, people who attended the exhibition or cast their votes on the Foundation’s website.

This year’s finalists were chosen by a panel of judges comprising of David Elliott (Artistic Director for 17th Sydney Biennale), Fumio Nanjo (Curator, Mori Art Museum), Xu Bing (Artist), Graham Sheffield (CEO of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority), Sir David Tang (Collector) and Tan Boon Hui (Director, Singapore Art Museum).

Art Radar takes a closer look at five of the thirty artists. Please note that these artists have been chosen for their differences in style, medium and geographical location and do not in any way reflect our choices for the winning artists.

Visit The Sovereign Art Foundation for a full list of finalists.

1. Halim Al Karim – Iraq

Growing up as a witness of the first Gulf War, Al Karim brings forth his untold experience and ongoing observation of the turmoil in Iraq in a rare visual expression through his “Witness from Baghdad” series of photographs. In the series the artist highlights the blurry existence of a quiet witness in times of war.

Harim Alkarim, 'Witness from Baghdad', edition 1 of 3, photograph Lambda print, 1, 75 x 150 cm. Image courtesy of Sovereign Art Foundation.

Halim Al Karim, 'Witness from Baghdad', 2008, edition 1 of 3, photograph Lambda print, 1, 75 x 150 cm. Image courtesy of Sovereign Art Foundation.

2. Yongliang Yang – China

Having strength in detail, Yang’s photographic works provoke our visual senses by collaborating contemporary subjects with traditional Chinese painting composition. The artist constructs the work as shan shui (山水, literally “mountain-water”) impression, with meticulous details of urban landscape elements such as cranes, traffic signs and fly-overs.

Yongliang Yang, 'Artificial Wonderland No.2', edition 5 of 5, inkjet print on fine art paper, 160 x 109 cm. Image courtesy of Sovereign Art Foundation.

Yongliang Yang, 'Artificial Wonderland No.2', edition 5 of 5, inkjet print on fine art paper, 160 x 109 cm. Image courtesy of Sovereign Art Foundation.

3. Ulan Djaparov – Kyrgyzstan

Ulan Djaparov is an artist, curator, architect and critic. His work ranges from photography to installation and performance-based video. Flighter is part of the photographic documentation of a performance piece.

Ulan Djaparov, 'Flighter', 2010, edition 2 of 5, photo documentation on performance, 100 x 150 cm. Image courtesy of Sovereign Art Foundation.

Ulan Djaparov, 'Flighter', 2009, edition 2 of 5, photo documentation on performance, 100 x 150 cm. Image courtesy of Sovereign Art Foundation.

4. MM Yu – Philippines

MM Yu works with a variety of media, although most of her creations are photographs and paintings of scruffy details in urban Manila. Her works draw notice to remarkable bursts of colour while also presenting a sense of humour that can be found upon closer inspection of the works’ details.

MM Yu, 'a few of my favorite things', edition 1 of 5, photo on canvas, 91 x 183 x 5 cm. Image courtesy of Sovereign Art Foundation.

MM Yu, 'a few of my favorite things', 2009, edition 1 of 5, photo on canvas, 91 x 183 x 5 cm. Image courtesy of Sovereign Art Foundation.

5. Aditya Novali – Indonesia

Novali is a young emerging artist from Indonesia who is praised for his interest in hidden objects and images and his use of mechanical movement. For his work Comfort Zone, each section of painting comprises of 16 steel bars that can be rotated.

Aditya Novali, 'Comfort Zone', oil colour on 16 pieces rotatable 4 sided bars covered with canvas, 70 x 70 x 5 cm. Image courtesy of Sovereign Art Foundation.

Aditya Novali, 'Comfort Zone', oil colour on 16 pieces rotatable 4 sided bars covered with canvas, 70 x 70 x 5 cm. Image courtesy of Sovereign Art Foundation.

The winning entry becomes the property of the Foundation to be used to further its charitable work and the 29 Sovereign Art Prize finalists will be exhibited and auctioned in Hong Kong at the Four Seasons in January 2011.

About the Sovereign Art Award

The Sovereign Art Foundation was registered as a charity in Hong Kong in 2003.  The Foundation was set up by Howard Bilton, a tax lawyer who turned his art collecting hobby into what is now Asia’s largest art prize. The first Asian prize took place in 2003 and immediately gained prominence. As such, the foundation expanded into Europe and the Sovereign Art Europe Awards were established in 2005.

MS/KN/HH/KCE

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