Two South-Asian artists, two South-East Asian artists and a Far-East
Asian artist received the best awards in five categories of the
Prudential Eye Awards 2016. The third edition of the prestigious award
ceremony took place at the Master Card Theatres (Sands Theatre) at
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore on January 19.
For the first time, a Bangladeshi artist -- Shumon Ahmed -- bagged
the award in the photography category while Cambodian artist Svay
Sareth, who escaped from his home as a refugee, received two prizes at
the grand art award ceremony.
Svay bagged the Overall Best Emerging Artist Award at the 2016
Prudential Eye Awards, the grandest celebration and recognition of
Contemporary Asian Art. He received a USD30,000 cash prize, a citation
and the chance to exhibit at London's prestigious Saatchi Gallery this
He also won another USD20,000 for the Best Emerging Artist Award in the sculpture category.
Bangladesh's Shumon Ahmed, who is known for his wide-ranging
documentation of the conditions in ship-breaking yards of Chittagong,
received the best award in the photography category. His series work
titled “Metal Grave” resembles abstract painting. The other Bangladeshi
artist, Promotesh Das Pulak, lost out in the best award in sculpture
category to Svay.
India's Manish Nai, who received the Best Emerging Artist Award for
Painting, is known for his unconventional use of materials. Using
Digital Video, Trinh Thi Nguyen (of Vietnam) received the best award in
the category for his work “Letters from Panduranga”. Huang Po-Chih (of
Taiwan) bagged the award in the installation category for his work
“Production Line-Made in China & Made in Taiwan”.
Thai artist Sakarin Krue-On, known for his site-specific
installations using Thai imagery, was honoured with the Lifetime
Achievement Award for Asian Contemporary Art.
Slot Machine, a music band from Thailand, received award in popular culture.
Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth of Singapore, graced the award ceremony as chief guest.
The Prudential Eye Award, as part of the nine-day ongoing Singapore
Art Week, was founded in 2014 by British-Italian art lovers David and
Serenella Ciclitira, in partnership with insurance firm Prudential,
Parallel Contemporary Art and Saatchi Gallery.
An exhibition featuring 39 artworks by the 15 shortlisted artists is
now on at Art Science Museum and will continue till March 27.
Sareth Svay's work “Stake Or Skewer”, which was in the reckoning for
the awards, is made of wood and 17 rubber sandals. The way the sandals
hang on a wooden pole alludes to his country's tumultuous political
history and the many lives lost.
Prudential Eye Programme director Niru Ratnam called Svay's work “funny, poetic and confident”.
The 43-year-old artist, who often uses everyday objects in his works,
fled his home in Battambang in Cambodia in 1979 and lived in a refugee
camp at the border of Thailand for 13 years before moving to Siem Reap,
where he is now based. He learnt art at the refugee camp. His
sculptures, installations and performance-art pieces question notions of
power and his country's complex past.