Exhibition: 16 January ­‐ 27 March 2016, ArtScience Musuem
Awards: 19 January 2016, Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands

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20 Jan 2016

SARETH SVAY, EX-CAMBODIAN REFUGEE AWARDED THE 2016 PRUDENTIAL EYE AWARD FOR OVERALL BEST EMERGING ARTIST

Singapore, Tuesday 20 January 2016 –Sareth Svay has been named as the Overall Best Emerging Artist at the Prudential Eye Awards 2016 for Contemporary Asian Art. Sareth Svay will receive a total of US$50,000 as his prize as well as a solo exhibition at START Art Fair at the renowned Saatchi Gallery later this year.

Sareth Svay was born in Battambang, Cambodia in 1972. In 1979 he moved with his family to a refugee camp at the border of Thailand where he lived for the next thirteen years. There he encountered a French volunteer teaching art and learned how to draw. His art practice developed from his time in the refugee camp and his work draws on the social and political history of Cambodia through sculpture, performance and installation. He addresses his country’s history through poetic and personal reflections.

Niru Ratnam, Director of the Prudential Eye Programme said: “Sareth Svay’s story is incredible and inspiring. His art work draws on a very specific context but transcends that. He produces works that are funny, poetic and confident. He is a worthy winner of the Prudential Eye Awards.”

Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth said: “The Prudential Eye Awards is an initiative between the public and private sectors that recognises contemporary art and emerging artists in Asia. The contemporary art scene in Asia is vibrant and growing and many young artists from the region have much to offer to Singaporeans. This exhibition and Awards, the result of active participation of the corporate sector, is giving us a great opportunity to appreciate the works of these artists by bringing their works to Singapore. The support of the private sector is crucial to the development of the arts in Singapore. A strong ecosystem in the art sector is essential in realising our goal of becoming a vibrant cultural city.”

Sean Rach, Chief Marketing Officer, Prudential Corporation Asia said, “Prudential has a long heritage of supporting contemporary art and we are proud to be hosting the Prudential Eye Awards in Singapore for the third consecutive year. All of these artists provide a unique view into the heart and soul of this dynamic and vibrant region, and we hope these Awards will help them gain greater international acclaim while further raising global awareness and appreciation of Asian contemporary arts and culture.”

Launched in 2014, the prestigious annual Awards recognises the best emerging Asian contemporary artists as well as the leading exhibitions, galleries, institutions and art critics working to promote Asian contemporary art.

The third edition of the Prudential Eye Awards featured ten Awards, with five categories of Best Emerging Artist, using various mediums including digital/video, installation, painting, photography and sculpture. Grace Fu, Minister of Culture, Community and Youth, officiated at the 2016 Awards, held as part of Singapore Art Week and also made the presentation to the Overall Winner.

Accompanying the awards is a public exhibition at ArtScience Museum which will run from 16 January to 27 March 2016. The exhibition will shine the spotlight on 39 works from the 15 shortlisted artists for the Prudential Eye Awards in the following categories: Digital/Video, Installation, Painting, Sculpture and Photography. This is the second year that Marina Bay Sands is hosting the prestigious awards ceremony and the exhibition.

The winning artists

As well as being nominated the overall winner, Sareth Svay also won in the category of Best Emerging Artist Using Sculpture.

Each winning artist received a reward of US$20,000 at a red carpet awards ceremony at the MasterCard Theatres - Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Huang Po Chih (Taiwan) won in the category of Best Emerging Artist Using Installation.

Manish Nai (India) won in the category of Best Emerging Artist Using Painting.

Shumon Ahmed (Bangladesh) won in the category of Best Emerging Artist Using Photography.

Trinh Thi Nguyen (Vietnam) won in the category of Best Emerging Artist Using Digital/Video.

Other award winners

Celebrated Thai artist Sakarin Krue-On was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Asian Contemporary Art. His works have consistently addressed Thailand’s traditions from a contemporary perspective and his practice is rooted in concerns specific to Asia. With experience of exhibiting both at the Venice Biennale (twice) and Documenta, the artist has taken these local concerns to a global stage.

The award for Visual and Pop Culture recognising creativity that blurs the borders of art and shows a contemporary aesthetic drive across cultural products was handed to Thai rock group Slot Machine, who is known for their unique Thai sound, particularly through the use of guitar melody and vocals, which are rooted in traditional Thai music.

Other category winners that were announced at the awards are Spring Workshop (Hong Kong) as ‘The Best Asian Contemporary Art Institution’ and ‘Great Crescent: Art and Agitation in the 1960s – Japan, South Korea and Taiwan’ from Para Site (Hong Kong) as the Best Exhibition of Asian Contemporary Art.

The Prudential Eye Awards 2016 winners are:

  1. Overall Emerging Artist of the Year

Sareth Svay (Cambodia)

  1. Installation

Huang Po Chih (Taiwan)

  1. Digital/Video

Trinh Thi Nguyen (Vietnam)

  1. Painting

Manish Nai (India)

  1. Photography

Shumon Ahmed (Bangladesh)

  1. Sculpture

Sareth Svay (Cambodia)

  1. Lifetime Achievement Award for Asian Contemporary Art

Sakarin Krue-On (Thailand)

  1. Visual & Pop Culture

Slot Machine (Thailand)

  1. Best Asian Contemporary Art Institution
    Spring Workshop (Hong Kong)
  1. Best Exhibition of Asian Contemporary Art
    ‘Great Crescent: Art and Agitation in the 1960s – Japan, South Korea and Taiwan’ from Para Site (Hong Kong)