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A closer look at our finalists for The 2022 Sovereign Asian Art Prize

A closer look at our finalists for The 2022 Sovereign Asian Art Prize image

Everyday over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting the shortlisted artists for The 2022 Sovereign Asian Art Prize – the 18th edition of Asia’s most prestigious prize for contemporary artists. Selected from over 400 entries, the finalists hail from 16 countries and regions across Asia-Pacific. Of the artists, 27 are new to The Prize – appearing in our shortlist for the first time. Read on to discover more about our finalists, their key points of inspiration, and why it is important to champion the work of artists from Asia-Pacific.  


Zhang Zhao Ying (China) was shortlisted for his work Myth Party, centred around making elaborate manipulations over the original surface, building from past visual experiences and creating a new field where discussions and dialogues can be carried out amidst absurd narrations.


Can you tell us about your artistic process? How do you create the base layer, then add the manipulations on top?
When I was studying art in Brussels in early stage, I had known many materials relevant the church. In the process of creation, I would keep the church images as the shell of faith and discuss human relationships. I added the concept of the spiritual theatre to the works, fabricated or falsified the church images in paintings, and ended up with the completion little by little in an ascetic way.


Are there any particular examples of pop culture or mythology that inspired this artwork?
In fact, there is no definite direction. What the series of works would like to explore is the human belief issue, which lies on the level of personal will or psychology. Maybe it will be staged beliefs for humans. For example, pop culture may be the belief for a part of people now.


What lesson do you hope to impart on the influence of pop culture on society?
The “mythology” has never been disappeared, but to affect the public appears in another form. Contemporary pop culture and ideology have set the lifestyle and value orientations for the public, as well as the mythology and religion in old times. The mythology is imaginary, which doesn’t exist in the real life. However, it offers a kind of communication system and a discourse of expression. If people who once acted the mythology as the real existence in old times, so we will also regard the false culture and absurd authorities as objective existences without authoritative manipulation.


How important is it to support artists from Asia-Pacific?
I think it is the promotion of the art diversification that more outstanding artists and artworks should be seen by the world.