Looking back on your fifty-year career across Europe and Asia, what has been your biggest take away?
I am still trying to make sense of it all. Art everywhere is in a constant state of change and development, so therefore is my work.
Living in a place is very different from being a visitor; on top of this, when living away from one’s place of origin, it is also easier to visit other neighbouring territories. Each place is different and as one’s experience, knowledge and mind expand, it is possible to track links and communalities between different places and traditions.
There are still a few destinations that I want to visit, and I am slowly ticking them off. I do a lot of research using my own and others’ libraries, as well as online, but the best thing is to directly experience good new and old art and architecture in situ – wherever it may be.
Having completed the first round of judging for the 2021 Sovereign Asian Art Prize, what is your impression of this year’s entrants?
Each year’s submission is heavily dependent on the hard work of the various nominators and this year they seem to have been particularly active in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. This does not affect the final result which is based on the quality of individual works – not origins – and over past years this has been consistently high. But it is also fascinating for the judges to see different regional developments as, obviously, context has a strong effect on much of the work that is produced.
Next year, there may be other focuses, as there have been in previous years. At present, these are created “organically” by the nominators, rather than planned.