On 17 May 2019, The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) hosted its 15th annual ‘Make It Better’ Gala Dinner and Art Auction at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, which included the presentation of The 2019 Sovereign Asian Art Prize to Ahmed Javed of Pakistan for his work Imran Qureshi Studio. Ahmed achieved an historic near-perfect score from the Prize Judging Panel and took home US$30,000.
Fu Xiaotong of China was awarded the inaugural Vogue Hong Kong Women’s Art Prize and US$5,000 for her paper work 163,680 Pinpricks and Munawar Ali Syed, also of Pakistan, cinched the Public Vote Prize and US$1,000 with his piece My 3rd Story in English.
The high-octane auction of finalists’ works was led by auctioneer Sara Mao, Director of Christie’s Education in Asia and expert in Chinese modern art. Many works were sought-after, with a number already having received offers through exhibition. In addition to the finalist artworks, two #SAFPigs were auctioned, namely Big Zen by iconic Hong Kong artist Frog King – auctioned by Frank Lonregan of 10 Chancery Lane Gallery – and Pigs can Fly by Arthur Koeman, whose heartfelt speech extolling the work of the Make It Better project was deeply appreciated.