Held annually, the Sovereign Asian Art Prize invites mid-career contemporary artists, who have been nominated by our carefully selected board of art experts, to enter up to three artworks online. Entries are then judged by a small judging panel consisting of independent art experts and professionals from the region, who select the best 30 artworks from a range of digital images. These 30 pieces are then exhibited in a prominent public space in Hong Kong, where the pieces are judged a second time, in person.
The first prize winner is revealed at the annual sell-out Gala Dinner in Hong Kong, and not only do they receive the coveted award but also US$30,000. With the exception of the winning entry, which then becomes the property of the Foundation and is used to further its charitable work, all art works are auctioned to the public during the gala dinner. The announcement of the Public Prize Winner – and winner of US$1,000 – is also made at this dinner. The Public Prize (or Schoeni Prize) is awarded to the piece which receives the most votes from those who attend the exhibition or who cast a vote through the Foundation’s Online Voting app.
The proceeds of the auction are split between the artist and the Foundation. In this way, the artist receives the same split as they would through a gallery, except the artwork tends to fetch a higher price thanks to generous bidding from our charity patrons. The auctions have typically acted as a spring board for finalists, enabling many mid-career artists to achieve record prices, great publicity and establish a wider following. Notable successes have included Debbie Han, Simon Birch, Jeongmee Yoon, Adrian Wong, Rashid Rana, Qi Zhi Long and Haris Purnomo, among others.
The 2016 Sovereign Asian Art Prize Judging Panel
David Elliot – Writer And Curator, Chairman Of Triangle Network || United Kingdom
David Elliott is a curator, writer, broadcaster and museum director primarily concerned with modern and contemporary art. Elliott was Director of the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, England from 1976-96, Director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden from 1996-2001, the founding Director of the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan from 2001-06 and in 2007, the first Director of Istanbul Modern, Turkey. From 1998-2004, he was President of ClMAM (the International Committee of ICOM for Museums and Collections of Modern Art) and in 2008, he was the Rudolf Arnheim Guest Professor of Art History at Humboldt University, Berlin. Since 2010 he has been Chairman of the Board of the Triangle Network at Gasworks in London
Song Dong – Artist || China
Beijing-based artist Song Dong emerged from a strong Chinese avant-garde performing arts community and developed into a significant contemporary art figure in the progression of Chinese conceptual art. Song has exhibited around the world. Highlights include MoMA, New York, The 5th Moscow Biennale in 2013, dOCUMENTA 13 in 2012, The 54th Venice Biennale in 2011, The 6th Liverpool Biennial in 2010, Gwangju Biennale in 2006 , 2002 and 1995, The 26th Sao Paolo Biennale in 2004 and The 8th Instanbul Biennale in 2003. His accolades include both the Power 100 of Chinese Contemporary Art: Artist of the Year and The First Kiev International Biennale Award in 2012, as well as the 2011 San Francisco Certificate of Honour. In 2010 he won Artist of the Year (Video and Installation) at the Artron Art China (AAC) Awards. Song Dong is represented by Pace Beijing.
Asmudjo Irianto – Independent Curator || Indonesia
Asmudjo Jono Irianto is an independent curator, having held positions in Indonesia as the Executive Director and Curator for Soemardja Gallery (1999-2001) and Curator Board Member at National Gallery (2002). His curatorial projects include Yogyakarta Biennial VI (1998), CP Biennale I (2003), CP Biennale II (2005) and 1001 Doors: Reinterpreting Traditions at Ciputra Marketing Gallery, Jakarta (2011). He has been a lecturer in the Faculty of Art and Design at the Bandung Institute of Technology since 1992. Also well known as an artist, he has exhibited in numerous group shows as well as his own solo shows, including the recent Unoriginal Sin II; Art In The Expired Field (2014). In 2002 he established Fabriek Gallery, an alternative space in Bandung, Indonesia. He currently lives and works in Bandung, Indonesia.
Michael Lin – Artist || Taiwan
Michael Lin is a Taiwanese artist, born in Tokyo, Japan. Using patterns and designs appropriated from traditional Taiwanese textiles his works have been exhibited in major institutions and international Biennials around the world, such as The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 2007, UCCA, Beijing, 2008, The Lyon Biennial 2009, The Vancouver Art Gallery, 2010, and most recently at the Singapore Biennial and the Towada Art Center. He has exhibited in solo exhibitions globally, including The Colour Is Bright The Beauty Is Generous, Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, Italy and Vancouver, Canada (both 2010), Between the Lines, Leo Xu project, Frieze, London, UK (2014) and Clockwise, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA, USA (2015) to name but a few. He is currently living and working in Taipei, Shanghai, and Brussels.
Alexandra A Seno – Head of Development || Asia Art Archive
Alexandra A. Seno serves as Head of Development at the Asia Art Archive, and is based in Hong Kong. She is also an adviser to Spring Workshop, a Board Member at Para Site Hong Kong, and is on the Executive Committee of the Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong. A commentator on culture in Asia, her writing has been published by Newsweek Magazine, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Art Newspaper, Monocle Magazine, among other outlets.
The 2016 Sovereign Asian Art Prize Nominators
On the page, you will find a list of the art professionals from the Asia Pacific region who are kindly supporting the art prize by nominating artists whom they believe deserve to represent their respective countries. Please note that this list will be updated on a daily basis so in the case where a nominator from your country or region is not listed, please revisit the site and check for updates at a later date.
2016 Sovereign Asian Art Prize – Important dates
Deadline For Entries October 30 2015 Announcement Of Finalists April 2016 Finalists’ Exhibition Dates May 9 – 12, 2016, at Christie’s, Hong Kong May 21 – May 31, 2016 at Exchange Square, Hong Kong Cocktail Opening of Exhibition May 10, 2016, at Christie’s, Hong Kong The 2016 Sovereign Asian Art Prize Gala Dinner 3rd of June 2016
Thank you to our 2016 Sovereign Asian Art Prize sponsors!