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.
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The 2017 Sovereign Asian Art Prize Judging Panel are:
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 member of the advisory board 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, and Architectural Record magazine. She is an art critic for Radio Television Hong Kong 4.
David Elliott – Writer, curator and museum Director
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 Artistic Director of biennales of contemporary art in Sydney, Kiev, Moscow and Belgrade and is currently on the Advisory Boards of Mill6 Foundation Hong Kong and the Redtory Arts District in Guangzhou.
Jim Supangkat – Artist, art critic and curator
Michael Snelling – Artist, writer and former Director and CEO of the National Art School, Sydney
Michael Snelling is an artist, writer, CEO and Artistic Director, curator, project manager, teacher and consultant. He has been CEO and Artistic Director of organisations in the visual and performing arts as well as chair and board member of numerous government and not-for-profit entities. Most recently he was Director and CEO of the National Art School, Sydney, Australia. He has taught at universities in Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane. He was founding Director of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and previously CEO of Major Brisbane Festivals, the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, the Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, and the Australian Centre for Photography Workshop, Sydney. For five years he managed the visual arts and crafts National Infrastructure and Projects Portfolios in the Australia Council. He has been publisher and editor of several books and smaller titles in the areas of artist’s monographs, art history and criticism and exhibition catalogues. He played a lead role in the establishment of the Lion Arts Centre in Adelaide and the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts in Brisbane, Australia. Michael now lives in Hong Kong.
Miao Xiaochun – Artist and Professor at The Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing
Miao Xiaochun graduated from China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) and the Kunsthochschule Kassel, Germany. Professor at CAFA, he works since 1990s on the interface between the real and the virtual. His extensive body of work includes photography, painting and 3D computer animation based on softwares. He is involved in numerous international exhibitions including the 55th Venice Biennale, the 7th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, the 1st Kiev International Biennial of Contemporary Art, the 4th Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou Photo Biennial, Busan Biennale, the Seoul Media Art Biennale, Shanghai Biennale; China—Facing Reality, Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna and National Art Museum of China; Thermocline of Art—New Asian Waves, ZKM Karlsruhe; Between Past and Future—New Photography and Video from China, tour exhibition at ICP and Asia Society, NY, Smart Museum of Art and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, V&A Museum, London. His work is in the collections of among others the MoMA NY, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY and Fondation Nationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris.
The 2017 Sovereign Asian Art Prize Nominators
On this page, you will find a list of the art professionals from the Asia Pacific region who kindly supported the art prize by nominating artists whom they believe deserve to represent their respective countries.
Australia Tess Maunder, Alan Pigott, Mikala Tai, Felicity Fenner
Bangladesh Nadia Samdani, Tayeba Lipi, Rajeeb Samdani
China Adrian Cheng, Ruijun Shen, Lynne-Howarth-Gladston, Li Zhenhua, Lucie Chang, Rachel Marsden, Gary Mok
Hong Kong Vivian Ting, Eve Tam, Chantal Wong, Ying Kwok, Andre Chan
India Raqs Media Collective (Monica Narula, Jeebesh Bagchi, Shuddhabrata Sengupta), Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi, Kanika Anand
Indonesia Carla Bianpoen, Rifky Effendy
Korea Henk Slager, Gun Soo Choi, Alba Dawoon Lim
Kyrgyzstan Natalia Muravjeva
Mongolia Uranchimeg Tsultem
Myanmar Gill Pattinson
Nepal Kurchi Dasgupta
Pakistan Naiza Khan
Philippines Cid Reyes, Victoria Herrera, Lian Ladia, Eileen Legaspi Ramirez, Ricky Francisco
Regional Hitomi Hasegawa, Shalini Ganendra, Daryl Goh, Ying Tan, Silke Schmickl, Suzzana Chew, Brian Curtin, Ong Jo-Lene, C.A. Xuan Mai Ardia, Roger Nelson, Mi You, Lisa Botos, Satoru Nagoya, Selina Ting, Stephen McCoubrey
Singapore Milenko Prvacki, Joyce Toh
Sri Lanka Annoushka Hempel
Taiwan Yao Jui-chung
Thailand Lyla Phimanrat
The 2017 Sovereign Asian Art Prize – Key Dates
Deadline For Entries: 2 December 2016
Announcement Of Finalists: 8 March 2017
Finalists’ Exhibition at Christie’s: 19 – 21 April 2017
The James Christie Room, 22/F Alexandra House
18 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong
Open 9.30am – 6pm daily
Finalists’ Exhibition at The Rotunda: 25 April – 4 May 2017
Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place
Central, Hong Kong
Open 10am – 8pm daily (10am – 4pm weekends)
Cocktail Opening at The Rotunda: 25 April 2017
The 2017 Sovereign Asian Art Prize Gala Dinner: 5 May 2017
Thank you to our 2017 Sovereign Asian Art Prize sponsors!