Held annually, the Sovereign Asian Art Prize invites mid-career contemporary artists - nominated by a carefully selected board of independent art experts from the region - to enter up to three artworks online. Entries are then shortlisted by a small judging panel consisting of world-class art specialists, who select the best 30 artworks from a range of digital images. These 30 artworks are exhibited in a prominent public space in Hong Kong, where the pieces are judged a second time, in person.
The Grand Prize winner is revealed at the annual sell-out Gala Dinner in Hong Kong. The winning artist receives US$30,000, along with the coveted award. All artworks are then auctioned to the public - with the exception of the winning entry, which becomes the property of the Foundation and is used to further its charitable aims. The announcement of the Public Prize winner is also made at the Gala Dinner. The Public Prize (also known as the Schoeni Prize) includes an award of US$1,000 and is presented to the artist whose artwork receives the most votes from the public - either those who attend the exhibition, or cast a vote through the Foundation's website or Facebook voting app.
The proceeds of the auction are split between each artist and the Foundation. In this way, each artist receives the same split as they would if their work had sold through a gallery. In many cases, the artworks 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, amongst others.
Please click below to view full Terms and Conditions for the current edition of the Prize.
The 2018 Sovereign Asian Art Prize Judging Panel are:
Jan Dalley - Arts Editor, Financial Times
Jan Dalley is the arts editor of the Financial Times, appointed in 2005 after joining the newspaper in 1999 as the literary editor. She writes extensively on arts and culture, and has a regular column in FT Weekend. Previously, she was literary editor of the Independent on Sunday for eight years; before becoming a journalist, she worked in publishing. She is a Council member of the Arts & Humanities Research Council, where she chairs the judging panel of an annual documentary film competition, and a Trustee of the Arts Foundation.
She is a director of Sid Motion Gallery. Jan has judged literary prizes including the Booker Prize, the Whitbread, the Hawthornden prize and the Encore Prize. She appears as a commentator on arts programmes on television and radio. Her publications include “Black Hole: Money, Myth and Empire” (2006) and “Diana Mosley: A Life” (1999).
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 Vice Director and Senior Curator of the Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art in Guangzhou.
Fumio Nanjo - Director of Mori Art Museum, Japan; Director of International Programme at Hong Kong Art School
Fumio Nanjo (b. 1949 in Tokyo) has been Director of Mori Art Museum since November 2006. Prior to taking the directorship at the Mori, he had served as the Museum’s Deputy Director (2002-2006) after working with cultural organizations including the Japan Foundation (1978-1986). His main achievements include: the Commissioner of the Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1997); the Commissioner at the Taipei Biennale (1998); a member of Jury Committee of the Turner Prize (1998); the Artistic Director of the Yokohama Triennale 2001; and the Artistic Director of the Singapore Biennale (2006/2008); the General Director of Kenpoku Art 2016 (Ibaraki Pref., Japan); and Curatorial Director of Honolulu Biennial (2017). He graduated from Keio University in the faculty of Economics (1972) and Letters (Aesthetics/Art History; 1977). Publications include Asian Contemporary Art Report: China, India, Middle East and Japan (2010) and A Life with Art (2012.)
Rashid Rana - Artist
Widely considered to be most original and prominent artist working in South Asia today, Rashid Rana lives and works in Lahore. Distinct for his ideas, imagery and pictorial strategies, Rashid Rana has worked in dramatically different modes, such as paintings, stainless steel sculptures, video installation, photo-sculptures and photo mosaics.
Primarily known globally for his artistic practice, Rana occupies multiple simultaneous profiles; he converges and mediates between artist, curator, academic and visionary with a common thread of an unfixed and non-prescriptive view of geography and identity Rana is the founding faculty member and current Dean of the School of Visual Arts and Design at the Beaconhouse National University in Lahore.
Alexandra A. Seno - Head of Development, Asia Art Archive
Alexandra A. Seno serves as Head of Development at Asia Art Archive, and is based in Hong Kong. She has been an adviser to Spring Workshop, former 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, and Architectural Record magazine. She is an art critic for Radio Television Hong Kong 4
The 2018 Sovereign Asian Art Prize Nominators are:
Afghanistan: Nabila Horakhsh
Australia: Felicity Fenner, Mikala Tai, Gene Sherman, Amanda Love
Azerbaijan: Suad Garayeva
Bangladesh: Mahbubur Rahman, Shawon Akand, Nadia Samdani, Rajeeb Samdani
Cambodia: Meta Moeng
China: Rachel Marsden, Li Zhenhua, Lucie Chang, Cheng Xiaobei
Hong Kong: Eve Tam, Ying Kwok, Vivian Ting, May Fung, Andre Chan, Shormi Ahmed, Leo Li Chen
India: Kurchi Dasgupta, Bose Krishnamachari, Aditya Srinivas Mopidevi, Kriti Sood
Indonesia: Rifky Effendy, Carla Bianpoen, Rizki A. Zaelani, Grace Samboh, Sally Texania, Mira Asriningtyas, Asmudjo Jono Irianto, Alia Swastika
Japan: Satoru Nagoya, Johnnie Walker (Joni Waka), Nozomu Ogawa, Yuko Hasegawa, Chihiro Minato, Yusuke Minami
Kazakhstan: Vladislav Sludiskiy, Kulzhazira Mukazhanova
Kyrgyzstan: Natalia Muravjeva
Malaysia: Jennifer Linggi, Jo-Lene Ong
Maldives: Khaled Ramadan
Mongolia: Uranchimeg (Orna) Tsultem, Gantuya Badamgarav, Dolgor Ser-Od and Marc Schmitz (Land Art Mongolia), Solongo Tseekhuu
Myanmar: Aye Ko, Nathalie Johnston, Ma Haymann Oo
Nepal: Ashmina Ranjit, Swosti Rajbhandari Kayastha, Veeranganakumari Solanki Jamwal
New Zealand: Rhana Devenport
Pakistan: Naiza Khan, Waseem Ahmed
Papua New Guinea: Joan Winter
Philippines: Eileen Legaspi Ramirez, Cid Reyes, Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, Victoria “Boots” Herrera
Regional: Selina Ting, Ying Tan, Roger Nelson, Shalini Ganendra, Lisa Botos, Silke Schmickl, Nada Raza, Gary Mok, C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia,
Republic of Korea: Jiyoon Lee, Gun Soo Choi
Singapore: Milenko Prvacki, Ong Puay Khim, Suzzana Chew, Daryl Goh
Sri Lanka: Annoushka Hempel, Alnoor Mitha
Taiwan: Jui-chung Yao
Thailand: Lyla Phimanrat
Vietnam: Nguyen Nhu Huy
Finalists Exhibition: 26 April – 5 May, 2018
HART Hall at H Queen’s, G/F 80 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
Open 10am – 8pm daily (Free entry)
Finalists Exhibition: 8 May – 10 May, 2018
The James Christie Room at Christie’s, 22/F Alexandra House, 18 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong
Open (8 May and 9 May) 10:30am-5:30pm / (10 May) 10:30am-3:30pm (Free entry)
The Sovereign Art Foundation’s ‘Make It Better Gala’ Dinner and Auction: 11 May 2018
Thank you to The 2018 Sovereign Asian Art Prize sponsors.