Weixin Quek Chong wins SAM’s President’s Young Talents 2018 Grand Prize
Singapore Art Museum announced the winners of 2018’s President’s Young Talents, with Weixin Quek Chong winning the Grand Prize for her artwork titled “sft crsh ctrl,” while Yanyun Chen’s “The scars that write us” clinched the People‘s Choice Award. An exhibition of their works is on view through January 27, 2019.
Inaugurated in 2001 by SAM, the President’s Young Talents is Singapore’s only mentoring, commissioning and award program for emerging Singaporean artists aged 35 and under. The President’s Young Talents program has over the years developed exceptional contemporary art works in and beyond Singapore.
In a joint statement, the jury panel consisting of renowned artists and art educators said, “What a privilege it was to experience groundbreaking installations by five young Singaporean artists at a national institution. The decision was not an easy one as each work had strengths that were recognized across the judging panel. After much deliberation, Weixin Quek Chong‘s installation, ‘sft crsh ctrl,’ stood out for its command of space and material, and the fluidity with which she executed her concept. We also recognize Weixin‘s work contains elements of risk integral to contemporary practice.”
Chong’s ‘sft crsh ctrl’ is an installation comprising draped materials ― from sheets of latex to faux fur, and objects that evade traditional inquiry, which challenges viewers to disengage from their instinct to rationalize the artwork, and in doing so, reveals the complexity of being dependent on logic.
On winning the Grand Prize, Chong said, “The President’s Young Talents has been a formative experience for me, and the opportunity to develop my work for the commission really pushed me to try things I had only imagined previously. It was great having so much understanding and encouragement from my mentor and the Singapore Art Museum, as well as all the combined efforts to realize the installation. It was already amazing to be able to be part of this edition's President’s Young Talents, and this is really more than I had expected; I’m so grateful for this support to further my work.”
“Since the Singapore Art Museum inaugurated the President’s Young Talents program 17 years ago, the museum remains dedicated in its support of local artists who continually push the boundaries of the definitions and expressions of Contemporary Art. We are grateful for the generous support of this edition of the President’s Young Talents by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and Ascendas-Singbridge Gives Foundation, and the time and effort put in by the members of the curator-mentors and jury panel,” said Edmund Cheng, Chairman of SAM. “While this is the last exhibition to be held at SAM’s premises before its major building revamp, SAM will continue to present Contemporary Art from Singapore and the region at partner venues and off-site locations during this period.”
The Grand Prize and People‘s Choice Award are worth SG$20,000 (USD14,609) and SG$5,000 respectively, and will go towards the development of their artistic practices.
The exhibition will be on view through January 27, 2019, at the Singapore Art Museum, 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 188555.