Six photographers from Southeast Asia were among the finalists of the Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2014.
Annually awarded to one of thirty artists shortlisted for its prestigious first-place award, the Sovereign Asian Art Prize draws from among the best artists in Asia. Six photographers from Southeast Asian countries especially distinguished themselves in the Prize’s tenth edition.
Established in 2003 by the Sovereign Art Foundation – a Hong Kong-based charity that provides arts-oriented rehabilitation, education and therapy to children in need – the Sovereign Asian Art Prize is awarded annually to one of thirty artists. The thirty finalists, nominated by a panel of experts in the field of Asian art, compete for the prestigious first-place prize of USD30,000.
The finalists for the 2013-2014 edition of the prize, representing twelve territories across Asia, were shortlisted from amongst 280 nominees. Their work was shown at the Rotunda in Hong Kong from 28 April to 8 May 2014. Twenty-nine of these artworks (all except the winning piece) were auctioned off at a gala dinner by Christie’s on 9 May 2014, with all proceeds divided between the artists and the charity partners of the Foundation.
Six photographers shortlisted for the prize especially stood out. Although they live and work in different places, each explores what the visible world conceals, using his or her camera to uncover revenant traces of guilt, hypocrisy and recrimination in what might otherwise seem a placidly benign environment – a perfectly “normal” and therefore acceptable surface. While four of the six photographers were born in Singapore, the uniqueness of their respective practices cannot be overlooked.
Sarah Choo Jing
Sarah Choo Jing (b. 1990, Singapore) attended the School of Art, Design & Media at Nanyang Technological Universityand currently resides in London, where she is completing her MFA in Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Media.
Among other honours, she represented Singapore in the Santa Fe International New Media Festival in New Mexico, and in 2013 was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal Award and the Kwek Leng Joo Prize of Excellence in Still Photography. She was also selected as the Photographer of the Year in the fine art photography category at the 4th International Pollux Awards.
Sarah Choo Jing was also the winner of the ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu 2013. ARTINFO quotes Agnes de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, a member of the jury, as saying that Choo’s works “masterfully address the theme of solitude with her multidisciplinary approach of [sic] photography.”