Sovereign Asian Art Prize finalists show their contemporary works in Hong Kong exhibitions followed by charity auction
The exhibitions show the diversity of contemporary art in the region: with artists from Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. What’s more, almost half of those chosen are female. Proceeds from the auction go towards an initiative that introduced impoverished Hong Kong children to art
An upcoming exhibition of this year’s Sovereign Asian Art Prize finalists, unbridled by any thematic concern and with impressive geographical reach, provides an insightful survey of contemporary art coming out of this diverse region.
Five are Pakistan-born, two are working in Kazakhstan, and nearly a third are from Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore.
Local art lovers are likely to be unfamiliar with the artists from Kazakhstan, but they may well relate to the context in which they work (which has similarities to China’s): the rapid changes brought on by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the invasion of capitalist values and lifestyles, and living in a country ruled by an authoritarian president.
Saule Suleimenova’s Civil Registration Service #3 (2017) recreates a scene of bureaucratic ineptitude with discarded plastic bags, a choice of material that is both a rebellion against state-sanctioned aesthetics and a comment on environmental degradation.
The exhibition is held in two different venues until May 10. The artworks will go under the hammer at the May 11 gala charity auction to raise funds for the Sovereign Art Foundation’s “Make It Better” project, an initiative that introduces art to Hong Kong children from impoverished neighbourhoods. The public can vote for their favourite work to win a US$1,000 public vote prize, which will also be announced on May 11 together with the winner of the top award of US$30,000.
Sovereign Art Prize 2018 exhibition, HART Hall, H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Rd Central, April 26 to May 5, then James Christie Room at Christie’s, 22/F Alexandra House, 18 Chater Rd, from May 8 to 10. sovereignartfoundation.com/prize/sovereign-asian-art-prize/