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2016.05.04 Wed, by

[press release]

The Sovereign Art Foundation has at last revealed the top 30 finalists of the 12th edition of The Sovereign Asian Art Prize – Asia’s most prestigious art prize for contemporary artists in the region.

Fifty independent art professionals from around the Asia Pacific region first nominated 200+ mid- career artists into this year’s prize, then, a judging panel comprising world-class art professionals including curator David Elliot, Chinese artist Song Dong, independent Indonesian curator Asmudjo Irianto, and Taiwanese artist Michael Lin, voted to shortlist 30 artists from across 16 different territories. The art professionals that nominate are typically art critics, lecturers and curators who work closely with artists within the region. Artists who are selected represent the cutting edge contemporary art practice from the country in which they reside.

2016 marks the second year in the history of the Prize where sculpture was accepted as a medium of entry – and of 30 top finalists’ artworks, 11 are 3D.

The top 30 artworks include a unique sculpture made of human hair, a skull formed from Vietnamese spring roll paper, and a dystopic sci-fi inspired 3D piece. All have been produced by talented artists from across the Asia Pacific region, from Singapore, to Indonesia, Thailand and Pakistan. The successful finalists are:





Latthapon Korkiatarkul


Sherman Ong


Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan


Bani Haykal


Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro


Toshiyuki Kajioka


Shakila Haider


Miti Ruangkritya


Imhathai Suwatthanasilp


Mark Salvatus


Aditya Novali


Cha Min Young

Republic of Korea

Baptist Coelho




Ong Kian Peng


Teppei Kaneuji


Pradeep Thalawatta

Sri Lanka

Eiji Sumi


Gary-Ross Pastrana


Bagus Pandega


Joan Ross


Urich Lau Wai-Yuen


Piyarat Piyapongwiwat


Rosanna W.H. Li

Hong Kong

José Drummond


Hanifa Alizada


Azizullah Hazara


Richard Streitmatter – Tran


Mia Wen-Hsuan Liu

T aiwan

Arin Rungjang


SAF’s portfolio of social responsibility projects ranges from art empowerment programs geared towards Vietnam’s most vulnerable children, a music and arts programme for orphaned or abandoned children in Mongolia’s capital, creative arts healing projects for victims of human trafficking in Cambodia, to a youth-lead pilot project in rural Nepal to raise awareness of children’s rights. Often the children in these programmes will be victims of human trafficking, hard labour, sexual abuse, drugs or violence. The Foundation uses art as a means of rehabilitating them, building self-confidence and encouraging them to return to education.

Since 2013 SAF has also focused on growing its own Make It Better project in Hong Kong, working specifically with children living in Hong Kong’s most disadvantaged parts. SAF recognizes the harmful social impact of the disparity in Hong Kong between extreme wealth and deprivation and, through Make It Better, is working to supplement the traditional education system with life and social skills learning for these underprivileged children. After two years of successful art workshops, SAF has further developed and strengthened the programme by employing the principles of art therapy.

David Elliot, leading member of the judging panel, said of the 2016 finalists, “This year’s submissions to the Sovereign Asian Arts Prize were so wide ranging and of such high quality that it was very difficult indeed to reduce it to a shortlist of 30. The nominators and judges have done a wonderful job with a stellar selection of both established and emerging artists, the strongest and most challenging yet in the history of this prize.”

Howard Bilton, Founder and Chairman of SAF, said, “I think this selection of work is the strongest we have ever had. The judges agree. Their overwhelming feeling was that these works are all very original and very different from the normal work you see coming out of Asia. “Museum quality” was a phrase which cropped up frequently. Every year the selection seems to get better and better. It is not necessarily as easy to like artwork like it as it challenges the viewer but I think there is no doubt that we see a progression from year to year.

This year the majority of funds raised will again be applied towards our Make it Better program. In one of the richest cities in the world we continue to be surprised to find that there is such an obvious and substantial need to assist children who are in need and impoverished. We hope that our generous supporters will share our belief that it is wholly wrong to turn a blind eye to this huge and increasing wealth gap on our doorsteps. We hope that once again you will help us make it better by bidding generously at our dinner on June 3. Please mark your diaries.”

Claude Haberer, Chief Executive Officer, Asia-Pacific, Pictet Wealth Management, said,

“Pictet is proud to be the sponsor of The Sovereign Art Foundation. We enthusiastically support the aim of the Make it Better project to empower more young, underprivileged members of society through art. We believe that art provides a way of remaining alert to a changing world, and also find that our close collaboration with artists helps to inform and enrich our own passion for excellence. This year’s exceptionally strong selection of work for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize is striking for both its breadth and quality.”

All finalists’ work will be exhibited at The James Christie Room, Christie’s, Level 22, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Road, Central Hong Kong, from May 9 – 12, 2016. They will then be exhibited at the Rotunda, One Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong from May 21 – 31, 2016, where the public will have a chance to view the works and cast their vote. There will be a champagne opening of the exhibition at The Rotunda from 7pm on May 24, 2016.

Winners will be announced, and shortlisted artworks will be auctioned at the Sovereign Asian Art Prize Gala Dinner to be held on June 3, 2016, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong. Proceeds will then be allocated on a 50/50 basis between the artists and charitable projects of the Sovereign Art Foundation.

Tickets to the Gala Dinner are available for purchase by contacting Joey Lau on [email protected]or +852 2542 1177.

About The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF)

The Sovereign Art Foundation is a charity founded in 2003 in Hong Kong, which is now also registered in the UK and South Africa. SAF runs the annual Sovereign Asian Art Prize with the purpose of raising money to help disadvantaged children. Since its inception, SAF has raised over US$5 million for charities worldwide, while the Sovereign Asian Art Prize has become the largest award for the arts across Asia. SAF funds projects using art as education, rehabilitation and therapy for disadvantaged children. The Sovereign Asian Art Prize is now in its 12th year and is the biggest, best known and most prestigious arts prize in the Asia region.


About Pictet Group (2016 Sponsor)

Founded in 1805 in Geneva, the Pictet Group is today one of Europe’s largest privately held banks and the leading independent asset management specialist in Europe, with US$436.6bn in assets under management and custody as of 31 December 2015. Entrepreneurship lies at the heart of Pictet’s values and has always formed the basis for its growth. Today, Pictet employs 3,800 people and has offices in 26 financial locations around the world.


About Sovereign

Sovereign’s core business is setting up and managing companies, trusts, pensions, insurance and other structures to meet the specific personal or business needs of its clients. Typically these needs would include tax planning, wealth protection, property ownership and facilitating cross border business.

The first Sovereign office opened in Gibraltar in 1987 and we now have offices or agents in all the major international finance centres. We have also developed a wide range of supporting services such as wealth management, specialist tax advice, yacht and aircraft registration, credit cards, fund formation, pension services, residence and citizenship applications, as well as trademark and intellectual property registration and protection.


Anomaly - Xu WenKai

IMG_0069ss copy

Immersion - Minyoung Cha

L'Autorittrato (Sol) - Gary-Ross Pastrana

Fragile Matter - Richard Streitmatter - Tran

Parachute - Jose Drummond


New Society (series) - Mark Salvatus

Sinusoid I - Eiji Sumi

The Americans have colonised our subconscious - Haykal Bani

The Right to Know - Rosanna Li