The 2022 Sovereign Asian Art Prize Shortlist and Charity Sale Announced

The 2022 Sovereign Asian Art Prize Shortlist and Charity Sale Announced

Lovers and A Lantern, Dipali Gupta (Finalist, The 2022 Sovereign Asian Art Prize)
Courtesy of the artist and The Sovereign Art Foundation

Press Preview: 25 May 2022
Exhibition period: 26 – 29 May 2022
Opening hours: Thursday, 02 pm – 08 pm
Friday and Saturday, 11 am – 07 pm
Sunday, 11 am – 06 pm
Art Central, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre,
1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

From the organizer:

The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) today announces names of the shortlisted finalists for The 2022 Sovereign Asian Art Prize, the 18th edition of Asia’s most prestigious prize for contemporary artists.

Finalists in the running for this year’s Prize hail from 16 countries and regions across Asia-Pacific, of which Hong Kong has the strongest representation with 5 artists shortlisted. Amongst the finalists, 27 artists have been shortlisted for the first time.

This year, The Prize received 419 entries from 27 countries and regions in Asia-Pacific. A total of 76 independent arts professionals – 11 of them new to the nominating board for 2022 and comprising curators and academics who work closely with artists in their respective regions – nominated 278 artists into The Prize. The 30 finalists were shortlisted by a panel of four world-class art specialists, namely: writer, curator, and museum director, David Elliott; artist, curator, and actress, Karena Lam; artist and winner of The 2021 Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Li Binyuan; and Senior Curator, Digital and Heritage at Tai Kwun, Ying Kwok. An additional artwork was also selected as a special inclusion for the exhibition resulting in a total of 31 artists on display this year.

Launched in 2003, SAF is a charitable organisation that raises funds for programmes that support disadvantaged children through expressive arts. In tandem with SAF’s year-round fundraising initiatives, The Prize is recognised as one of the most coveted annual awards in the region with a Grand Prize of US$30,000. Nurturing talent from across Asia-Pacific, The Prize has acted as a springboard to help artists go on to achieve record prices as well as gain invaluable exposure to wider audiences. The winner of the Grand Prize, along with the winners of the Public Vote Prize of US$1,000 (determined through public votes online and at exhibition) and the Vogue Hong Kong Women’s Art Prize of US$5,000 (awarded to the highest scoring female finalist), will be announced in May 2022.

The finalists’ artworks will be presented to the public at Art Central, held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 26 – 29 May 2022. Visitors to the exhibition will be invited to cast a vote for their favourite artist to win the Public Vote Prize.

The shortlisted artworks will be available to purchase via sale online on our website and by visiting in person at Art Central. All proceeds will be split evenly between the artists and charitable programmes for disadvantaged children in Asia. Please stay tuned to our website or social media channels for the launch of artwork sales.

Chair Judge David Elliott commented on this year’s shortlist:

“When judging this year’s entries, as always, I’ve looked for good, non-flashy work powered by a sense of honesty and necessity. I like this year’s shortlisted artists. There are a large number who are new to me from a wide range of different countries and regions. In some of these works I can sense a feeling of urgency – a critique of our times that on occasion approaches emotions of disgust and horror but never despair. In this realisation, art has an important role to play in culture at large.

To any artists considering entering The Prize in the future, who perhaps missed out on the shortlist this year, I would advise them to continue to work hard, to be curious, to be sceptical and (self-)critical. Most of all, to enjoy yourself by satisfying yourself through art, even when you get stuck in the mire.”

Howard Bilton, Founder and Chairman of SAF, said:

“This is yet another extremely strong group of artworks from some of the very best artists working across Asia-Pacific today. Entry to The Prize is strictly by nomination by our panel of independent experts who have no commercial interest in the work. Then the best works are chosen by our world-renowned judges. Nowhere else in the world is possible to see such a rigorous selection process which guarantees the quality of the artworks. By offering the works for sale we give our supporters the opportunity to buy investment-quality art, whilst raising money for charity. Funds raised from the sale of these artworks will be equally shared between the artists and charitable programmes for disadvantaged children, in particular, our locally-based Make It Better (MIB) programme, an initiative that supports children from low-income backgrounds and with special educational needs in Hong Kong.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and amplified the huge wealth disparity that exists in Hong Kong. It’s shocking to hear that almost a quarter of our city’s population would have fallen below the poverty line last year without government aid. Strict social distancing rules have isolated many of Hong Kong’s poorest and burdened them with increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression. As a result, these most vulnerable populations are approaching a mental health crisis and effective interventions are urgently needed to support their wellbeing. We hope that our generous supporters will once again help us raise enough to make a difference in their lives.”


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