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Sri Lanka vies for prestigious Asia Pacific Art Prize

Aug 26, 2011 3:13:31 PM - www.ft.lk

The Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation Signature Art Prize returns this year with 130 works of art from 24 countries and territories vying for the Grand Prize of SGD 45,000. Organised by the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) with presenting sponsor APB Foundation, this premier juried prize identifies and recognises artists for outstanding work, profiles significant recent creations coming from the region’s contemporary art landscape and encourages the development of contemporary art in the Asia Pacific region.

The second edition of the triennial APB Foundation Signature Art Prize has been expanded to include nominations from the whole Asia Pacific region.  The 130 pieces, nominated for being ground-breaking or note-worthy works created between 2008 and 2010, were selected by 31 independent art professionals and curators. The prize amounts to a total of SGD 85,000 in cash awards, comprising of one Grand Prize (SGD 45,000), three Jurors’ Prizes (SGD 10,000 each) and one People’s Choice Award (SGD 10,000). Sri Lanka is represented by five nominated artworks created by the artists Dumith Kulasekara, Bandu Manamperi, Anoli Perera, Pala Pothupitiye and Pradeep Thalawatta.

The artworks presented span a range of different mediums such as painting, installation and print and many discuss historical and current events in Sri Lanka. The artworks were nominated by Annoushka Hempel, who currently works on developing contemporary arts and culture projects as well as producing and directing projects and events such as the ‘Art Needs Space’ project in conjunction with the Goethe Institute.
This is the second time that Sri Lanka is participating in the APB Foundation Signature Art Prize and this year’s edition sees the number of nominated artworks increasing from three in 2008 to five this year. Local artist Pala Pothupitive has also been nominated for the second time for his new work ‘Vadamarachchi Map’.
Five judges, all eminent art experts and opinion makers will shortlist the 15 final artworks. The jury panel comprises of Mori Art Museum Director Fumio Nanjo, Institute of Contemporary Art London Executive Director Gregor Muir, leading Southeast Asian writer, critic and curator Hendro Wijanto, India Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011 Curator leading South Asian poet-writer, curator and critic Ranjit Hoskote and Singapore Art Museum Director Tan Boon Hui.
The 15 shortlisted finalists will be announced by 1 October 2011, when the public can also begin to vote online and nominate their favourite finalist work for the People’s Choice Award – awarded to the artwork that garners the most public votes – at www.singaporeartmuseum.sg/signatureartprize. An exhibition of the finalist artworks will open at SAM on 11 November 2011 and votes for the People’s Choice Award can also be cast in person at the exhibition. The Grand Prize, Jurors’ Prize and People’s Choice Award winners will be announced at the Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize Awards Dinner on 18 November 2011.

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