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Prudential Eye Awards 2015 Shortlist Announced: Expert Panel Selects Best Emerging Asian Contemporary Artists

 Prudential Eye Awards returns to Singapore Art Week in 2015 with total prize
money of USD$150,000, a three-month public exhibition at ArtScience Museum
and a solo exhibition at Saatchi Gallery, London for overall prize winner


Singapore, 13 November, 2014 – The Prudential Eye Programme is pleased to announce the second edition of the Prudential Eye Awards, which will be presented at MasterCard Theatres - Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands on Tuesday, 20 January 2015. The integrated resort is the Official Partner for the Prudential Eye Awards.

A public exhibition of works by the shortlisted artists will be showcased at ArtScience Museum between 17 January and 31 March 2015. Launched in 2014, the prestigious annual Awards recognises the best emerging Asian contemporary artists as well as the leading exhibitions, galleries, institutions and art critics working to promote Asian contemporary art.

The second edition of the Prudential Eye Awards features 13 prizes, with six categories of Best Emerging Artist, using mediums such as digital/video, drawing, installation, painting, photography and sculpture. Each category winner will be awarded USD$20,000 and a specially commissioned trophy. Out of these six artists, one overall winner will be chosen for the prize of ‘Best Emerging Artist’, winning a further USD$30,000 and the opportunity to hold a solo exhibition at the renowned Saatchi Gallery in London.

Some 500 artists, nominated by over 100 art experts from across Greater Asia, submitted portfolios of their work earlier this year. Members of the Global Eye Academy, a newly introduced panel comprising the Awards founders, judges, previous winners and expert curators, selected the three most outstanding artists per award category. The Awards’ seven-member panel of judges will cast their votes to announce the winners for the 2015 Emerging Artist categories at the Prudential Eye Awards on 20 January 2015.

George Tanasijevich, President & Chief Executive Officer, Marina Bay Sands, said:

“Marina Bay Sands has been an active supporter of the arts since our opening. We are pleased to be a key partner for both the Singapore Eye Exhibition and Prudential Eye Awards. This partnership is a strong affirmation of our commitment towards supporting the local art scene and we look forward to welcoming the international art world as it converges on Marina Bay Sands over Singapore Art Week 2015.”

Serenella Ciclitira, Chair of the Judging Paneles, said:

“We are honoured to have such an international and distinguished panel of judges for the second edition of the Prudential Eye Awards. The panel includes leading curators and critics. And we are now delighted to announce the shortlists for the Emerging Artists categories”

The shortlisted artists for Category 1, Digital/Video, are: teamLab (Japan), Chim↑Pom (Japan) and Chitra Ganesh (India). With two artists’ collectives from Japan, teamLab and Chim↑Pom and the highly regarded Indian artist Chitra Ganesh, the shortlist shows that Digital/Video art is pushing boundaries across Asia with new ways of working and collaborating.

The shortlisted artists for Category 2, Drawing, are: Genevieve Chua (Singapore), Ahmet Doğu İpek (Turkey) and Mithu Sen (India). Three very strong emerging artists from across Greater Asia show that Drawing is still central in contemporary practice. Each artist produces intricate and conceptually complex work.

The shortlisted artists for Category 3, Installation, are: Donna Ong (Singapore), Hannah Bertram (Australia) and Wu Chi-Tsung (Taiwan). This category encompasses dream-like theatrical scenarios (Ong), ephemeral, temporal interventions post-pop (Bertram) and shadowy deconstructed cities (Chi-Tsung), all highlighting the best of Asian installation art.

The shortlisted artists for Category 4, Painting, are Christine Ay Tjoe (Indonesia), Amir Hossein Zanjani (Iran) and Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo (Indonesia). With two painters from the increasingly important art region of Indonesia and one from Iran, the shortlist demonstates that contemporary painting has truly broken free from its roots in Western Modernism to thrive in new centres of art production.

The shortlisted artists for Category 5, Photography, are Seung Hee Hong (South Korea), Sherman Ong (Malaysia/Singapore) and Khvay Samnang (Cambodia). The works of the three artists range from documentary through to conceptual photography but are linked through a concern with psychological depth, the human condition and what lies behind the surface of things.

The shortlisted artists for Category 6, Sculpture, are Kohei Nawa (Japan), Ichwan Noor (Indonesia) and Meekyoung Shin (South Korea). All three artists show a commitment to innovative materials that range from glass beads (Nawa) to soap (Shin) and to car parts (Noor). Humour is utilized to produce works of striking formal clarity.

Nigel Hurst, CEO of the Saatchi Gallery, said:

“The judges were really impressed with the breadth, range and diversity of the works by nominated artists. This year’s shortlist shows that art across Greater Asia is going from strength to strength. I’m confident that viewers of the exhibition of shortlisted artists will see a survey of the most interesting and challenging work from across Asia. And I look forward to the announcement of the overall winner who will exhibit at Saatchi Gallery in June 2015.

The Prudential Eye Programme, a partnership between Parallel Contemporary Art, Prudential Asia Corporation Asia and the Saatchi Gallery, will bring the Awards and exhibition to Singapore in January as part of Singapore Art Week, which comes at the start of a year of celebrations for the nation’s 50th anniversary. The first-ever Prudential Singapore Eye, an exhibition showcasing the best of Singapore’s contemporary art scene will also open at ArtScience Museum on 17 January, as a key highlight of the Singapore Art Week alongside Art Stage Singapore.

Lawrence Wong, Singapore Minister for Culture, Community and Youth said:

“The Prudential Eye Awards is a wonderful addition to the Singapore Art Week calendar and underscores our commitment to Singapore to become a distinctive cultural city. Located at the crossroads of Asia and home to a multi-ethnic society with a rich cultural heritage, Singapore is a natural place to celebrate the best of Southeast Asian and Asian art to an international audience. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the organiser and partners for making Singapore the home base for the Prudential Eye Awards.”

Ms Carrie Kwik, Executive Director of Arts, Entertainment & Integrated Resorts, Singapore Tourism Board, said:

“We are glad that the Prudential Eye Programme has once again chosen Singapore as the stage for artists in Asia to be lauded and recognised for their achievements. As one of the marquee events of Singapore Art Week, which reinforces Singapore’s position as Asia’s leading arts destination, the Awards add an exciting dimension and experience to the nine-day celebration of visual arts.”

David Ciclitira, Founder of Parallel Contemporary Art along with Serenella Ciclitira, said:

“The Prudential Eye Programme is delighted to return to Singapore in the year of its 50th anniversary. Singapore is fast establishing itself as a key Asian art hub to watch, gaining the recognition it deserves as a capital for cultural exchange. We’ve had some amazing nominations from across Greater Asia, we’ve got a great shortlist of artists and with music from Lily Allen, I think we’ve got a fantastic Awards presentation evening to look forward to. I’m particularly delighted the evening will be televised in partnership with National Geographic and broadcasted globally through the Fox Network.”

Barry Stowe, Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia, the principal sponsor of the event said:

“Prudential has been in Singapore for more than 80 years, and we are proud to be celebrating our deep roots here by looking to the future. While Prudential Singapore Eye will showcase the nation's own emerging artists, the second edition of the Prudential Eye Awards will add to the prestige of Singapore Art Week and strengthen Singapore’s status as the region’s arts hub. Our creative education partnership with the British Council will also help nurture young talent in the country for decades to come.”

The British Council's creative education programme uses the UK's experience to create a long-term legacy through tailored sessions for students and teachers. Creativity will be promoted across Art and English using Prudential Eye works. In 2015, teachers and higher education students across five territories in East Asia will be engaged in workshops, training, artist forums and special events. In Singapore, the British Council and ArtScience Museum will collaborate to ensure a varied programme.

Judges for the second Prudential Eye Awards are Johnson Tsong-Zung Chang, curator, guest professor of China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Director of Hanart TZ Gallery and Board Member of Asia Art Archive and Inter-Asia School; Serenella Ciclitira, Chair of the Judges and Founder Prudential Global Eye Programme; Nigel Hurst, Gallery Director and Chief Executive of Saatchi Gallery; Fumio Nanjo, Director of the Mori Art Museum; Mark Rappolt, Editor of Art Review and Art Review Asia; and Niru Ratnam, Global Eye Programme Director.

Singapore and Asian press enquiries:

Janice Fong
Parallel Contemporary Art

Arts and international press enquiries:

Niru Ratnam
Parallel Contemporary Art


Notes to Editors:


About the Prudential Eye Awards

The Prudential Eye Awards were launched in 2014 by the Global Eye Programme, a partnership between Parallel Contemporary Art and the Saatchi Gallery. The inaugural awards were announced on 18 January 2014 at Suntec City, Singapore. The annual awards focus on emerging artists from across Greater Asia and highlight the breadth, range and diversity of the works being made by emerging Asian artists. In partnership with the Saatchi Gallery they enable the work of these artists to reach audiences and receive international exposure. The second edition of the Prudential Eye Awards will take place in Singapore on 20 January 2015.

The 13 categories of Awards in 2015 are:

  1. Best Emerging Artist Using Digital/Video
  2. Best Emerging Artist Using Drawing (NEW)
  3. Best Emerging Artist Using Installation
  4. Best Emerging Artist Using Painting
  5. Best Emerging Artist Using Photography
  6. Best Emerging Artist Using Sculpture
  7. Emerging Artist of the Year ‘Overall Winner’ (selected from the above 6 winners)
  8. Lifetime Achievement Award for Asian Contemporary Art
  9. Best Gallery Supporting Emerging Asian Contemporary Art
  10. Best Writing on Asian Contemporary Art (NEW)
  11. Best Asian Contemporary Art Institution (NEW)
  12. Best Exhibition of Asian Contemporary Art
  13. Award for Visual Culture (NEW)


About the Prudential Eye Awards judges:

Serenella Ciclitira has an Honours Degree in Art History from Trinity College, Dublin and has worked extensively with artists and galleries throughout the world. With her husband, David Ciclitira, she is the co-founder of Global Eye Programme and a member of its curatorial board. She has been an Honorary Fellow at the Royal College of Art in London, and since 1990 has been awarding the Parallel Prize for Painting and the Serenella Ciclitira Scholarship for Sculpture. Winner of the Parallel Prize, Gillian Carnegie, was later nominated for the Turner Prize and Benedict Carpenter and Gereon Krebber went on to win the prestigious Jerwood Sculpture Prize. Martin Westwood, a former Parallel Prize winner, was featured in the Art Now exhibition at the Tate Britain in 2005.

Nigel Hurst is Director and Chief Executive of the Saatchi Gallery in London. He graduated from Goldsmiths College, London University in 1986 and since then has curated numerous international exhibitions. He joined the Saatchi Gallery as a curator in 1997, working on Sensation at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, the National Galerie at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin and the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York. More recent exhibitions have focused on Asian contemporary art, including The Revolution Continues: New Art from China (2008), Unveiled: New Art from Middle East (2009), The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today (2010), The Silk Road in collaboration with the City of Lille, France (2011) and Korean Eye (2012). He has also been a member of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Public Art Advisory Board since 2009, is a collection advisor for Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and also sits on the Development Council of University of the Arts London.

Chang Tsong-Zung (Johnson Chang) is curator, guest professor of China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, director of Hanart TZ Gallery and board member of Asia Art Archive and Inter-Asia School. He has been active in curating Chinese exhibitions since the 1980s, including China’s New Art Post-1989 (travelling 1993-98), Special Exhibitions at São Paulo Biennial 1996 and Venice Biennale 2001. Major curatorial projects include the Power of the Word series of exhibitions (since 1999), the Yellow Box series of research projects about contemporary art practice and Chinese culture of connoisseurship (since 2004). He co-curator of Guangzhou Triennial 2008 Farewell to Post- Colonialism, West Heavens projects of India-China art and social thought (since 2010), and was cocurator of the 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012), Reactivation.

Fumio Nanjo is the director of Mori Art Museum since November in 2006. He graduated from Keio University in the faculty of Economics (1972) and Letters (Aesthetics/Art History;1977). His main achievements include commissioner of the Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1997), commissioner at the Taipei Biennale (1998), member of jury committee of the Turner Prize (1998), artistic director of the Yokohama Triennale 2001, jury member of the Golden Lion Prize of the Venice Biennale (2005) and artistic director of the Singapore Biennale (2006/2008). Publications include Asian Contemporary Art Report: China, India, Middle East and Japan (2010) and A Life with Art (2012).

Mark Rappolt is Editor-in-Chief of ArtReview and ArtReview Asia. His writing has appeared in a number of publications and includes catalogue essays on Bharti Kher, Slater Bradley, Alex Katz, David Cronenberg, and women artists of the 1960s, amongst others. Books include monographs on the architects Greg Lynn and Frank Gehry. He was formerly a member of the Jarman Award Jury, has taught at the Architectural Association in London and delivered recent talks and lectures at the Japan Foundation, the London School of Economics, Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach.

Niru Ratnam is Director of the Prudential Global Eye Programme and Fair Director for START Art Fair. He holds over 20 years of experience in the arts industry, working for both private and public bodies. Niru has held senior gallery and art fair positions; most recently Head of Gallery Development and Head of External Projects at Art13 London, London's global art fair. Prior to this he held roles with the Arts Council England and Aicon, as well as founding the gallery STORE which specialized in discovering emerging artists such as Ryan Gander, Bedwyr Williams and Margaret Salmon.


About the Prudential Eye Programme

Established in 2008 by David and Serenella Ciclitira and sponsored by the region’s leading life insurer and asset manager Prudential, the Prudential Eye Programme is an initiative that nurtures artistic talent. The programme aims to develop arts infrastructure in territories where this is lacking, in order to provide artists with the platforms, support and recognition they need to develop their careers. It works to build networks and opportunities for artists and galleries through strategic partnerships and a variety of platforms.

Previous projects from the Prudential Eye Programme include Korean Eye (2009 to 2012), Indonesian Eye (2011), Hong Kong Eye (2013) and Prudential Malaysian Eye (2014): a series of international touring exhibitions and publications providing emerging Asian artists with opportunities to showcase their work. To date, the programme has held 18 exhibitions worldwide, which have been viewed by over two million people.

In January 2014, the Prudential Eye Programme launched the Prudential Eye Awards in Singapore, honouring the accomplishments of emerging artists throughout greater Asia and launching a creative education programme with the British Council.

Prudential Singapore Eye will launch at the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore from 17 January 2015 and will be the largest survey of the country’s emerging artistic talent. More information on the exhibition will be available in December 2014.


About Parallel Contemporary Art

Parallel Contemporary Art is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting emerging artists across the world. It was founded by David and Serenella Ciclitira who have been collectors and patrons of contemporary art for over two decades. 23 years ago, as part of their commitment to supporting emerging artists, they founded two annual awards at the Royal College of Art, London; the Parallel Prize for painting and the Serenella Ciclitira Scholarship for sculpture, both of which continue to provide valuable support and stipends for graduating fine artists. Through their love of travel and discovering new artistic talent, they realised young artists in many parts of Asia were under supported and going unnoticed. To help develop the careers of these emerging Asian artists, they launched the Prudential Eye Programme, an initiative that nurtures worldwide artistic talent.


About Prudential Corporation Asia

Prudential Corporation Asia is a business unit of Prudential plc (United Kingdom)*, comprising its life insurance operations in Asia, and its asset management business, Eastspring Investments. It is headquartered in Hong Kong.

Prudential is a leading life insurer that spans 13 markets in Asia, covering Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Prudential has a robust multi-channel distribution platform providing a comprehensive range of savings, investment and protection products to meet the diverse needs of Asian families.

*Prudential plc is incorporated in England and Wales, and its affiliated companies constitute one of the world's leading financial services groups. It has been in existence for 166 years and has £457 billion in assets under management (as at 30 June 2014). Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc, a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America.


About Singapore Art Week

An initiative by the National Arts Council, in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Economic Development Board, the Singapore Art Week reinforces Singapore’s position as Asia’s leading arts destination. It is a nine-day celebration of the visual arts, held at many venues across Singapore, including museums, art precincts and non-profit spaces.

Reaching out to both Singapore residents and international visitors, the Singapore Art Week offers a myriad of quality art experiences, including blockbuster art fairs, exciting gallery openings and lifestyle events, world-class exhibitions, public art walks, as well as enriching discussions. The festival covers the visual arts beyond contemporary practices, including modern and traditional visual forms. The Singapore Art Week also aims to galvanise the arts sector to launch innovative art and lifestyle concepts and events in conjunction with it. For more information, please visit


About Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd

Marina Bay Sands is the leading business, leisure and entertainment destination in Asia. It features large and flexible convention and exhibition facilities, 2,560 hotel rooms and suites, the rooftop Sands SkyPark, the best shopping mall in Asia, world-class celebrity chef restaurants and an outdoor event plaza. Its two theatres showcase a range of leading entertainment performances including world-renowned Broadway shows. Completing the line-up of attractions is ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands which plays host to permanent and marquee exhibitions. For more information, please visit


About the ArtScience Museum

ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands is Southeast Asia's leading cultural institution that explores the inter-relationship between art, science, technology and culture. Featuring 21 galleries totaling 50,000 square feet, the iconic lotus-inspired building has staged major exhibitions by some of the 20th century's key artists, including Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol and Vincent Van Gogh, as well as major exhibitions which explore aspects of scientific history.


About the Saatchi Gallery

The Saatchi Gallery was founded in 1985 with the aim of making contemporary art accessible to the widest possible audience by providing an innovative platform for emerging artists to show their work. Over the last four years the Saatchi Gallery has hosted ten out of the top 15 most visited exhibitions in London according to The Art Newspaper’s survey of international museum attendance. It is also ranked amongst the world’s top three most liked museums on Facebook and Twitter by Museum Analytics. The Saatchi Gallery website has become a global meeting place for people interested in contemporary art.