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Prudential Eye Awards 2015: Winners' List

Prudential Eye Awards 2015: Winners' List

Singapore, 20 January 2015 - Chim↑Pom (collective formed in 2005, Japan) were named as the Overall Best Emerging Artist at the Prudential Eye Awards 2015 for Contemporary Asian Art 2015. Chim↑Pom will receive a total of US$50,000 as prize in addition to a solo exhibition at the renowned Saatchi Gallery, London later this year.

Their work conveys strong messages about Japanese society whilst being imbued with humour, wit and melancholy. The six members of the collective came together in their twenties and are becoming more known outside their native Japan, coming to critical attention with performances and interventions made in immediate response to the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster. Chim↑Pom are Ushiro Ryuta, Hayashi Yasutaka, Ellie, Okada Masatake, Inaoka Motumo and Mizuno Toshinori.

Serenella Ciclitira, Founder of the Prudential Eye Programme said: “The judging process generated a healthy debate and we had a great set of winners.”

Niru Ratnam, Director of the Prudential Eye Programme described Chim↑Pom’s work as"relevant, bucking tradition, transcending national boundaries and relevant both in and beyond Asia.”

The second edition of the Prudential Eye Awards was held today at Sands Theatre at MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands. The integrated resort was the Official Partner of this much-anticipated event. This year’s Prudential Eye Awards featured 13 awards, with six categories of Best Emerging Artist, using mediums such as digital/video, drawing, installation, painting, photography and sculpture.

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.

Works by these artists are currently on exhibition at ArtScience Museum, as part of Prudential Singapore Eye. The exhibition will run till 31 March 2015. The works are also featured in a limited edition publication by Skira.

Barry Stowe, Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia said, “Prudential has a long heritage of supporting contemporary art starting with British art in the late 19th century. We are proud to be extending this support to Asia where we have been present for more than 90 years. All of these finalists provide a unique insight into the heart and soul of this constantly changing region, and we hope these Awards help them gain greater international exposure, while raising global awareness of Asian contemporary art.”

George Tanasijevich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marina Bay Sands commented: “Marina Bay Sands is privileged to be the Official Partner for the second edition of Prudential Eye Awards. The partnership underlines our commitment to the support and recognition of emerging Asian artists in order to propel them onto the global art stage.”

The second edition of the Prudential Eye Awards featured 13 Awards, with six categories of Best Emerging Artist, using various mediums including digital/video, drawing, installation, painting, photography and sculpture. Lawrence Wong, Minister of Culture, Community and Youth, officiated at the 2015 Awards, held as part of Singapore Art Week and also made the presentation to the Overall Winner.


The winning artists

As well as being nominated the overall winner, Chim↑Pom also won in the category of Best Emerging Artist Using Digital/Video.

Each winning artist received a reward of US$20,000 at a red carpet awards ceremony at the Mastercard Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

Mithu Sen (b.1971, India) won in the category of Drawing Best Emerging Artist Using Drawing.

Donna Ong (b.1978, Singapore) won in the category of Best Emerging Artist Using Installation,

Christine Ay Tjoe (b.1973, Indonesia) won in the category of Best Emerging Artist Using Painting

Sherman Ong (b.1971, Malaysia) won in the category of Best Emerging Artist Using Photography

Meekyoung Shin (b.1967, Korea) won in the category of Best Emerging Artist Using Sculpture


Other award winners

Contemporary Chinese artist Gu Wenda was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Asian Contemporary Art. The Shanghai-born artist is one of the most high-profile Asian artists in the contemporary art world, and is particularly known for his innovative use of materials whilst drawing on Chinese cultural traditions. Other category winners that were announced at the awards are FuturePerfect as ‘The Best Gallery Supporting Emerging Asian Contemporary Art and ’No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia as the Best Exhibition of Asian Contemporary Art.

Three new categories were added to this year’s award—the Best Writing on Asian Contemporary Art went to Viet Le while the Award for the Best Asian Contemporary Art Institution went to Asia Art Archive.

A new special award for Visual Culture recognizing creativity that blurs the borders of art and shows a contemporary aesthetic drive across cultural products was handed to South Korea as a country. South Korean artiste T.O.P, received the Award.

The Awards Ceremony night was one of Asia’s most high-profile contemporary art events and a highlight of Singapore Art Week, attended by finalists, judges, artists including Gu Wenda, leading curators, gallerists, art world figures and business leaders. Stars from Asia’s art and entertainment worlds joined senior figures from business and government presenting the awards. Entertainment on the evening came from one of Britain’s most talented young musicians, Anthony Strong, and the event will be aired on Fox and National Geographic channels at a later date.


The Prudential Eye Awards were founded by the Prudential Eye Programme, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting and nurturing Asian artists, established by Parallel Contemporary Art in collaboration with the Saatchi Gallery. The Programme launched Prudential Singapore Eye on 17 January 2015, running alongside the Prudential Eye Awards exhibition.


The Prudential Eye Awards 2015 winners are:

  1. Overall Emerging Artist of the Year
    Chim↑Pom (Japan)
  2. Installation
    Donna Ong (Singapore)
  3. Digital/Video
    Chim↑Pom (Japan)
  4. Drawing
    Mithu Sen (b.1971, India)
  5. Painting
    Christine Ay Tjoe (b.1973, Indonesia)
  6. Photography
    Sherman Ong (b.1971, Malaysia)
  7. Sculpture
    Meekyoung Shin (b.1967, Korea)
  8. Lifetime Achievement Award for Asian Contemporary Art-Gu WenDa
  9. Best Gallery Supporting Emerging Asian Contemporary Art- FuturePerfect
  10. Best Writing on Asian Contemporary Art (NEW)- Viet Le
  11. Best Asian Contemporary Art Institution (NEW)- Asia Art Archive
  12. Best Exhibition of Asian Contemporary Art-’No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia’
  13. Award for Visual Culture (NEW)- South Korea

Singapore and Asian press enquiries:

Janice Fong
Parallel Contemporary Art

Arts and international press enquiries:

Niru Ratnam Parallel Contemporary Art

Notes to Editors:

Prudential Eye Awards Exhibition
17 January to 31 Mar 2015
ArtScience Museum
Open daily 10am to 7pm. Last admission at 6pm

Shortlisted artists showcased in the exhibition include:

Digital Video

  • teamLab (Japan),
  • Chim↑Pom (Japan)
  • Chitra Ganesh (India)


  • Genevieve Chua (Singapore)
  • Ahmet Doğu İpek (Turkey)
  • Mithu Sen (India)


  • Donna Ong (Singapore)
  • Hannah Bertram (Australia)
  • Wu Chi-Tsung (Taiwan)


  • Christine Ay Tjoe (Indonesia)
  • Amir Hossein Zanjani (Iran)
  • Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo (Indonesia)


  • Seung Hee Hong (South Korea)
  • Sherman Ong (Malaysia/Singapore)
  • Khvay Samnang (Cambodia)


  • Kohei Nawa (Japan),
  • Ichwan Noor (Indonesia)
  • Meekyoung Shin (South Korea)


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.


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 co-curator 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.