Prudential Eye Awards Exhibition, CONVERSATION UNKNOWN by Aditya Novali
Starting from 16th January to 27th March 2016, Prudential Eye Awards is running its second year exhibition at the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands. A marquee event of the Singapore Art Week, the exhibition showcases a diverse range of works from 15 shortlisted artists for the 2016 Prudential Eye Awards. This year’s awards also sees the strongest Southeast Asian representation since the inception of the awards in 2014.
The shortlisted nominees for the Prudential Eye Awards are; Thai artists Tawan Wattuya, Sutthirat Supaparinya and Anupong Charoenmitr, as well as Vietnamese video artist Trinh Thi Nguyen, making it the first Prudential Eye Awards with Thai and Vietnamese representation. Their artworks represent a selection of the best emerging contemporary art in Greater Asia. The strong body of works reflects on issues familiar to many Asian audiences, ranging from environmentalism, to the impact of conflict, to industrial development.
Complementing this year’s Prudential Eye Awards exhibition is a series of complimentary public guided tours, workshops and an exclusive conversations series with selected artists. These activities aim to deepen audiences’ engagement with the displayed artworks, by facilitating discussion and exploration of the stories behind them.
Prudential Eye Awards Exhibition, TAMAN BUDAYA -FACE OFF FACE DINNER by Indieguerillas
Prudential Eye Awards Exhibition, Photographs by Robert Zhao
Thumbnails, click to enlarge:
- Top left to right: Shortlist for – Best Emerging Artist Using Painting, series of sculptures by Promotesh Das, PRODUCTION LINE- MADE IN CHINA & MADE IN TAIWAN by Huang Po-Chih
- Bottom left to right: WARNING HOUSE by Sareth Svay, METAL GRAVES series by Shumon Ahmed, CLOCK by Anupong Charoenmitr
Prudential Eye Awards Exhibition, GRIND by Yang Mushi
‘When Need Moves the Earth’ by Sutthirat Supaparinya captures the consequences of a coal mine and a water dam used to generate electricity, encouraging viewers to reflect on the high consumption of electrical power, and raises the question on how societies can improve its sustainability planning.
Representing Vietnam in the same category is independent filmmaker and video artist Trinh Thi Nguyen with the essay film ‘Letters from Panduranga’. The artwork was inspired by the Vietnamese government building the country’s first two nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan, right at the spiritual heart of the Cham people, threatening the survival of this ancient matriarchal Hindu culture that stretches back almost 2,000 years. The film reflects on the legacy of war and colonisation history of Vietnam, and this is also the first time that a Vietnamese artist has ever been nominated at the Prudential Eye Awards.
Also reflective and critical of environmental and war issues are the artworks from Bangladeshi artists Shumon Ahmed and Promotesh Das, who are also the first artists representing Bangladesh at the prestigious awards. Shumon Ahmed’s series of photographs – ‘Metal Graves’ depicts the ugly environmental effects at the world’s second biggest ship-breaking industry. The broken ships in their metal graves embody nostalgia for a lost past, and a disregard for environmental contamination fueled by urban growth and industrialisation.
Promotesh Das’ series of sculptures are imbued with a sense of tenderness and horror, juxtaposing beautiful shola flowers with war equipment and artefacts. The common thread of war imagery running through is also evident in Cambodian artist Sareth Svay’s sculptures. Using black rubber sandals as metaphors of corrupted communism, the installation communicates the painful memories of the people of Cambodia that have resulted from tragedy they have experienced in the war.
Niru Ratnam, Director of Prudential Eye Awards said: “I believe that the shortlist for this edition of the Prudential Eye Awards is the strongest so far with artists from established art regions in Asia being joined by artists from new art worlds such as Bangladesh and Cambodia. The artists explore some serious themes but also produce beautiful work. The exhibition of their works will show the real depth of talent that is emerging across Asia at the moment.”
Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum said: “ArtScience Museum is delighted to bring together some of the region’s most exciting artists in an exhibition of provocative artworks which will challenge visitors’ perspectives on contemporary topics ranging from environmentalism, to the impact of conflict, to industrial development. Our intention is for this show to stimulate conversations among artists and audiences in Asia and beyond. We are pleased to support Prudential Eye Awards in creating this platform for exchange, and this will be a key part of our ongoing work to support the vibrancy of Singapore’s visual art ecosystem.
To learn more about the Prudential Eye Award: http://prudentialeyeawards.com/about
How to get there:
- By train: BayFront MRT station
- By Bus: 97/97E, 106, 133, 502/502A, 518/518A, NR1 (Available on Fridays, Saturdays and eve of public holidays), and NR6 (Available on Fridays, Saturdays and eve of public holidays).
- Alternatives getting there
Featured Image: Prudential Eye Awards Dek Oey Dek Dee 2014 by Thai artist, Tawan Wattuya
Courtesy images: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
Source: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore