Three Vietnamese artworks will be among the 34 entries in this year’s inaugural Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation Signature Art Prize – the most prestigious award in the region.
Representing Vietnam are Hoang Duong Cam, Nguyen Quang Huy and Vuong Van Thao.
Cam’s Untitled, Attack–Sculpture–Protect is one of 12 digital photographic collages in a series called Fat-free Museum, which is a continuation of his long-time fascination with the themes of consciousness and relationships.
In this photograph, a Vietnamese wartime sculpture is shown standing behind American artist Sol LeWitt’s Splotch #3 (an acrylic and fiberglass sculpture on the roof of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art). The image creates an ironic image of Vietnam protecting its former adversary.
Nguyen Quang Huy’s Indochina Sisters #29 is an iconographic oil on canvas painting which seeks to honour women but also alludes to the problems women have faced in the past and still face today – a subject often ignored and neglected in Vietnamese art.
Vuong Van Thao’s Living Fossils is an installation work of polymer composite and oil paint, designed to draw attention to the apparent contradictions in new and old Hanoi. The artist said he hopes to make Hanoians think about what they treasure most about the city, which celebrates its millennium in 2010.
These artworks were nominated by Natalia Kraevskaia, independent curator and art critic and director of Salon Natasha, Hanoi. The APB Foundation Signature Art Prize series celebrates the 15-year partnership announced last October between the Singapore Art Museum and the APB Foundation to develop and promote contemporary art.
The result is a collection of contemporary art with diverse themes and mediums, such as painting, sculpture, mixed media, installation, video, photography, performance, new media and interactive work.
In August, the 34 nominees will be short listed to 10, who will be in the running for five awards – three Juror’s Choice Awards worth SG$10,000, a SG$10,000 People’s Choice Award and the Grand Prize of SG$45,000.
An international jury panel will be announced in August and a website launched so the public can vote for their favourite work. The artist who gets the most public votes will receive the People’s Choice Award.
From October to November, the Singapore Art Museum will hold an exhibition of the 10 finalists.
“The quality of the nominated artwork is remarkable. We are seeing an unexpected diversity of themes and mediums that augurs well for the contemporary art scene in the region,” the director of the Singapore Art Museum, Kwok Kian Chow, said.
“They will certainly provoke and stimulate lively public debate about contemporary art in the region, which is exactly the aim of the Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize.”