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Finalists of the 2019 SOVEREIGN ASIAN ART PRIZE

Hong Kong [April 2019] The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) has announced the top 30 finalists of The 2019 Sovereign Asian Art Prize, the 15th edition of Asia’s most prestigious prize for contemporary artists.

Over 70 independent art professionals from across Asia Pacific nominated 400 mid-career artists, hailing from 28 countries, for the Prize. A total of 19 countries are represented amongst the 30 finalists, making it the most geographically diverse shortlist in the history of the Prize.

This edition of the Prize also sees the launch of a brand-new award. The Vogue Hong Kong Women’s Art Prize, to be presented in partnership with the newly launched Vogue Hong Kong, will see US$5,000 awarded to the highest scoring female artist in the competition (except for the Grand Prize Winner).

The entries were shortlisted by an international panel of world-class art specialists, including writer, curator and museum director David Elliott; Jan Dalley, Arts Editor of the Financial Times; Mami Kataoka, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Hong Kong architect, artist and educator William Lim; and internationally renowned artist Zhang Huan. Nominators are typically art critics, lecturers and independent curators who work closely with artists in their respective regions.

The selected artists represent cutting-edge contemporary art practices from the countries in which they reside. Their artworks explore and encourage discourse on a wide range of subject matters, including ideas of family, identity, growth, cultural heritage and diaspora; space, time, urban development and the spatial rhythms of modern cities, amongst others. The finalists are:

Sher Ali AFGHANISTAN, Abdullah M.I. Syed AUSTRALIA, Rakib Ahmed BANGLADESH, Etsu Egami CHINA ,Fuxiaotong CHINA, Angela Yuen HONG KONG, Shreyas Karle INDIA, Sujith SN INDIA, Andy Dewantoro INDONESIA, Katsumi Hayakawa JAPAN, Narynov Saken KAZAKHSTAN, Saule Suleimenova KAZAKHSTAN, Ulan Dzhaparov KYRGYZSTAN, Chanmin Park KOREA, Cho Yi Kyung KOREA, Minho Kim KOREA, Eric Fok MACAO, Munkhjargal Jargalsaikhan MONGOLIA, Soe Yu Nwe MYANMAR, Ashmina Ranjit NEPAL, Ahmed Javed PAKISTAN, Munawar Ali Syed PAKISTAN, Naveed Sadiq PAKISTAN, Boo Sze Yang SINGAPORE, Joo Choon Lin SINGAPORE, Nicola Anthony SINGAPORE, Urich Lau Wai-Yuen SINGAPORE, Valerie Ng SINGAPORE, Sujeewa Kumari Weerasinghe SRI LANKA, Sawangwongse Yawnghwe THAILAND

Chair Judge David Elliott said of the 2019 entries:

"In this, another great year for The Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Korea, Pakistan and Singapore figure strongly in the judges' choice, with excellent representations also from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macao, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. This must be one of the most diverse manifestations of art from Asia. As many of these artists are still emerging on the international scene, it is a great opportunity to discover their work."

The 30 shortlisted artworks will be exhibited from 17–29 April 2019 at HART Hall in H Queen’s, G/F, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong. At the exhibition, the public can view the works first-hand and will be invited to cast a vote for their favourite work to win the Public Vote Prize (votes will also be accepted via the SAF web gallery and Facebook page). All voters will automatically be entered into a lucky draw to win two Business Class tickets to any Asia destination on the Cathay Pacific network, courtesy of our Official Airline Partner.

The Grand Prize and Public Vote Prize winning artists, to be awarded US$30,000 and US$1,000 respectively, will be announced along with the winner of the Vogue Hong Kong Women’s Art Prize at The Sovereign Art Foundation’s ‘Make It Better’ Gala Dinner and Auction on 17 May 2019, at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. Here shortlisted artworks will be auctioned and proceeds split evenly between the artists and SAF’s charitable projects.

Tickets to the Gala Dinner and Auction can be purchased through the SAF website or by contacting Kristy Lam at or +852 2542 1177. Absentee bids on finalist artworks are welcomed and interested parties can send their bids to the same contact.

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