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Nominees for the US $30,000 prize hail from 18 countries across Asia and the Pacific.

Sarah Choo Jing, Accelerated Intimacy (Brenda) (2018). Detail. Digital print. Courtesy the artist and The Sovereign Art Foundation.

The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) has announced the 31 artists shortlisted for the annual Sovereign Asian Art Prize, now in its 16th edition. Hong Kong is the most strongly represented territory with four nominated artists followed by South Korea and Indonesia, which have three nominees each.

The 31 shortlisted nominees were whittled down from over 600, the largest number in the prize's history, put forward by 88 art professionals.

In addition to the US $30,000 Grand Prize, two additional prizes will be awarded based on public voting. A US $1,000 Public Vote Prize will go to the most voted for artist, and the US $5,000 Vogue Hong Kong Women's Art Prize will go to the highest scoring female finalist. The winners of all three awards will be announced in May 2020.

A programme of events to support the prize has been planned for the same month, including an exhibition, an art forum and a live auction of nominated artists' works that will be conducted by Christie's.

Directors of The Sovereign Art Foundation told Ocula Magzine, that despite the spread of COVID-19, 'We are still planning to host the exhibition and auction in May'.

The public can view the artworks, register interest and vote for their favourite at SovereignArtFoundation.com.

'As would be expected, the growing number of submissions ensures a high calibre and wide range of work by the finalists, and I have no doubt that this exhibition will present a stimulating and revealing picture of art in Asia today,' said writer, curator, and museum director David Elliott, who chaired the five-person panel tasked with selecting the shortlist.

The other members of the panel, which will determine the winner of the grand prize, are: Arts Editor of Financial Times Jan Dalley; art historian, curator, writer and art strategy consultant Jiyoon Lee; artist and Professor at Central Academy of Fine Arts Miao Xiaochun; and contemporary Chinese artist Zhou Li.

Proceeds from the Christie's auction will be split evenly between the artists and SAF, who will use them to fund charitable programmes for disadvantaged children.

'We are surprised and a little outraged that in one of the richest cities in the world, one person in every five lives below the official government poverty line,' said Howard Bilton, Founder and Chairman of SAF.

'There is huge wealth disparity in Hong Kong and this gap needs to be narrowed,' he said.

Artists shortlisted for The Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2020

Alex Seton, Australia

Alexandr Ugay, Kazakhstan

Almagul Menlibayeva, Kazakhstan

Amritah Sen, India

Anniketyni Madian, Malaysia

Bui Cong Khanh, Vietnam

Chui Pui-chee, Hong Kong

Deden Hendan Durahman, Indonesia

Du Kun, China

Evgeny Boikov, Kyrgyzstan

Hee Jeong Jang, South Korea

Hyundoo Park, South Korea

Joyce Ho, Taiwan

Kanak Chanpa, Bangladesh

Katsumi Hayakawa, Japan

Lim Soo Sik, South Korea

Made Wiguna Valasara, Indonesia

MAP Office, Hong Kong

Nge Lay, Myanmar

Nicola Anthony, Singapore

Peggy Chan, Hong Kong

Rachel Cheung Wai-sze, Hong Kong

Rakib Ahmed, Bangladesh

Rushdi Anwar, Thailand

Saba Qizilbash, Pakistan

Sachin George Sebastian, India

Sarah Choo Jing, Singapore

Sokchanlina Lim, Cambodia

Tao Xinglin, China

Taufik Ermas, Indonesia

Thyitar, Myanmar —[O]

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