Together with my wife Serenella, we have been collecting art for many years; 23 years ago we established two annual awards at the Royal College of Art, London. The Parallel Prize for painting and the Serenella Ciclitira Scholarship for sculpture, which still provide valuable support for graduating fine artists.
Our passion for contemporary Asian art was set alight when we went to Karlsruhe and saw Termocline of Art: New Asian Waves. The exhibition brought together the works of more than 100 artists from about 20 Asian countries from Korea to China to Japan. An exciting and very comprehensive picture of contemporary Asian art unfolded before our eyes.
During our time in Korea we found little information on contemporary art and artists, either in English or indeed in Korean. In partnership with Standard Charter and the Saatchi Gallery we launched Korean Eye in 2009 and in 2012 Korean Eye2 with Prudential as a presenting sponsor. We have also held Indonesian Eye (2011), Hong Kong Eye (2013), Prudential Malaysian Eye (2014) and the Prudential Eye Awards which launched in January 2014.
At the start of a project there is hope for success and continued growth, but our main objective was to support and foster artistic talent and to bring lesser known artists to an international stage and audience. The reception that the Eye exhibitions have received has been very good and has proved that there is a keen interest in Europe for the art and artists from these new and exciting emerging Asian markets.
The Prudential Eye Awards were the next obvious step in the evolution of the Eye brand – recognising the accomplishments of emerging artists throughout greater Asia. The inaugural Prudential Eye Awards took place in Singapore on 18 January 2014 at Suntec City. Our vision: to establish the Prudential Eye Awards as an international contemporary art awards celebrating and recognising emerging artistic talent from greater Asia.
For the selection process we selected nominators (experts in the field of contemporary Asian art) from around the world and asked them to nominate two Asian artists for each of the following five categories; digital/video, installation, painting, photography and sculpture. A shortlist of 20 artists were then selected to feature in the accompanying exhibition by a panel of seven judges.
The introduction of new and re-newed art events. These are signs that the region is going through an exciting transformation in terms of contemporary art. And they underline the heightened international focus and interest in the region.
It really depends upon what is happening in the contemporary art scene in any particular country at the time.When it was decided to launch the Prudential Malaysian Eye and the Prudential Eye Awards, the art scene in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore were starting to explode.
Selected artists from the exhibition will exhibit as part of START art fair at the Saatchi Gallery in London, in June 2014.
Part of our and Prudential's aim is to inform and educate students and to teach the younger generation to appreciate and to love art and also to help foster a new generation of artists.
The genesis of all of our projects comes from our desire to support and foster artistic talent. The fair provides the opportunity for gallerists to come to one of the world’s well known venues and to present their artists to engaged audiences. It’s also designed to provide a 'melting-pot' environment for gallerists and artists.
Additionally there is within the fair the Prudential Eye Zone exhibition art-works by Asian emerging artists. The exhibition features artists from the five Eye Programmes which have held to date eighteen exhibitions worldwide and been viewed by over 2 million people.
Since the successful launch of Prudential Malaysian Eye in March 2014, we have focused on START and on the next Prudential Eye Awards which will be held again in Singapore, January 2015 (they will be an annual affair).
Ben Quilty – the overall winner of the Prudential Eye Awards – will also be exhibiting at the Saatchi Gallery from 4 July to 3 August 2014. ― [O]