Mar 30 2017

Four Artists Honored with the 2017 Asia Arts Award

by Katherine Volk

(From left) Kimsooja, Hon Chi Fun, Rashid Rana and Hiroshi Sugimoto at Asia Society’s 2017 Asia Arts Awards in Hong Kong on March 23, 2017. Courtesy Asia Society Hong Kong Center. 

Four “game changing” artists were awarded the Asia Society’s 2017 Asia Arts Awards, which took place on March 23 in Hong Kong at the JW Marriott Hotel. Pakistani artist Rashid Rana, Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, Hong Kong artist Hon Chi Fun and Kimsooja from South Korea collected their awards onstage to a roomful of art luminaries, after a live auction led by Jonathan Stone, chairman of Asian Art at Christie’s. 

The prize, founded in 2013, celebrates artists and art professionals for their significant contributions to contemporary art in Asia. Previous award winners include Cai Guo-Qiang, Nalini Malani, Shahzia Sikander, Takashi Murakami, Zeng Fanzhi and Lee Ufan. Each award was preceded by a short introduction by a close contemporary of the artist: Eve Tam, director for Hong Kong Museum of Art, introduced Hon Chi Fun; Hou Hanru, artistic director at MAXXI – National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome, and consulting curator at Solomon R. Guggenheim New York, introduced Kimsooja; AAN Foundation and Gandhara Art founder Amna Naqvi introduced Rana; and Mitchell R. Julis, a trustree of Asia Society global board, introduced Sugimoto. “This is the moment for Asian art, and the four artists we honored this year represent the testament to the distinct individual voices that artists from the region have brought to global contemporary art,” said Boon Hui Tan, Vice President of Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Director of the Asia Society Museum.

The ticket sales and auction portion of the evening, comprising of 10 works by prominent Asian artists such as Yang Fudong, Do Ho Suh and Yoshitomo Nara, raised over USD 1 million, of which the proceeds will be donated to furthering the cause of Asia Society initiatives worldwide.  

Katherine Volk is assistant editor at ArtAsiaPacific.

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