• News
  • Jul 20, 2020

Australian Sculptor Wins 2020 Sovereign Asian Art Prize


On July 17, the Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) announced Australian artist Alex Seton as the Grand Prize Winner of its 2020 Sovereign Asian Art Prize. Seton will be awarded USD 30,000 for his entry, Oilstone 05_Corrosion (2019), a marble replica of a Yamaha boat engine.

A Sydney-born multimedia artist, Seton is known for his exploration of the conceptual and tactile malleability of marble through his works, which offer commentaries on contemporary issues such as Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers. His winning sculpture, of a human-made object, has been chemically manipulated to accelerate the marble’s natural deterioration, drawing attention to human’s impact on nature.  

SAF also announced Pakistani artist Saba Qizilbash as the recipient of The Vogue Hong Kong Women’s Art Prize. Qizilbash was selected for her installation Inbezelment (2019), comprised of resin-cast graphite drawings on mylar paper, and will receive USD 5,000. Indonesian artist Made Wiguna Valasara was awarded The Public Vote Prize based on votes by viewers on SAF’s website and Facebook page, for his hand-stitched canvas Daily Parade (2019), which depicts traditional Balinese figures and motifs. Valasara will receive USD 1,000. 

Seton was selected from a shortlist of 31 finalists comprised of midcareer artists from 18 countries and territories, nominated by industry professionals. The 2020 jury was chaired by museum director, writer, and curator David Elliott, and includes Jan Dalley, arts editor of the Financial Times; Jiyoon Lee, academic, curator, and writer; Miao Xiaochun, artist, and professor at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts; artist Zhou Li; William Lim, architect, artist, and collector; Alice Mong, executive director of Asia Society Hong Kong; and Elaine Lin, head of collections at Hong Kong’s Asia Art Archive. 

Some of the other finalists for this year includes Hong Kong artist Peggy Chan, South Korean artist Hyundoo Park, Indian artist Amritah Sen, Singaporean artist Sarah Choo Jing, and Japanese artist Katsumi Hayakawa, among others. 

A finalist exhibition was held at Hong Kong’s K11 ATELIER from June 6 to July 19, accompanied by a virtual tour. All of the presented artworks, with the exception of Seton’s, were auctioned online from June 3, with proceeds going towards the artists and SAF’s charitable projects for disadvantaged children. The sale closed on July 17, achieving USD 137,229.

Jae Lamb is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

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