The Hugo Boss Asia Art Award began in 2013 to honor notable, contemporary art, by emerging Asian artists. This year marks the second edition of the biennale award, and marks a fundamental change to the process. The brand extended its focus internationally working with an independent panel of directors and curators in Asia chosen for their understanding of cultural contexts and regional zeitgeist. Larys Frogier, director of the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, and chair of the Hugo Boss Asia Art jury explains,
‘I wanted to have a constant evolution. The challenge is to open mainland China, which often overlooks its neighbouring countries for Europe and America. The intra-Asian connections are really important if we are to build a strong Asian art scene and make the prize visible internationally.’
Six artists works were chosen based upon their artistic response to their geo-specific Asian backgrounds. Art works on display range from sculpture and installation, and video art, to painting and performance.
Myanmar artist Moe Satt slashed silk Burmese umbrellas and then inserted zips: ‘they’re broken but evolving, like my country’s society.’ He democratizes symbols of erstwhile royal privilege because ‘umbrellas can now be used by all’.
Maria Taniguchi from the Philippines, explores art as the materiality itself, its place in time, in history and in our visual compendium. Her brick painting series demonstrates rigorous composition and technique while her sculptures and videos present a logical order and rhythm. ‘The work is about investigating the structures for making art.
In addition to the artworks on display, the new edition includes a series of lectures and studio visits in Beijing, Taipei, Manila and Yangon.
Dr Hjördis Kettenbach, head of Hugo Boss cultural affairs says, ‘We want to promote the award and the artists, but we also want to debate with students and people in the art world. Not just another exhibition but an open dialogue.’
The winner will be announced on the 26 November 2015 and will receive a stipend of 300,000RMB to continue developing their artistic practice.