|Rodel Tapaya |
(Cane of Kabunian, numbered but cannot be counted)
Baston ni Kabunian, Bilang Pero di Mabilang (Cane of kabunian, numbered but cannot be counted) inspired by his native folkore. Clearly influence by the works of Henri Rosseau, Tapaya has already made a name for himself at auction with his paintings mining the oral cultural heritage of the Philippines. Here the work references a Tagalog tale of a greedy man who was turned into a frog, and in the foreground, one can see a masked man chopping down a tree that has a face of a man instead of a crown of leaves, foretelling environmental disaster (.. I'll admit not my cup of tea)
The three Juror’s Choice Award winners went to the Japanese painter Makato Aida and his moving tsunami wave of faceless office workers (my favourite), Australian video artist Daniel Crooks’s poetic and visual stunning video of a Taichi practitioner and Indian artist Sheba Chhachhi’s immersive installation of a diving elephant video amidst lots of books (spots the old SAM catalogues) – a commentary on the accessibility of clean water in New Delhi.
Singaporean artist Michael Lee, with his work Second-Hand City, a suite of 8 digital prints created last year, won (after an heavy social media campaign) the People’s Award for his series exploring contemporary life and art in the city.
Other shortlisted finalists included Chang Yoong Chia (Malaysia); Vandy Rattana (Cambodia); Bui Cong Khanh (Vietnam); Chen Chieh-Jen (Taiwan): Greg Semu (New Zealand) and Imran Qureshi (Pakistan); Ay Tjoe Christine (Indonesia): Kyungah Ham (korea): Kim Jongku (Korea): Yang Xinguang (China)
The APB Foundation Signature Art Prize recognizes a specific contemporary artwork or art project (and not artist) made in the previous 2 years. All the works are now on show at the Singapore Art Museum and it is a great opportunity to see a snapshot of the best of what Asia has to offer.