Every three years, Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), the company that puts drinks like Tiger Beer in millions of tankards, and the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore’s definitive modern art museum, come together to recognise outstanding examples of contemporary art from artists within the Asia Pacific region. Dubbed the APB Foundation Signature Art Prize, the 2018 edition recently announced its list of finalists — works by a mix of established and emerging talents — counting, for the first time, artists beyond Asia Pacific, to include Central Asia as well.

The 15 finalist artworks for the Prize’s fourth edition were selected from 113 artworks nominated from over 40 countries and territories, namely Australia, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Signature Art Prize 2018 finalist
Singaporean finalist Shubigi Rao’s Pulp: A Short Biography of the Banished Book. Vol I: Written in the Margins (2014–2016) (2014–2016) installation interrogates issues surrounding the destruction of books and libraries

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Ranging from paintings to videos, the finalist artworks span the length, breadth and diversity of the Asian continent, and were picked out by a panel of eminent jurors, comprising Chief Curator of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, Mami Kataoka; President of Kochi Biennale Foundation, Bose Krishnamachari; Head of Content and Senior Curator at Singapore Art Museum, Joyce Toh; Director of National Gallery of Australia, Dr Gerard Vaughan; and artist and independent curator, Wong Hoy Cheong.

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Recipients of the APB Foundation Signature Art Prize 2018 — a grand prize winner, two jurors’ choice award winners and a people’s choice award winner — will be announced on June 29.

Art lovers can first head to the National Museum of Singapore, the venue supporter for the Prize’s finalist exhibition, to view the 15 works in the flesh from May 25 to September 2, 2018. Over the course of the exhibition, there will also be artist performances, artist dialogue sessions, panel discussions with the jurors, and various talks with artists, specialists and representatives from the art community, all of which will delve deeper into contemporary art practices of the region, as well as the themes explored by the artworks.

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UPDATE (29 June):

Signature Art Prize 2018 winner

Vietnamese artist Phan Thao Nguyen’s Tropical Siesta, a two-channel video installation that tells an imaginary tale of a rural Vietnam populated only by children, takes home the grand prize. Two Jurors’ Choice Awards go to Singaporean artist Shubigi Rao’s Pulp: A Short Biography of the Banished Book. Vol I: Written in the Margins (2014–2016) and Thai artist Thasnai Sethaseree’s Untitled (Hua Lamphong). While Indonesian artist Gede Mahendra Yasa’s After Paradise Lost #1 wins the People’s Choice Award.

For a full list of the Prize’s finalist artworks, simply click on the images below to go on a guided virtual art gallery tour with commentaries by the jurors.