Cambodian artist Svay Sareth scoops up two prizes at 2016 Prudential Eye Awards

Stake Or Skewer by Cambodian artist Sareth Svay.
Stake Or Skewer by Cambodian artist Sareth Svay.PHOTO: SARETH SVAY & SA SA BASSAC

Cambodian artist Svay Sareth, who escaped from his home as a refugee, scooped up two prizes at a prestigious art awards ceremony Tuesday night.

Svay, whose work was part of the 2013 Singapore Biennale, bagged the Overall Best Emerging Artist prize at the 2016 Prudential Eye Awards for Contemporary Asian Art. For this he received a US$30,000 (S$43,058) cash prize, a citation and the chance to exhibit at London's prestigious Saatchi Gallery this year. He also won another US$20,000 for the Best Emerging Artist Award in the sculpture category.

The annual Prudential Eye Awards, now in their third year, recognise the best emerging artists working with various mediums including installation, painting, photography and sculpture. Apart from artists, the awards also recognise institutions for organising cutting-edge exhibitions.

The event held at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands was officiated by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth. It is part of the ongoing Singapore Art Week.

The awards were founded by British-Italian art lovers David and Serenella Ciclitira, in partnership with insurance firm Prudential and Saatchi Gallery.

Thai artist Sakarin Krue-On, 50, known for his site-specific installations using Thai imagery, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Asian Contemporary Art.

An exhibition featuring 39 artworks by the 15 short-listed artists runs at ArtScience Museum till March 27.

deepikas@sph.com.sg