SINGAPORE - Five artists from Asia who are participating in the Singapore Biennale have been shortlisted for the Benesse Prize art award.
The shortlisted artists are Martha Atienza from the Philippines; Bui Cong Khanh from Vietnam; Ade Darmawan from Indonesia; Qiu Zhijie from China; and Pannaphan Yodmanee from Thailand.
The prize, which comes with a cash reward of 3 million yen (S$40,000), was launched in 1995 at the prestigious Venice Biennale and, until 2013, had been awarded in conjunction with the biennale in Italy. Its 11th edition, however, will be presented with the Singapore Biennale, which opens on Oct 27.
The prize is sponsored by Benesse Holdings, a Japanese company whose business interests include the fields of education, leadership training, lifestyle and nursing care.
The award will go to an artist whose practice is experimental and critical, and who shows potential to develop a work of art around the theme of well-being.
The winner will receive a commission to make a work that will be exhibited at Benesse Art Site Naoshima, an acclaimed art project on the small islands of Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima in Japan.
Previous winners include renowned Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija.
For this edition of the prize, the shortlist was drawn from the more than 60 artists exhibiting at the Singapore Biennale by an international jury that includes the biennale's creative director, Dr Susie Lingham, and Benesse Art Site Naoshima's international artistic director, Ms Akiko Miki.
The winning artist will be picked by Benesse Holdings and its charitable arm, Fukutake Foundation, which promotes art and cultural activities. The prize presentation will take place during Singapore Art Week in January.