$30,000 gallery prize for rising artists

Mumbai-born Dipali Gupta won for O Her! (above), video works that look at female sexuality in settings similar to still-life paintings.
Mumbai-born Dipali Gupta won for O Her! (above), video works that look at female sexuality in settings similar to still-life paintings.PHOTOS: DIPALI GUPTA AND CHAN + HORI CONTEMPORARY, @9AND3QUARTERSPRAJVA (PRAJVAL J)
Mumbai-born Dipali Gupta (above) won for O Her!, video works that look at female sexuality in settings similar to still-life paintings.
Mumbai-born Dipali Gupta (above) won for O Her!, video works that look at female sexuality in settings similar to still-life paintings.PHOTOS: DIPALI GUPTA AND CHAN + HORI CONTEMPORARY, @9AND3QUARTERSPRAJVA (PRAJVAL J)
Irish artist Gemma Kearney won for It's Grand Mother, a 3.2m by 1.6m sculpture of a stylised crow (above).
Irish artist Gemma Kearney won for It's Grand Mother, a 3.2m by 1.6m sculpture of a stylised crow (above).PHOTOS: GEMMA KEARNEY AND CHAN + HORI CONTEMPORARY, JONATHAN CHOO
Irish artist Gemma Kearney (above) won for It's Grand Mother, a 3.2m by 1.6m sculpture of a stylised crow.
Irish artist Gemma Kearney (above) won for It's Grand Mother, a 3.2m by 1.6m sculpture of a stylised crow.PHOTOS: GEMMA KEARNEY AND CHAN + HORI CONTEMPORARY, JONATHAN CHOO

Singapore-based visual artists Dipali Gupta and Gemma Kearney have won the fourth edition of the annual Chan-Davies prize, worth $30,000.

The prize is given by Chan + Hori Contemporary gallery to two graduating artists from Lasalle College of the Arts. Each winner receives $15,000 in cash and an exhibition at the Gillman Barracks gallery, which runs from Saturday to Aug 19.

The Chan-Davies Art Prize was introduced in February 2015 by gallery director Angie Chan and her husband Nick Davies, the gallery chairman.

The 2015 award was won by Irish artist Jennifer Mehigan.

From 2016, two separate prizes were awarded, one each to a student from the bachelor of arts cohort and master's cohort.

This year, Mumbai-born Gupta, 41, is the winner from the bachelor's batch and will showcase O Her!, video works looking at female sexuality in the context of traditional still-life paintings and stereotypes.

An advertising industry professional who turned to the arts to find her tribe, Gupta says the prize has "helped me improve the quality of my works without worrying about the financials".

  • VIEW IT / CHAN-DAVIES ART PRIZE

  • WHERE: Chan + Hori Contemporary, 02-09 Gillman Barracks, 6 Lock Road

  • WHEN: Saturday to Aug 19. Show opens 5 to 7pm on Saturday; Sunday to Aug 19: 11am to 7pm (Tuesdays to Fridays) and noon to 6pm ( weekends), closed on Mondays and public holidays

  • ADMISSION: Free

  • INFO: www.chanhori.com

She adds: "I am grateful to be given this opportunity. Actually, I wasn't expecting to win. I felt encouraged that the idea was recognised and rewarded."

Irish artist Kearney, 34, who graduated with a master's degree in fine arts from Lasalle this year, won with It's Grand Mother, a 3.2m by 1.6m sculpture of a stylised crow.

It refers to her mother's maiden name (Crow) as well as myths in which the crow is seen as a disruptor and associated with women.

She calls her work "playful misbehaviour".

"It's a comment on familial relationships between mother and daughter, but it's not a rejection outright of the mother. It rejects normativity and asks if you are able to construct a different narrative."

Kearney's career as an artist was an alien concept to her parents - her father is a deliveryman and her mother works in a shop - but she says the minute her father saw an image of It's Grand Mother, he recognised it for his wife. "I'm not going to show it to my mother," the artist says with a laugh.

She is expanding on the installation and including observers - painted fabric on sticks - for the show at Chan + Hori Contemporary.

She has also used the prize to pay rent on a studio space, so that she can keep living and working in Singapore. "The prize means everything to me," she says. "It's an absolute dream prize. I never expected to get anything like this. It's given me freedom."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2018, with the headline '$30,000 gallery prize for rising artists'. Print Edition | Subscribe