Li Yan Named Finalist In 2017 Sovereign Asian Art Prize

The Sovereign Art Foundation has revealed the top 30 finalists of The 2017 Sovereign Asian Art Prize – the 13th edition of Asia’s most prestigious prize for contemporary artists. Amongst SURGE Art aritst Li Yan.

Li Yan

Li Yan, Space – Wheel, Copper, wheel, bench clamp, 66 × 28 × 86 cm

Li YanSpace-Wheel. The distinctive property of a water droplet has been a pivotal inspiration for Li Yan’s Space series. A drop of water will run a across a given surface, quickly finding the path with least resistance. However, the balloons in Space – Wheel demonstrate the opposite behaviour. The balloon transforms according to the available space. Such characteristics are used as a metaphor for how humans typically try to cope with different circumstances – trying to blend in with the crowd; often compromising elements of their true selves in order to fit within the ‘mainstream’. Behind the apparent harmony, does there lie a genuine flexibility, or just a passivity to bend and distort ourselves for others? Li’s work is a reflection on materiality, strength, space and life. MORE LI YAN WORKS.

A total of 66 independent art professionals from across Asia Pacific nominated nearly 300 mid-career artists into the Prize; resulting in more than 530 artworks entered from nominees around the region.

The 2017 Prize finalists are:

This year’s judging panel comprises world-class art specialists including Alexandra A. Seno, Head of Development at Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong; noted writer and curator David Elliott; Jim Supangkat, Indonesian sculptor, art critic and curator; Michael Snelling, former Director and CEO of the National Art School, Sydney; and Chinese new-media artist Miao Xiaochun.

David Elliott, Chair of the judging panel, said of the 2017 finalists;
‘This year, with a record number of entries from nominated artists, the selection of the Sovereign Asian Art Prize has been a revelation. Not only has the region been covered in a more comprehensive way than before, but also a new generation of artists is starting to emerge that is impressive in the range and density of its work. This is clearly shown in the finalists in this exhibition.’

Howard Bilton, Founder and Chairman of SAF, said;
“We and our judges believe this selection of work is again extremely strong and original. Every year the work gets better. The artists are nominated by independent experts and then judged by independent experts. This guarantees the quality and gives our supporters the best possible chance of buying investment quality art and the next big thing… Instead of donations, we are providing an investment opportunity.
This year the majority of funds raised will again be applied towards our Make it Better program. In one of the richest cities in the world we continue to be surprised to find that there is such an obvious and substantial need to assist children who are in need and impoverished. We hope that our generous supporters will share our belief in this and hope that once again our charity dinner will make an even greater difference.”

From April 19 – 21, 2017 all shortlisted artworks will go on show in The James Christie Room at Christie’s in Hong Kong. From April 25 – May 4, 2017 they will then exhibit at The Rotunda, Exchange Square. Here the public can view the works in person and cast a vote for their favourite piece to win the Public Vote Prize (votes will also be accepted via the SAF web gallery and Facebook page). There will be a champagne opening of the exhibition at The Rotunda from 7pm on April 25, 2017 and the public are welcome to attend.
The Grand Prize and Public Vote Prize winners, who will be awarded US$30,000 and US$1,000 respectively, will be announced at The Sovereign Asian Art Prize Gala Dinner and Auction on May 5, 2017 at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. Here shortlisted artworks will be auctioned and proceeds split evenly between the artists and SAF’s charitable projects.

Charity auction dinner tickets have been available on the SAF website or contact Mary-Jane Wong
( / +852 25421177)

The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF)
The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) is a charity founded in 2003 in Hong Kong and is now also registered in the UK, Singapore, Guernsey and South Africa. SAF runs the annual Sovereign Asian Art Prize with the purpose of raising money to help disadvantaged children. Since its inception, SAF has raised over US$5 million for charities and artists worldwide, funding projects using art as education, rehabilitation and therapy. The Sovereign Asian Art Prize is now in its 13th year and is the biggest and most prestigious contemporary art prize in the region.
The Sovereign Group
Sovereign offers corporate advisory and support services to assist companies of all sizes to understand their market opportunities, develop actionable strategies and establish business operations successfully in foreign markets. We also provide the legal structures and administrative support to maximise opportunities and achieve long-term sustainability, from full back-office outsourcing solutions to assistance with tax and regulatory compliance. Sovereign further provides individual clients with the knowledge and tools to structure their assets in the most secure, flexible and efficient way to meet their objectives. These would include facilitating cross border business, tax planning, pensions and retirement planning, wealth management and property ownership.
The Pictet Group (2017 Sovereign Asian Art Prize Sponsor)
The Pictet Group is a partnership of six owner managers. It offers only wealth management, asset management and related asset services. The Group does not engage in investment banking, nor does it extend commercial loans. With more than CHF 462 billion in assets under management at 31 December 2016, Pictet is today one of the leading Europe-based independent wealth and asset managers. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and founded there in 1805, Pictet today employs more than 4,000 people. It has 26 offices in: Amsterdam, Lausanne, London, Luxemburg, Madrid, Milan, Montreal, Munich, Nassau, Osaka, Paris, Rome, Singapore, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Turin, Tokyo, Verona and Zurich.

SURGE Art Sponsors




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