The winners of the Prudential Eye Award 2016 have sent an open letter to the media this morning claiming 'unexpected and disrespectful treatment' by the Singapore-based art prize. The six artists' co-authored letter details their concerns surrounding payment of prizes – which range from US$20,000 to US$30,000 – and, for some of the artists (in particular Huang Po Chih), the return of artwork exhibited in the Prudential Eye Finalist Award Exhibition at Art Science Museum Singapore, and which closed 27 March. As of yet, the letter claims, the only artist to have received any money is Svay Sareth, who won the award for best overall emerging artist in Asia at a ceremony on 19 January, and who has allegedly only received half of the promised prize money.
The Prudential Eye Awards were launched in 2014 by the Prudential Eye Programme, a partnership between Parallel Contemporary Art, Saatchi Gallery and Prudential.
As part of the award, an exhibition of Svay’s work was planned to take place to coincide with the START Art Fair in London (15–18 September); this however has not been staged as planned after efforts to secure a contract, alongside the full prize payment, allegedly proved unsuccessful. The six artists, Svay, Huang Po Chih, Nguyen Trinh Thi, Manish Nai and Shumon Ahmed, say they have now received an assurance payments would be made 'mid-September'.
16 September 2016