Lee Wen wins second edition of Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art

Lee Wen, Journey of a Yellow Man No.11: Multi-culturalism, 1997, inkjet print on archival paper, 89 × 63 cm. Courtesy the artist and Singapore Art Museum.

Singaporean performance artist Lee Wen, best known for his Yellow Man series, has been announced as the winner of the second Joseph Balestier Award for Freedom of Art. Presented jointly by U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar and founding director of Art Stage Singapore Lorenzo Rudolf, it honours an artist or curator from Southeast Asia whose work is dedicated to the ideals of freedom of art with a US$15,000 award.

Lee Wen has been a contributing member of the Artists Village, an important avant-garde artists' group in Singapore, since 1989, and became a pioneering figure of performance art in his home country through performances, installations and writings that interrogate stereotypical perceptions of culture and society. Wen was selected from a shortlist of three, including Aye Ko and Nguyen Trinh Thi. 

19 January 2016.