Benesse Holdings, Inc. in collaboration with Singapore Art Museum (SAM) will present the 12th Benesse Prize at the Singapore Biennale 2019. The prize will be awarded to an outstanding artist or artist collective chosen from the artists participating in the Biennale.
The prize recognizes an artist whose work embodies an experimental and critical spirit, beyond conventional practice, and who demonstrates the potential of developing an artistic reflection around the theme of "Benesse" (Well-Being).
This year’s finalists are Singapore performance artist Amanda Heng, who is revisiting her Let’s Walk series; Robert Zhao Renhui from Singapore, for his cabinet of curiosities with objects from the forest next to Gillman Barracks; Thai artist Dusadee Huntrakul who has reproduced 16 ceramic reproductions of ancient pots, with modern inscriptions next to them; Turkish artist Hera Büyüktaşçiyan for her wood and metal installations; and Haifa Subay from Yemen who has created nine murals responding to issues such as child recruitment and the casualties of landmines.
The prize, which was presented at the prestigious Venice Biennale between 1995 and 2013 and has been awarded at the Singapore Biennale since 2016, comes with a cash award of 3,000,000 yen (S$37,500) and the chance to have their works exhibited or collected at Benesse Art Site Naoshima in Japan. The finalist will be announced in its award ceremony to be held during the Singapore Art Week on January 11, 2020.