Singapore / Zurich, 29 April 2021 – Julius Baer, the leading Swiss private banking group, recently launched the inaugural Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize, with an open call to Southeast Asian artists, aged 18 to 40, to send in their digital art creations in the form of moving or still images.

At closing bell, the first-time art prize received a total of 204 entries.

“The number of entries exceeded our expectations. We are pleased that this prize has helped to galvanize the region’s burgeoning art scene as well as culturally diverse and technologically advanced arts community. Many of the entries are outstanding and we look forward to present to the world, selected works of these Southeast Asian digital artists,” said Jason Moo, Head Private Banking Southeast Asia, and Manager of Singapore Branch, Julius Baer.

To commemorate the success of the inaugural art prize and celebrate some of the works received, a curated finalist showcase - in the form of a virtual exhibition - is open to the public from 30 April to 30 June 2021. Visit the virtual exhibition here: Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize microsite

“We are pleased to extend Julius Baer’s long tradition of supporting the arts to Asia, the Group’s second home market. With this inaugural Art Prize, we hope to nurture and empower young artistic talent, discover and promote emerging voices, ideas and expressions in Asia.” Jimmy Lee, Member of the Executive Board, Julius Baer Group and Head Asia Pacific, said.

The Art Prize is for two categories of Digital Art: Still Image (e.g. digital photography) and Moving Image (e.g. video art). Three winners were selected from each category and each received a cash prize of USD$15,000, USD$10,000 and USD$5,000 respectively. Prizes totalled up to US$60,000.

The Winners Are:

Still Images Moving Images
1st Prize: Shwe Wutt Hmon (Myanmar) 1st Prize: Mark Chua & Lam Li-Shuen (Singapore)
2nd Prize: Robert Zhao (Singapore) 2nd Prize: Khiev Kanel (Cambodia)
3rd Prize: Fajar Riyanto (Indonesia) 3rd Prize: Arief Budiman (Indonesia)

Finalists: Artist Name (Country)

Moving Images: Still Images:
Syaura Qo (Indonesia) Hu Qiren (Singapore)
Chuah Chong Yan (Malaysia) Yudha Kusuma Putera (Indonesia)
Mark Chua and Lam Li-Shuen (Singapore) 1st Arum Dayu (Indonesia)
Zarina Muhammad & Zachary Chan (Singapore) Gian Cruz (Philippines)
Kanel Khiev (Cambodia) 2nd Robert Zhao (Singapore) 2nd
Pam Virada (Thailand) Harold Reagan Eswar (Malaysia)
Sung Tieu (Germany-Vietnam) Shwe Wutt Hmon (Myanmar) 1st
Moe Myat May Zarchi (Myanmar) Fajar Riyanto (Indonesia) 3rd
Arief Budiman (Indonesia) 3rd Zen Teh (Singapore)
Juria Toramae (Thailand-Morocco) Sarah Tan (Singapore)
Special Mention (Moving Images): Special Mention (Still Images):
Russell Morton (Singapore) Marcos Kueh Sheng Peng (Malaysia)
Nat Setthana (Thailand) Natchopol Sriptech (Thailand)
Tulapop Saenjaroen (Thailand) Jack Yong (Malaysia)
Ila (Singapore) Bonreach Kleng (Cambodia)
Quynh Dong (Vietnam)  

The panel of jurors include Barbara Staubli, Curator of The Julius Baer Art Collection in Switzerland; Dr. Wiyu Wahono, Art Collector based in Indonesia; Dr. Cheryl Loh, Contemporary Art Collector and practicing doctor based in Singapore; Audrey Yeo, Gallerist of Yeo Workshop in Singapore, and Inti Guerrero, Curator based in Manila.

Other statements

“Since I was quite young, photography has become a way for me to express what I care about… As an artist from a country that is now in absolute darkness, winning this award means a lot to me and my career. The prize will enable me to keep working on my message confidently and financially, especially during such a difficult time.” - Shwe Wutt Hmon, 1st prize winner, Still Images, Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize

“This work titled “Pineapple Eyes” is an exploration of how technology has enabled observation of our daily lives… Working with security camera footage, I have reversed the role of the observer… With my prize money, I will take some of it to collect artworks from other artists. This can support and help the community here, and support artists to continue their work.” - Khiev Kanel, 2nd prize winner, Moving Images, Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize 

“My project, “In the face of hope” sheds light on the dismay of the people of Yogyakarta (where I am from) by the prospect of eviction... I became an artist to give a different, imaginative and unusual perspective to others. With the prize money, I will continue this project, and develop other artistic ideas I have related to land, kampung and city issues.”-  Fajar Riyanto, 3rd prize winner, Still Images, Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize 

“With the art prize, we hope very much to take the experience, and the opportunity, to growing, realising, and presenting new projects and furthering our body of work and our practice… We are really thankful to Julius Bar for their support of the arts and artists in the region.” - Mark Chua & Lam Li-Shuen, 1st prize winner, Moving Images, Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize 

“For the past few years, I have been collecting stories of how human species interact with non-human species. I have chosen the theme “future cities” to relate to my work. I believe there must be a more radical way to imagine the cities of the future… We cannot afford to be cold and distant when we think of nature. I am very thankful to be part of the prize, and I will continue documenting the stories I see happening between human species and non-human species, no matter how uncomfortable they are.”  - Robert Zhao, 2nd prize winner, Still Images, Julius Baer Next Generation Art Prize 

“There is a diverse range of narratives, moods and interests in the finalist line-up, works that range from cerebral engagements with big ideas, intimate, revealing portraits of individual lives, and humorous, whimsical images of everyday existence. Highlights, I think, would include a Burmese artist comparing her suffering of chronic health issues to withered plants, a montage of beautifully hypnotic images of imaginary marine species, to a work by two local filmmakers that reflect the lockdown here in Singapore, expressed as a surreal tale of a man with a brewing machine for a head. We will be launching a 60-day virtual exhibition of the Finalist Showcase to honour these amazing artists and their perspectives. Do visit.”  - Audrey Yeo, Founder of Singapore Arts Club.

“The Julius Baer Art Collection highlights our corporate culture that fosters innovation and creativity and our social responsibility through supporting artists in Switzerland. I am very happy that we extend our commitment to promote young talents with the ‘Next Generation Art Prize’ in Asia.” - Barbara Staubli, Curator of The Julius Baer Art Collection, Julius Baer.