The Jakarta Post
Contemporary artist Arahmaiani has been nominated alongside Myanmar’s Aye Ko and Chaw Ei Thein. (Arahmaiani via kompas.com/File)
Indonesian contemporary artist Arahmaiani is among the three finalists for the Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art 2017.
Arahmaiani has been nominated alongside Myanmar artists Aye Ko, which according to organizer Art Stage Singapore 2017 and U.S. Embassy Singapore regarded as one of the Myanmar’s most high profile artists and Chaw Ei Thein, who is famous for her feminist approach to art.
Organizers describe Arahmaiani’s works, which comprise an extensive range of media, as having “commanding and challenging commentaries” on social, cultural and political issues.
“The three finalists—Arahmaiani, Aye Ko and Chaw Ei Thein—are opening up new dialogues on important issues in their communities, and around the world, through their art,” Kirk Wagar, U.S. Ambassador to Singapore said in an official statement.
Lorenzo Rudolf, founder and president of Art Stage Singapore also commented on the selection of the finalists. “[Given] that two of the tree finalists are women artists sends a strong message about the position of women in our societies,” he said.
He noted how the women artists had contributed to bringing the world’s attention to “pressing socio-political issues” in their respective countries.
The Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art 2017 is a part of Art Singapore 2017. The award has been given since 2015 to Southeast Asian curators or artists that meet the criteria of being “actively committed to the ideals of liberty and freedom of expression, and through his or her work, continually seeks to express these ideals.” Indonesia’s FX Harsono won the award in 2015.
The jury for the award comprise Ute Meta Bauer, the director of Singapore’s Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Zoe Butt, artistic director of Vietnam’s The Factory Contemporary Art Centre sand Indonesian curator and writer Enin Supriyanto.
The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony on Jan. 10, 2017 and will also be awarded a cash prize of US$15,000. (asw)