Held annually, the Sovereign Asian Art Prize invites mid-career contemporary artists - nominated by a carefully selected board of independent art experts from the region - to enter up to three artworks online. Entries are then shortlisted by a small judging panel consisting of world-class art specialists, who select the best 30 artworks from a range of digital images. These 30 artworks are exhibited in a prominent public space in Hong Kong, where the pieces are judged a second time, in person.
The Grand Prize winner is revealed at the annual sell-out Gala Dinner in Hong Kong. The winning artist receives US$30,000, along with the coveted award. All artworks are then auctioned to the public - with the exception of the winning entry, which becomes the property of the Foundation and is used to further its charitable aims. The announcement of the Public Prize winner is also made at the Gala Dinner. The Public Prize (also known as the Schoeni Prize) includes an award of US$1,000 and is presented to the artist whose artwork receives the most votes from the public - either those who attend the exhibition, or cast a vote through the Foundation's website or Facebook voting app.
The proceeds of the auction are split between each artist and the Foundation. In this way, each artist receives the same split as they would if their work had sold through a gallery. In many cases, the artworks fetch a higher price, thanks to generous bidding from our charity patrons. The auctions have typically acted as a spring board for finalists, enabling many mid-career artists to achieve record prices, great publicity and establish a wider following. Notable successes have included Debbie Han, Simon Birch, Jeongmee Yoon, Adrian Wong, Rashid Rana, Qi Zhi Long and Haris Purnomo, amongst others.