The Hong Kong Prize for the Arts is one of the city’s most prestigious awards. It is a celebration of the finest in contemporary art and an opportunity for its recipients to reflect on their practice and their place in the world.
The prize is given to an artist, curator or arts group whose work has had a significant impact on the contemporary artistic scene in Hong Kong and beyond. The prize is also intended to promote the participation of young artists, to provide an incentive for the development of new and emerging talents in the art field.
A panel of judges is selected each year to oversee the prize’s judging process. This year’s jury includes Claire Hsu, co-founder and executive director of the Asia Art Archive; Kacey Wong, artist and social activist; Eric Poon, associate professor of practice at the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; Pang Laikwan, faculty member at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Department of Cultural and Religious Studies; and Ben Quilty, the acclaimed Australian artist and human rights activist.
This year’s HKHRAP featured a strong range of works that reflected a broad spectrum of issues. The 23 finalists touched on the right to work as a refugee, women’s rights, the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, mass rape and much more.
With this year’s theme of ‘Colours of Humanity’, the organisers wanted to highlight the role that art can play in fostering a sense of community and promoting social harmony. As well as presenting the winner with a cash award of US$50,000, the HKHRAP is also inviting a group of invited artists and cultural activists to participate in a public conversation about ‘Humanity’ through a series of events.
It is the fifth year of the HKHRAP and it has grown to become a truly unique platform for open expression. The judging team is made up of experienced and respected art professionals who know the Hong Kong arts landscape inside out.
The judges are chosen in line with their commitment to diversity and inclusion. It is important to note that the judges did not know the artists’ age, experience or gender before they started judging.
During the judging process, the jury has the responsibility to ensure that all the works are representative of the artists’ artistic practice. This includes a rigorous evaluation of each piece’s content and visual quality.
Another key element of the judging process is a focus on creativity and innovation. The jury seeks to encourage artists who are engaged with a wide range of issues and who are open to new ideas, approaches and perspectives.
A prize of this magnitude, which celebrates the best in contemporary art, should attract the attention of a broad audience and encourage more people to appreciate the arts. Moreover, the HKHRAP is also a unique opportunity for artists from all disciplines and from different backgrounds to connect with the public in an engaging way.