Basel, The Baloise Art Prize has been awarded to Suki Seokyeong Kang from Korea and Lawrence Abu Hamdan from Jordan. The prize of CHF 30,000.- will be presented at the Statements sector of Art Basel by a jury of international experts. The prize includes the acquisition by Baloise of a group of works by the award winners, which are donated to two important museums in Europe: the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the MUDAM, Luxembourg.
This year’s jury includes: Marie-Noëlle Farcy, Curator/Head of Collection, MUDAM, Luxembourg; Gabriele Knapstein, Head of Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Nationalgalerie Berlin; Martin Hatebur, Chairman Basler Kunstverein/Kunsthalle Basel; Philippe Pirotte, Rector Städelschule Frankfurt and Martin Schwander, Fine Art Advisor of Baloise, Chairman of the jury.
Suki Seokyeong Kang
Suki Seokyeong Kang’s installation brings together a set of abstract sculptures, which deploy different materials – metal and wool – as well as playing with shapes and colors. These works are based on the transposition into a visual language of Jeongganbo, a traditional Korean system of musical notation. There, rectangular cells are organized on a grid, inscribed with rules regarding pitch and length of tones. Of particular interest is the way in which the artist exploits her understanding of rhythm to explore the interaction between her works and the movement of the audience in space, thereby provoking a physical approach to the sculptures.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan
The video and sound installation The Shouting Valley from Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a compelling presentation of a concrete situation: the transgression of the border between Syria and Israel by a group of Palestinians in the region of the Golan Heights on 15 May 2011. The acoustic phenomenon of wandering, amplified voices is indebted to the topography of the valley and lends the work its title. The work itself invokes a larger geopolitical context. The montage of cell phone footage and audio recordings, of the kind regularly used by the media in conjunction with eyewitness reports, generates an apprehensiveness and uncertainty that deeply affects the viewer. The way in which this work combines topographical situation, politically defined borders and concrete infringement of the borders generates a fascinating, interrelated whole. Sound, as the overall, cohesive element, contributes substantially to the urgency of this artist‘s work.