ASIA MEDIA WRITES – The Asia Society held the 2016 Asia Arts Awards in Hong Kong on March 20 to honor three “game changers” in the contemporary Asian art community.

As a leading educational organization and important authority in Asia, The Asia Society has been showcasing the Asia Arts Awards for more twenty years. The prestigious award ceremony recognizes groundbreaking artistic contributions and general excellence of Asian artists, such as Takashi Murakami, Zeng Fanzhi, and Bharti Kher. This year’s honorees included Cai Guo-Qian, Yoshitomo Nara, and Nalini Malani.

Cai Guo-Qiang, a New York-based artist famous for “explosion” pieces and events, has displayed his work in the Guggenheim and draws on the influence of Maoist Communism in China. Cai also served as the Director of Visual and Special Effects at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Hirosaki native, Yoshitomo Nara, will be recognized for his “expressive depiction of children and animals” in works inspired by anime and manga, punk rock music, and Japanese pop culture. The Asia Society helped Nara achieve international fame as an iconic Japanese artist by presenting some of his early major exhibitions at Asia Society Museums in New York and Hong Kong.

The “unwaveringly urban and internationalist” Nalini Malani’s game-changing contributions to the art world brought much needed attention to feminist issues and postcolonial India through beautiful multimedia pieces. Her work goes ‘beyond the boundaries of legitimized narrative” and has already received several critical arts awards.

Along with a ceremony and gala, The Asia Society also auctioned selects works donated by the 2016 honorees as well as other major Asian artists. Of the works auctioned that evening, Pan Gongkai’s painting entitled Noble Virtue was an evening favorite and stand-out. The proceeds will be used to fund Asia Society initiatives while the awards themselves will hopefully inspire future game-changing Asian artists.

We applaud this annual event and congratulate The Asia Society for yet another very successful and special evening spectacular.