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Thursday November 24, 2011

MEA Award recognises emerging artists in Malaysia

THE result of the bi-annual MEAA 2011 (Malaysian Emerging Artist Award) was announced on Sunday and the top five winners are Chong Ai Lei, Sun Kang Jye, Ng Swee Keat, Tan Hong Shun and Muhammad Syah Bandi Samat.

The opening and award ceremony was launched by National Visual Arts Gallery director-general Datuk Mohd Yusof Ahmad.

Striking: The winning artworks by Chong Ai Lei and Muhammad Syah Bandi (below, right).

In his speech, Mohd Yusof said, “For the young artists, this award can be viewed as an alternative platform for them to be known in the local art scene, as well as to private galleries and art collectors. I would like to call upon and encourage more organisations to support these kind of awards and activities as part of their corporate responsibility services.”

The brainchild of House of Matahati and Galeri Chandan, the MEA Award’s main goal is to recognise emerging talent in Malaysia as well as to help propel young Malaysian artists to greater heights.

This year, MEA Award’s organisers received 75 entries. Only 39 emerging artists made the cut for the finals.

Their works were judged by an experienced panel of 15 juries that included senior artists, industry professionals and well-respected art collectors.

Viewers can check out 91 pieces of the Crème De La Crème of rising local talents, as well as to observe the themes and styles that today’s young artists are adopting in their practice.

Also, those interested in collecting works by fresh talents will be keen to know that all works in the MEA Award Showcase are up for sale.

“What’s important about MEA Award is that it was an award conceptualised and backed by artists, so we know exactly what rising artists need at the start of their career — recognition, exposure and due credit.

“For example, the sale of works is quite a unique format in an art competition, as most art competitions are funded by large corporations or organisations which do not return the entrants’ artworks but keep them in their own private collections instead,” said House of Matahati director Bayu Utomo Radjikin, an established artist in his own right.

“Furthermore, an award like this is an incentive for young artists to push themselves, both professionally and in terms of the work they produce,” he added.

This year’s MEA Award is in collaboration with Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) and supported by 30 Artfriends, a loose collective of 30 South-East Asian art collectors.

The MEAA 2011 exhibitions ends on Sunday.

The show is being held at Wisma Kebudayaan Soka Gakkai Malaysia, 243 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Opens daily, 11am-6pm.

For more information, visit or call 012-373 6004.