The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) is a charity established in 2003 in Hong Kong, which is now also registered in the UK and South Africa. SAF runs the annual Sovereign Asian Art Prize with the purpose of recognising some of the best mid-career artist while raising money to help disadvantaged children. Since it’s inception, SAF has become the largest Asian art award and has raised over US$4.5 million for charities worldwide.
The Sovereign Asian Art Prize
Entry to the prize is by nomination. SAF appoints independent nominators who select the best mid-career artists. The artists can enter up to three piece of work. Entries are then presented to a panel of judges who select their best 30.
The 30 works are brought to Hong Kong and exhibited in a public space and the judges pick the winner who is awarded a prize of US$30,000, a trophy and the title. The winning piece becomes the property of SAF (who then lends the work out to patrons, partners and institutions) and the remaining 29 finalists are auctioned with the proceeds being split evenly between the artists and SAF. To encourage interaction with the prize and to increase exposure for the artists, the public are invited to cast their vote online or in person for their favourite piece displayed in the exhibition. This artist is awarded the Schoeni Prize and US$1,000.
The auctions have acted as a spring board, enabling many mid-career artists to achieve record prices, great publicity and a wider audience for their work. Notable successes have included: Rashid Rana, Qi Zhi Long and Haris Purnomo among others.
Costs of the exhibition and auction events are covered by sponsorship from The Sovereign Group and others leaving funds raised at the auction to be distributed without dilution to charitable artistic causes.
The Sovereign Art Foundation School’s Prize
We believe that art plays a vital role in fostering creativity and building confidence within young adults, a connection that is sadly often under emphasised at school. The Foundation aims to use the School’s Prize to encourage artistic talent and showcase the efforts of those talented students.
The Sovereign Art Foundation School’s Prize is held annually and was first set up in Hong Kong in 2012 and in Bahrain in 2014.
Money raised by SAF funds community arts programmes helping thousands of children using art as a way to heal and educate. Different art forms can work as effective therapy for children that have gone or are going through abuse, neglect, family problems and other traumatic events. Art allows the children to express themselves in their own way, that their own pace under their own control. As well as allowing them to share their feelings, art allows even the most timid or troubled child to build confidence and self-esteem.
The sponsored arts programmes are also a way to engage troubled children and get them involved with the community centres we work with. Once the children are enrolled in the programmes, the social teams are able to work with the families to confront the core problems while the children go back to school.
We are currently supporting programmes in South Africa, Cambodia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and have launched our own Make It Better project in Hong Kong working specifically with the children living in the sub-divided homes of Sham Shui Po and slums of Kowloon City. These workshops started as monthly activities in one centre but as the programme gained popularity we now run them weekly across three centres.
Visit www.SovereignArtFoundation.com for further information.
You can contact us by emailing art@SovereignArtFoundation.com.
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