MAP Office has won the 2013 Sovereign Asian Art Prize. The pair of artists based in Hong Kong, Laurent Gutierrez(originally from Morocco) and Valerie Portefaix (France) will receive the $30,000 award for their Back Home with Baudelaire, No.5 (2005).
MAP Office examines actual and imagined terrain through drawings, photographs, videos, performances and texts. Back Home with Baudelaire, No.5 (2005), a limited edition print, was nominated by Jehan Chu, an independent art advisor. The work comes from a MAP Office film following the French cargo ship Baudelaire in its nocturnal journey from a loading dock at the Yantian port in Shenzhen to Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong.
The Sovereign Art Foundation chose MAP Office from some 30 shortlisted artists. The judges were David Elliott, advisor to the Central Police Station, Hong Kong; Emi Eu, director of Singapore Tyler Print Institute; Tim Marlow, director of White Cube, London; Lars Nittve, executive director of M+, Hong Kong; and Philip Tinari, director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing.
An additional award representing the people's choice, the $1,000 Schoeni Prize, will be awarded to Mark Salvatus, of the Philippines for his artwork Hundred Lives (Quadriptych). Both awards will be presented to the artists tonight at a charity gala auction and dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong, sponsored by the Bank Julius Baer.
The Sovereign Asian Art Prize, the largest award for contemporary art in Asia, serves a philanthropic purpose, raising funds to support underprivileged youth through art education and therapy programs. While the winning piece will enter the Sovereign Art Foundation's collection, the 29 other shortlisted works will be sold at auction, with half of the proceeds going to the respective artists and the other half towards the charitable mission of the prize. All 30 works can be viewed online here.