Updated: Feb 6
Artists Kent Chan and Jon Chan, and Inaugural Tan Boon Hui Curatorial Prize Recipient John Tung
After much anticipation, Art Outreach is proud to announce that the IMPART Art Prize 2023 has been awarded to artists Kent Chan and Jon Chan, and curator John Tung. Organised by Art Outreach, the IMPART Art Prize aims to support the professional development of emerging artists and curators by providing impactful career building opportunities, while building awareness and appreciation of Singapore art and practitioners.
Since introducing the Prize in 2017, Art Outreach has sustained it annually through fundraising efforts, supporting 15 winners over the past 5 editions. The 2023 edition, which was the 6th, marked the first deliberation without former Jury Chair, the late Tan Boon Hui’s presence, whose visionary leadership and expertise were critical to the success of the Prize. In honour of his legacy, the prize for curators was renamed the Tan Boon Hui Curatorial Prize, with curator John Tung as its inaugural recipient.
A new addition to the long-standing Jury was Dr Adele Tan, Senior Curator at National Gallery Singapore, whose research interests include modern and contemporary art in Southeast Asia, performative practices, photography and new media, signalling the Prize’s continued commitment to supporting inter and multidisciplinary practices.
For the first time, Art Outreach will also be presenting an IMPART Art Prize Winner’s Showcase, a public exhibition of works by the winners Kent Chan and Jon Chan, and curated by John Tung. The exhibition will be open daily from 18 – 26 February 2023, 11am to 7pm, at Art Outreach’s new premises in Gillman Barracks, located at 5 Lock Road, #01-06. Admission is free.
Art Outreach's new premises at 5 Lock Road, #01-06, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108933
“This edition of the IMPART Art Prize coincides with Art Outreach’s 20th anniversary and with our organization's move into new premises at Gillman Barracks. With an expanded gallery space, we are pleased to be able to present a showcase of our winners. We hope that more people will discover Kent Chan, Jon Chan and John Tung as terrific talents that we are privileged to support.” Mae Anderson, Chairman, Art Outreach Singapore
Kent Chan (b. 1984, Singapore) is an artist, curator and filmmaker based in the Netherlands and Singapore. His practice is porous in form, content and context, and revolves around how we encounter art, fiction and cinema. He holds particular interest in the tropical imaginary, past and future relationships between heat and art, and the legacies of modernity. The works and practices of others often form the locus of his projects, which have taken the form of film, text, conversations, and exhibitions. He is a current resident at Medialab Matadero in Spain (2023) and was a former resident of Gasworks (2022), Jan van Eyck Academie (2019/20), NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2017/18) and Rupert’s Residency Program (2015).
From left: Hot House, 2020, Wood, PVC strips, heater, humidifier, dimensions variable. Courtesy of Kent Chan. | A Tropics Expanded, 2020, Single-channel video, duration: 24’35. Courtesy of Kent Chan. | Warm Fronts, 2022, Four-channel video, duration: 61’14, 8 mirror plexiglass, 594 x 841 mm. Courtesy of Kent Chan, Image by Franz Mueller Schmidt. | Monsoon Sessions #1, 2022, Two-channel video, duration: 28’16. Courtesy of Kent Chan.
His works and films have been exhibited internationally, and are collected in the Rijkscollectie, Netherlands and Bonnefanten Museum. He is the 2021 winner of the Foundwork Artist Prize. He holds a BA (Hons) in Film from LASALLE College of the Arts, and an MA in Fine Arts from the Sandberg Institute in the Netherlands. Chan previously received an Honourable Mention for the IMPART Art Prize 2022, and the Jury applauded his achievements in continuing to develop a refreshing body of work with significant socio-cultural discourse and strong aesthetic vision.
Jon Chan (b. 1982, Singapore) is an artist who works through the dimensions of unsolicited real-time performances and the circulation of mediated images, but he does so primarily from the position of a painter. Chan is guided by an attunement with the notion of the divided-self and a sense of alienation which is situated in doubt, a sense that one is stuck between two opposing conditions that one feels disconnected from. From this view, he has decidedly taken on local settings for his paintings, choosing specific sites and terrain that house these particular disjunctions. Chan attained his Diploma in Fine Art (Painting), BA (First Class Honours) and MA of Fine Arts in LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore, and was awarded the Winston Oh Travel Award in both 2003 and 2007.
From left: Duck, 2019, Oil on linen, 53 x 42.6 cm. Courtesy of Jon Chan. | Intermission 1, 2019, Oil on linen, 26 x 30.2 cm. Courtesy of Jon Chan. | See Through, 2019, Oil on canvas, 35 x 47 cm. Courtesy of Jon Chan | LKY’s Office, 2016, Acrylic and Oil on linen, 35 x 43 cm. Courtesy of Jon Chan.
He has also been a recipient of the JCCI Arts Awards in 2007 and has participated extensively in numerous solo and group exhibitions since 2002, including Bilateral bonds, Taksu Gallery, Singapore & Kuala Lumpur (2003); Black is not the darkest colour, La Libreria, Singapore (2007); Modern Love, ICA Singapore (2014); Raw Forms, Coda Culture, Singapore (2019); Time Passes, National Gallery Singapore (2020) and This Time: Contemporary Watercolour, A+, Kuala Lumpur (2022). The Jury was impressed with his accomplishments and particularly noted his interest in furthering painting as a contemporary practice, as well as his sharp and precise observations on Singapore society.
John Tung (b. 1990, Singapore) is an independent curator and exhibition-maker. He was the Festival Curator for the 7th and 8th Singapore International Photography Festival (2020 & 2022), Associate Curator for the Open House programme, For the House; Against the House (2021- 2023), and the curator of the first exhibition to examine the significance of the ground-breaking Singaporean artist initiative 5th Passage – 5th Passage: In Search of Lost Time (2021). Projects he has produced include The Forest Institute (2022), a large-scale architectural art installation dedicated to secondary forest ecologies, and The Gathering: 千岁宫 (2022), a pop-up Chinese garden-teahouse experience in Chinatown, Singapore.
From top: The Forest Institute, co-initiated by Robert Zhao Renhui, Randy Chan & John Tung, 14 Jan to 14 Mar 2022. Image Courtesy of The Forest Institute. | From bottom: Listen... don't ask what bird is singing, curated by John Tung & Robert Zhao Renhui, participating artists: Johannes Bosgra, Emanuela Colombo, Goh Chun Aik, Lucas Lenci, Fenqiang Liu. 8th Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF) 2022, 16 Sep to 30 Oct 2022. Image Courtesy of SIPF 2022. | The Gathering: 千岁宫 by Wong Lip Chin, produced and curated by John Tung, 25 Feb to 25 Mar 2022. Image Courtesy of The Gathering: 千岁宫.
To date, his close work with artists has realised more than 50 new artwork commissions and site-specific adaptations ranging from the minute to monumental. He holds a BA (Hons) in Arts Management awarded by Goldsmiths, University of London (at LASALLE College of the Arts) and an MA in Cultural Management from the Chinese University of Hong Kong where he graduated on the Dean’s List. The Jury commended Tung’s gumption and bravery in pursuing a wide range of projects in his independent practice, as well as the originality and humour in his writing.
2023 Honourable Mentions
From left: IMPART Art Prize 2023 Honourable Mentions, Salty Xi Jie Ng (Artist), Ian Tee (Curator), and Clara Che Wei Peh (Curator).
The Jury – comprising Patricia Chen, Catherine David, Honor Harger, Russell Storer and Adele Tan – also accorded Honourable Mentions to artist Salty Xi Jie Ng and curators Ian Tee and Clara Che Wei Peh.
We express our warmest congratulations to our awardees, as well as our gratitude to all who have supported and applied to this year’s IMPART Art Prize. Stay tuned for news on the open call for the next edition of the IMPART Art Prize in the second half of 2023, and do get in touch with us if you have any feedback to share. We'd love to hear from you.