On 9th February 2021, we announced the winners for the IMPART Awards 2021 on a private Zoom session with industry partners and stakeholders. Organised by Art Outreach, the IMPART Awards is an art prize in its 4th edition that recognises and rewards promising emerging artists and curators by providing them critical early stage support in their careers. We believe the prize has the capacity to play a critical role not just in supporting emerging art talents, but also in building awareness and appreciation of Singapore art and art practitioners.
Each year, up to three winners (in the artist or curator category) will receive SGD20,000 comprising SGD15,000 in cash towards their practice, and SGD5,000 towards an international exchange programme that offers invaluable exposure to renowned institutions and established practitioners.
This year, the IMPART Awards Jury—Comprising Tan Boon Hui (Jury Chair), Patricia Chen, Catherine David, Honor Harger and Russell Storer—was thrilled to receive outstanding applicants in the curator category. In contrast, they observed the artist applicants were in nascent stages of their career, with many still in the process of finding their own voices although showing great promise. After intense deliberation, the Jury unanimously agreed not to proceed with awards in the artist category this year, but to recognise two curatorial winners and accord a new category of Honourable Mentions to three more curators. The decisions of the Jury in awarding winners in recent years intends to set the bar of the art prize at an exemplary level that is consistent year on year, and is also commensurate with the development of artistic practices in Singapore.
The 2 winners of this year's IMPART Awards are
Kathleen Ditzig (b. 1988) and Eunice Lacaste (b.1989).
Kathleen Ditzig (b. 1988) is a curator and researcher based in Singapore. Her work unpacks the enduring legacies of the Cold War, and examines art as an exceptional site and system of speaking to power. She is a PhD candidate at the Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design and Media and recently was a fellow of the research platform Modern Art Histories in and across Africa, South and Southeast Asia (MAHASSA), convened by the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories project. She is also a co-founder of offshoreart.co, a curatorial and research collective that examines contemporary flows of capital and art. She recently curated As The West Slept at New York's World Trade Center (2019) and Heman Chong’s first solo exhibition at STPI Gallery (Singapore), Peace Prosperity And Friendship With All Nations (Feb 2021).
In this interview, Kathleen shares about her journey to becoming a curator (starting with her first job at Art Outreach 10 years ago!), what the Award means to her and her advice for budding young curators:
Eunice Lacaste (b. 1989) was born in Manila and grew up in Singapore. She is an arts worker and practitioner whose curatorial work focuses on collaborative and critical exhibition-making which is of value to creative communities. She is a PhD candidate at the Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design, and Media and is currently researching on how digital technologies can be implemented on art practices in Singapore and across the region. As an emerging practitioner, she intends on decompartmentalising the aesthetic and the ethical, only to repackage them together in a more inclusive approach. Eunice is part of the Substation’s Artist Associate Program with Fertile Art Refinery and is also a member of Wuwei Performance Series’ committee.
In this interview, Eunice talks about why she calls herself a cultural organiser rather than a curator, ideas that she's excited to further with the Award prize, and her advice for young practitioners:
Introduced for the first time in the Award's four-year-history to acknowledge up-and-coming practitioners who show great promise, the inaugural Honourable Mentions go to curators Deborah Lim (b. 1992), Seet Yun Teng (b. 1995), Samantha Yap (b. 1993).
We extend our heartiest congratulations to our two very accomplished winners and three Honourable Mentions, and sincerely thank everyone who applied to and supported this year’s IMPART Awards. In a year where we were not able to mount our usual fundraising gala, we are especially proud to be able to keep up this initiative to ensure not only the continuity of the Awards, but also support for young art practitioners at a time when it's most crucial.
Stay tuned for news on the open call for the next edition of the IMPART Awards in the second half of 2021, and do get in touch with us if you have any feedback to share. We'd love to hear from you.