Filipino artist Maria Taniguchi has been honored with the 2015 Hugo Boss Asia Art Award for Emerging Asian Artists, winning a prize of RMB 300,000 (USD 47,300) to foster her artistic practice. Announced on November 26, by Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) director Larys Frogier and Marc Le Mat, managing director of Hugo Boss China Retail Co. Ltd, the award acknowledges and supports contemporary artists from across Asia.
The second edition of the biennial award expanded its focus from Greater China to include the Southeast Asia region.
Praising Taniguichi’s contribution to the developments of contemporary Filipino art, Frogier said, “Her very singular, humble, but extremely focused practice of painting and video enriched the realm of media and raised a unique sensitivity of making the picture with infinite possibilities of meaning.”
The Manila-based artist works in various media—from painting to sculpture to video—with a central focus on the notion of form. Taniguchi’s artworks speak to the materiality of her chosen mediums and their place in our understanding of time and history. Taniguchi’s towering “brick” paintings, from her ongoing “Untitled” series (2012– ), is composed entirely of small, monochromatic rectangles. The work reduces painting to a mechanical action that reveals the labor-intensive process of Taniguchi’s practice. According to the artist, the paintings form a sort of fundamental skeleton for her other works, allowing her to process her thoughts and concepts and to concieve these ideas in video and sculpture form.
Taniguchi was selected from six nominated finalists: Vandy Rattana (Cambodia); Moe Satt (Myanmar); Huang Po-Chih (Taiwan); Guan Xiao (China); and Yang Xinguang (China). An exhibition featuring the works of all of the finalists is on display at RAM until January 3, 2016.
Denise Tsui is assistant editor at ArtAsiaPacific.