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Australian Arts in Asia Awards winners announced

Jess Cole

The inaugural Australian Arts in Asia Awards were presented in Sydney last night.
Australian Arts in Asia Awards winners announced

Celebrating the significant role of Australian artists and arts organisations engaging in Asia, the inaugural Australian Arts in Asia Awards were presented in Sydney last night.

Attracting 120 entries, 69 finalists were nominated in 14 categories: Partnerships, Philanthropy, Indigenous, Community Engagement, Innovation, Individual Artist, Small to Medium Arts Organisations, Major Arts Organisations, Visual Art, Literature, Theatre, Music, and Digital and Film.

Bringing home the award for Innovation, Museum Victoria was recognised for its partnership project PLACE-Hampi—a purpose-built museum in southern India bringing Australian-led immersive 3D technology to the interpretation of a World Heritage site.

Announcing the winners, Federal Arts Minister for the Arts Tony Burke said that he applauded all finalists for their work, which has helped build connections and friendships with Asian artists and arts organisations across the region.

‘Australia’s engagement in Asia isn’t simply about trade, business and foreign affairs; there is a dynamic cultural engagement which allows Australian art to be experienced in Asia, great works to be available here and most importantly fresh creativity which is only possible because of the way we work together,’ Minister Burke said.

‘These awards celebrate that as something which is important to Australia, important to Asia and important to the development of art itself.’

Museum Victoria Director, Public Engagement, Tim Hart said that Museum Victoria was a key partner in the project PLACE-Hampi, India, which is part of a new heritage and tourism precinct, Kaladham, constructed in the town of Vidyanagar, Karnaraka State. The area is famous for the archaeological site known as Hampi, a 14th-century treasure trove of intricately decorated temples and monuments.

‘Along with beautiful large-scale photography, archaeological fieldwork archives and an interactive image light-table, the central component of the new museum is the PLACE-Hampi immersive installation. This 360-degree 3D installation with its panoramic visuals and surround-sound changes the way visitors experience museums and heritage,’ Mr Hart said.

Collectively, the Australian Arts in Asia Awards finalists visited or worked collaboratively with artists in 16 countries throughout Asia in a range of innovative contemporary arts projects.

Encouraging the development of stronger cultural ties with Asian nations, the Australian Government has also created the Asian Century White Paper and Creative Australia—the first national cultural policy in nearly 20 years.

The inaugural winners of an Australian Arts in Asia Award are:

Dance: Annalouise Paul for Game On [NSW] and Bangarra Dance Theatre for Spirit [NSW] (joint winners)

Literature: James Aitchison for the Mr Midnight/Mr Mystery book series [VIC]

Music: Tekee Media for Sounds of the Soul, Traditional Music of East Timor [NSW]

Visual Art: MAAP – Multimedia Art Asia Pacific Light from Light [QLD]

Theatre: Arts Centre Melbourne and Playking Productions for Cho Cho [VIC]

Digital and Film: Great Western Entertainment for Serangoon Road [WA]

Community Engagement: Asialink for The Bookwallah 2012 [VIC]

Indigenous: Warburton Arts for Our Land, Our Body [WA]

Partnerships: Arts Centre Melbourne and Playking Productions for Cho Cho [VIC]

Philanthropy: Snuff Puppets, for People’s Puppet Project workshop [VIC] 4A Contemporary Art for Sydney Pavilion at the Shanghai Biennale [NSW] (joint winners)

Innovation: Museum Victoria for PLACE-Hampi [VIC]

Individual: Jayne Dyer for The Butterfly Effect [NSW]

Small-to-Medium Arts Organisation: Snuff Puppets for People’s Puppet Project workshop [VIC] and Bearcage for The Story of Australia [ACT] (joint winners)

Major Arts Organisation: Sydney Symphony Orchestra for The Australia-China Cultural Exchange Program [NSW]

A list of all finalists and more information on the Australian Arts in Asia Awards can be found here.

About the author

Jess Cole is from the UK and completed her MA at London's Courtauld Institute specialising in early modern prints. Her interests also lie in education and widening participation in the arts and she has a passion for crafting.