Benesse Holdings, Inc. (Benesse) and Singapore Art Museum (SAM) awarded the 11th Benesse Prize to Ms. Pannaphan Yodmanee from Thailand. Ms. Yodmanee will be commissioned to create a work to be exhibited at Benesse Art Site Naoshima, Japan, in addition to receiving a cash prize of JPY 3,000,000 (including a visit to Benesse Art Site Naoshima) from Benesse. Mr. Zulkifle Mahmod from Singapore was also announced as the recipient of the Soichiro Fukutake Prize – a special award presented on the occasion of the inaugural Asian edition of the Benesse Prize.
The jury who was responsible for the shortlist selection praised the quality and diversity of the artistic discourses presented at Singapore Biennale 2016, a testimony to the vibrancy and depth of field of artistic production throughout the Asian continent. Commenting on Ms. Yodmanee’s nomination, Ms. Akiko Miki, as chair of the jury said: “Her painterly, sculptural and architectural work creates a unique, breathtaking landscape by mixing microscopic and macroscopic visions with Buddhist cosmology, traditional and modern techniques, and natural and artificial materials. We look forward to seeing how her critical sensibility could provide profound insights about human civilization, natural conditions, and spirituality in our contemporary age in the insular context of the Seto Inland Sea.”
Mr. Soichiro Fukutake, Founder and President, Benesse Art Site Naoshima commented on his decision to award Mr. Mahmod with a special prize: “I was deeply impressed by this particular work, skillfully incorporating voices and sounds collected from Asian migrant communities in contemporary Singapore. It is contemplative, triggering sensorial and poetic reflections on various social territories and the human environment, as well as on our lives.” The prize entitles Mr. Mahmod to a visit to Naoshima and the neighbouring islands.