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Art Basel’s Baloise Prize Awarded to Suki Seokyeong Kang and Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Suki Seokyeong Kang and Lawrence Abu Hamdan have been awarded the 2018 Baloise Art Prize, bestowed annually upon two emerging artists exhibited in the “Statements” sector at Art Basel in Switzerland. The roughly $30,000 prize celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year.

“Retooling vernacular objects and shaping them into sculptures often rooted in traditional Korean music notation and scoring, Kang explores the limits and conditions of coexistence, especially a coexistence grounded by conflicts in space,” read a statement about Kang, who was born in Seoul in 1977. “Hamdan also explores the experience of tension and division in environments ripe with conflict,” the statement said. The video work he showed at Art Basel, This Whole Time There Were No Land Mines, 2017, “captures families attempting to communicate over the Israeli-Syrian border by shouting and using binoculars.” Past winners of the award include Laura Owens, Cathy Wilkes, Simon Denny, and Sara Cwynar. 2017’s winners were Martha Atienza and Sam Pulitzer.

The prize is sponsored by the Switzerland’s Bâloise insurance company, which also offers funding for winning artist’s debut museum solo exhibitions. The 2018 prize was juried by Marie-Noëlle Farcy, curator and head of collection at the Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean in Luxembourg; Gabriele Knapstein, director of the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin; Martin Hatebur, the president of Basler Kunstverein and Kunsthalle Basel; Philippe Pirotte, the rector of Städelschule Frankfurt; and Martin Schwander, the artistic advisor to Bâloise and the jury’s chairman.