​NTU Singapore announces winners of Global Digital Art Prize 

Published on : 11-Oct-2019

Berlin artist Marco Barotti wins $25,000, beating over 440 other entries 
NTU fresh graduate Bao Songyu wins $10,000 in student category
Top 14 works on show from 11 Oct to 30 Nov at NTU’s School of Art, Design & Media

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) today announced the winners of the inaugural NTU Singapore Global Digital Art Prize, a biennial international competition designed to recognise outstanding creativity in art, design and cultural heritage that makes significant use of digital tools in its creation. 

Berlin-based media artist Marco Barotti successfully beat over 440 other entries to win the first prize of $25,000 in the Professional (International) category, while NTU fresh graduate Bao Songyu wins the top prize of $10,000 in the Students (Singapore) category. 

The theme for the inaugural edition of the Prize is “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” It aims to highlight the impact of technological transformation on society and the human condition, as the convergence of the physical, biological, and digital worlds brings about numerous opportunities and challenges.

NTU President Professor Subra Suresh, “The response to the inaugural NTU Global Digital Art Prize has been remarkable with 459 entries from 73 countries. The high quality of entries shows the depth of creative talent of both the international artists and our Singapore students. As art can be a powerful source of inspiration and insight, I hope that the NTU Global Digital Art Prize will spur more artists and audiences to explore the relationship between art, and the emerging technologies that are reshaping our lives, as part of a wider debate and discussion about the impact of technology on humanity and society.”

Marine life inspires top winners’ works

Marco Barotti’s work, entitled “Clams”, is inspired by the molluscs’ powerful ability to detect pollution. His audiovisual installation of moving sculptures, which resemble clams, taps on sensors that measure water quality. The sensors can be placed in any natural or artificial aquatic environment, either close to the clam sculptures or via wireless remote connection from anywhere in the world. The real-time data streamed by the sensor is processed and converted into an audio signal that generates a soundscape as well as the opening and closing movement of the clams. Sound and motion unite to create an audiovisual experience that allows the audience to see and hear the water quality in real time. Using recycled plastic, multiple colours and patterns featuring opaque and transparent characteristics are merged together to create unique sheets that form the shape of the clams.

Fresh graduate Bao Songyu from NTU's School of Art, Design and Media had submitted his final year project entitled “Museum of Marine Life 2119 (MML)” for the Digital Art Prize. His artwork is a metaphorical visualisation of a probable future arising from the lethal effects of the Anthropocene. MML sets its stage in 2119 when marine creatures have become extinct, and a marine biologist decides to build a series of nostalgic chimerical specimens as a tribute to the vanished life forms in the form of a menagerie of kinetic sculptures. The artwork follows the perspective of the marine biologist who can only rely on intangible human recollections, without any artefacts of the defunct phylum.

The winning entries were chosen by a jury panel who represent renowned artists and scholars, including Ms Honor Harger, Executive Director of ArtScience Museum; Mr Khairuddin Hori, Curatorial Director and Partner at Chan+Hori Contemporary; Mr Daehyung Lee, Founder of Hzone Art Consulting; Associate Professor Hiromi Ozaki from Tokyo University of the Arts; and Ms Lubi Thomas, Artist, Curator, and Co-Director of Ars Electronica Australia. 

Other members of the jury include Professor Ute Bauer, Director of NTU Centre for Contemporary Art; award-winning Singaporean sound-media artist Zulkifle Mahmod; Ms Bala Starr, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore; Dr June Yap, Director of Curatorial, Programmes and Publications at the Singapore Art Museum; as well as Associate Professor Biju Dhanapalan, Assistant Professor Djordje Arambasic and Senior Lecturer Ms Candice Ng from NTU's School of Art, Design and Media.

The NTU Global Digital Art Prize is organised by the NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH) and the School of Art, Design and Media.

The exhibition of the 14 winning and shortlisted works are on display from 11 October to 30 November at the NTU ADM Gallery, housed at the School of Art, Design & Media. 

The list of winners are: 

Professional (International) Category
First Prize: Marco Barotti, Clams
Commendation Prize: Alessandro Perini, Sound Fossils

Student Category
First Prize: Bao Songyu, Museum of Marine Life 2119
Commendation Prizes: 
- Dave Lim, My Waters
- Lim Swee Kiat, Judgement
- Clara Lim, We’re Good 

For more information, visit:  NTUdigitalartprize.ntu.edu.sg.
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Media contact:

Feisal Abdul Rahman 
Senior Assistant Director 
Corporate Communications Office 
Nanyang Technological University
Email: feisalar(at)ntu.edu.sg

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

Ranked 11th in the world, NTU has been placed the world’s top young university for the past six years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s healthcare district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg

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