One of the richest regional art awards, the Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation (APB) Signature Art Prize, just got bigger.
The award, which began in 2008 and takes place every three years, is raising the amount of its top prize by more than 30 per cent to $60,000. In its last edition in 2011, the prize money was $45,000.
The prize now tops another regional contemporary visual art award, the Sovereign Asian Art Prize, which has a prize purse of US$30,000 (S$37,500).
It was founded in 2003 by the Sovereign Art Foundation, which is set up by a global group of financial companies.
The bonus for the APB Foundation's top art prize comes after the number of its Juror's Choice Awards was reduced from three to two awards. The Juror's Choice awards, previously $10,000 each, are now $15,000 each.
The changes aim to make the prize more exclusive in its third edition, and to provide the grand prize recipient larger winnings to aid his artistic practice.
Works by six Singapore artists are among the 105 nominations from 24 countries and regions vying for the top prize.
They include mixed-media installations by artists Loo Zihan, Ho Tzu Nyen, Zhao Renhui and Zulkifle Mahmod, a video work by Nordiyana Omar and digital prints by Green Zeng. They face stiff competition from acclaimed artists such as China's Xu Zhen, Indonesia's FX Harsono and India's Shilpa Gupta.
The high quality of entries reflects the tightening of the by-nomination competition. The 36 independent art experts called to nominate artworks produced in the last three years, regardless of medium, are each allowed three nominations instead of five.