MEAA 2011 : The Invitation

The Malaysian Emerging Artist Award is back
The award showcase begins this month and 2011’s winners will be revealed soon


Kuala Lumpur - This month, the Malaysian visual arts community will begin gearing up for the MEAA 2011 (Malaysian Emerging Artist Award) exhibition and the announcement of the top five winners of the bi-annual award.

From November 12-27, the walls of the Soka Gakkai Malaysia building on Jalan Bukit Bintang will be filled with the works of the talented young Malaysian visual artists vying for one of the award’s five top prizes.

The announcement of winners will be made on Sunday, November 20 at 3pm during the opening and awards ceremony, which will be graced and officiated by Ambassador Dato’ Mohd Yusof Ahmad, General Director of National Visual Arts Gallery.

The brainchild of House of MATAHATI and Galeri Chandan, MEA Award’s main goal is to recognize emerging talent in Malaysia, as well as to help propel young Malaysian artists to greater heights. The award debuted in 2009 and saw a very encouraging amount of entries. After a thorough judging process, however, Gan Chin Lee, Mohd Al-Khuzairie Ali, Mohd Bakir Baharom, Samsudin Wahab and Shaifuddin Mamat emerged as the award’s five main winners.

Each artist received an assortment of prizes and since then, has gone on to achieve fame and recognition in the local visual arts industry.

This year, MEA Award’s organizers received 73 entries. Only 39 emerging artists made the cut into the finals and their fate in this competition is in the hands of an experienced panel of 15 judges that includes senior artists, industry professionals and well-respected art collectors.

The winning five will each take home a host of lucrative prizes including a RM3,000 cash prize, a  RM2,000 voucher for art materials, a 10-day travel grant to Manila and a showcase each, set to be held in 2012.

Audiences are invited to attend the Malaysian Emerging Artist Award Showcase to see the works of this year’s entrants. It will be the perfect opportunity for viewers to check out the crème de la crème of rising local talents, as well as to observe the themes and styles that today’s young artists are adopting in their practice.

Also, those interested in collecting works by fresh talents will be keen to know that all works in the MEA Award Showcase are up for sale.

‘What’s important about MEA Award is that it was an award conceptualized and backed by artists, so we know exactly what rising artists need at the start of their career – recognition, exposure and due credit. For example, the sale of works is quite a unique format in an art competition, as most art competitions are funded by large corporations or organizations who do not return the entrants’ artworks but keep them in their own private collections instead,’ notes Bayu Utomo Radjikin, Director of House of MATAHATI and an established artist in his own right.

‘Furthermore, an award like this is an incentive for young artists to push themselves, both professionally and in terms of the work they produce,’ he adds. 

This year’s MEA Award is in collaboration with Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) and supported by 30 Artfriends, a loose collective of thirty Southeast Asian art collectors.

Don’t miss the chance to catch the Malaysian Emerging Artist Award Showcase from November 12-27 at Wisma Kebudayaan Soka Gakkai Malaysia, 243 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Opens daily, 11am-6pm.

For more information, visit matahati-meaa.blogspot.com or call 012 373 6004.