Bayside announces inaugural Acquisitive Art Prize winner

Melbourne-based artist Kevin Chin is the winner of the annual Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize, awarded $15,000 for his work, ‘Less than white’ 2015 a diptych painting featuring an imaginary snow covered landscape.

‘Less than white’ draws on Chin’s experiences of social isolation and self-described “surprising stillness” resulting from not being able to speak with other people during his recent studio residency at Youkobo Art Space in Tokyo. Chin described the landscape in ‘Less than White’ as “a place that isn’t here, a split image, or a divided memory. My investigation is into the foreign yet familiar – the shroud of events we try to forget and those that never happened,” he said.

The judging panel for the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize included former Deputy Director of the NGV Frances Lindsay AM, Dr Vincent Alessi, Curatorial Manager, Ian Potter Museum of Art, and Julie Skate, Gallery Supervisor, The Gallery @ Bayside Arts & Cultural Centre.  Frances Lindsay AM said, “In Kevin Chin’s diptych painting, the poetic beauty of the natural world is disrupted by dream-like intrusions of strange objects and figures.” This frisson between the real and the imagined, endows the work with both a meditative calm and a sense of disquiet,” said Lindsay.

Dr Vincent Alessi said, “For me, the power of Kevin Chin’s painting lies in its ability to progress the long-standing tradition of landscape painting. “Beautifully painted, the image has an unsettling quality, where reality is slightly amiss and a sense of the other resides without being able to be located.”

The Local Art Prize was also announced at tonight’s event, with Brighton resident Stieg Persson awarded the $3000 prize for an artist demonstrating a connection to Bayside. Persson’s painting ‘Brighton Singerie’ 2015 depicts locally sourced shop signs and graffiti. Signerie is the French word for ‘monkey trick’ (a genre depicting monkeys copying human behaviour).

Lindsay said, “In the case of ‘Brighton Singerie’, Persson wittingly references signs observed in his local environs – the cafes of Bayside, in a work that is both regionally specific and international in its relevance.”

Dr Vincent Alessi said, “Stieg Persson’s painting, a combination of mark-making and figuration, is a wonderful representation of the city we live in.” “Incorporating menu items prepared for the modern day inner-city hipster and elements of tagging from street art, it has a wonderful element of humour and humanity.”

Both Chin and Persson’s paintings, alongside those of the other finalists in the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize, are currently on display as part of ‘The Finalist Exhibition’

A $1,000 People’s Choice Award will be voted on by visitors to the exhibition and announced following the exhibition’s closure.

The Gallery @ Bayside Arts & Cultural Centre
Until 14 June, 2015

Kevin Chin, Less than white, 2015, oil on linen (diptych), 198 x 279cm
Courtesy of the artist and Dianne Tanzer Gallery + Project