SPECIAL REPORT


Sino Group marries digital and art worlds to cut through all the noise

A new international digital art prize is designed to increase the understanding of human movement through new technologies in art. Mark Lane reports on a brilliant initiative that showcases amazing works of moving-image art from a global community of contemporary artists to an audience of millions.

Daniel Belton’s magnificent winning entry for the ‘Artistic Blessing’ category was inspired by the North Otago River in New Zealand.

Hong Kong-based property company Sino Group has unveiled the winners of a groundbreaking new international digital art prize, which attracted submissions from over 100 young artists around the world.

The Sino x Niio Illumination Art Prizes 2018/19, presented by Sino Group in collaboration with new media art platform Niio, drew 157 entries from 112 young artists across 39 countries. The prize aims to promote young talent and provide access to some of the world’s most prominent platforms for digital art, as well as make art easily accessible to the general public.

Winning artists were given a platform to display their light designs for Sino Group’s Christmas and Chinese New Year illuminations on Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui Centre and Empire Centre.

The winner of the ‘Artistic Blessing’prize was ONEONE by Daniel Belton and Good Company Arts, from New Zealand. The winner in the second category, ‘New Life’, was The Spring Shrine by SuperCyberTown, from Singapore.

“Sino Group is delighted to have collaborated with Niio on this groundbreaking international digital arts project,” said Sino Group General Manager Nikki Ng. “We were thoroughly impressed with the exceptional content of the work we received, with artists from 39 countries participating. We hope visitors enjoy the outstanding illuminations on the façade of these Hong Kong landmarks during the festive season.”

“We live in a fast-paced, commercially noisy world with countless screens across our urban environments… it is these types of public art inventions that are driving an entirely new visual culture, proudly led by Niio.”

– Niio Co-Founder & CEO Rob Anders

Daniel Belton and Good Company Arts, the first place winner with ONEONE, designed a display that relates an ancient cultural legend inspired by the history of New Zealand’s North Otago River. It features aspects of nature including stone, water, wind and sunlight. The work was chosen by the judging team for its unique interpretation of the subject matter, with dancer Janessa Dufty creating a navigation chart emulating the star maps used by Polynesian ocean voyagers.

“This partnership between Sino Group and Niio captured my imagination because of the world-renowned Hong Kong light displays,” explained Belton. “The Hong Kong harbour site greatly appeals as a grand-scale new media platform open to the public. I hope my work will increase the understanding of human movement through new technologies in art.”

SuperCyberTown’s The Spring Shrine is a futuristic utopian take on a winter night and spring day where technology has allowed humankind to return to its natural surroundings.

Stunning impact: SuperCyberTown’s ‘The Spring Shine’ is beamed onto prime advertising sites in Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong is one of my favourite cities,” said the artist. “It is an endless source of inspiration for my creations. The harbour, with its incredible light show, is one of the many things that make the city unique. I am honoured to be a part of it.

“I wanted to illustrate the importance of a place of rejuvenation from hectic modern-day life. This platform has allowed me to explore the concept of new life emerging and, with it, a new journey beginning.”

Niio Co-Founder & CEO Rob Anders commented: “We live in a fast-paced, commercially noisy world with countless screens across our urban environments, and especially in major cities like Hong Kong.

“In trying to reach and inspire people everywhere through unique digital art experiences, we are thrilled to partner with Sino Group for the Illumination Art Prizes, enabling us to showcase amazing works of moving-image art from a global community of artists, to an audience of millions every day. It is these types of public art inventions that are driving an entirely new visual culture, proudly led by Niio.”

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A Moodie Davitt Report publication | Sight Lines April 2019