SINGAPORE . 3 July, 2010 . Human resource professional Paul Dwayne Ebarrete was announced as the winner of the inaugural Red Bull Art of Can 2010 Exhibition in Singapore late last night at the event’s gala premiere attended by more than 200 guests.
Ebarrete’s master piece entitled “Feeding Time” - featuring two gold fishes being fed a can of Austrian energy drink Red Bull by a frog - beat off strong competition from 55 other pieces of art works featured in the 10-day exhibition which opens today to the public at The Gallery, located on level 5 of *SCAPE.
After receiving his prize from Guest of Honour Mr Gerhard Meschke, chargé d’affaires of the Austrian Embassy in Singapore, an elated Ebarrete said: "While I was quietly confident of my chances, I am still a little surprise to have won as the standard of some of the other entries were really high."
Added Mr Howard Rutkowski, co-founder of local art consultancy and curatorial firm Fortune Cookie Projects, who is also one of the judges for the event: "It was not an easy decision picking out Paul’s piece as the winner. My fellow judges and I had to deliberate long and hard as it was not a straight forward and unanimous decision by
any means, largely due to the quality of the entries.
"It also has to be a collective choice and in the end, we felt that Paul’s entry was the one which best fits the criteria set out in this competition - creative concept, conceptual execution and construction. In the end we agree that this art piece has it
all and is a deserved winner."
The 36-year-old Ebarrete, a Filipino who came to Singapore some nine years ago, walked away with a pair of air tickets to Berlin, Germany, one of the world’s premier art cities, courtesy of Lufthansa German Airlines. The 6D5N trip, including accommodation is worth $10,000.
Coming in a close second is a majestic phoenix sculpture entitled "The Soaring Phoenix" by 19-year-old Dunman High School student Zheng Xiamei. Zheng created her phoenix as a .mate. for a dragon piece by Tsuyoshi Ishikawa, entitled "Vitalized Dragon", which won top honours in a previous Red Bull Art of Can event in Chicago,
USA back in 2007.
It proved to be an inspired choice as her exquisite take on the mythical bird won her much admirers amongst the guests at the gala premiere, but more importantly the judges. Her prize for coming in second is a trip for two to Melbourne, Australia. Third place went to Nanyang Technological University Biological Science student
Sheena Ng, 23, for her entry "Mosaic Culture" - an eight-piece collection of doll-size dresses. She wins a digital SLR camera courtesy of Canon.
The China-born Zheng’s achievement also won her school Dunman High a cash award of $2,000. The special school’s award was meant as a bonus for secondary schools and junior colleges to encourage their students to submit entries for the competition, where they will have to compete against adults and working professionals since it is an open category event.
Dunman High also deserved praise for having no less than 15 of their students. entries selected for the eventual exhibition. In fact, two of the pieces by Dunman High students were also featured heavily in the event advertising campaign. Summing up the event aptly was Mr Meschke, who said: "Many people have said
that Singaporeans lacked creativity, but based on the evidence here at the Red Bull Art of Can exhibition, that is clearly not the case. Singapore does have a lot of very creative and artistic people, and that bodes well for the local arts scene."
Voting for the "People's Choice Award" is on from now until 11 July at www.redbullartofcan.sg and one lucky voter stands a chance to win a Canon camera. The winner will be announced on the official event microsite after 11 July. Vote for your favourite piece now.