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Eyes on the prize: Maddocks Art Prize winners announced

By Jason Silverii

• 21 February 2017 • 3 min read
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James Nguyen and Noriko Nakamura were the winner of the 2017 Maddocks Art Prize

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Two of Australia’s most talented emerging artists have been awarded the 2017 Maddocks Art Prize.

James Nguyen and Noriko Nakamura were this week named the winners of the biennial prize, which is an element of Maddocks long-standing support of Australia’s representation at the Venice Biennale.

First awarded in 2005, the Maddocks Art Prize is presented to two outstanding contemporary visual artists from ACT/ New South Wales and Victoria. Each winner will receive a return airfare to visit the Venice Biennale to further their networks and build industry connections with the international arts community, six nights' accommodation and a cash prize.

James Nguyen is a Sydney-based artist working with documentary practice, installation and performance art. Having completed an undergraduate degree at The National Art School and then a Master of Fine Arts at Sydney College of the Arts, James began his PhD research at UNSW Art & Design in 2016.

According to James, his research ‘tries to make sense of the methods of self-representation by the Vietnamese diaspora and other groups of displaced peoples’.

James has been a recipient of the Clitheroe Foundation Scholarship and the Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship which allowed him to partake in the Collaborative Fellowship at Union Docs Center for Experimental Documentary Arts, New York. James has also exhibited in Australia and has done a Beijing residency with 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

Noriko Nakamura is a Melbourne-based artist who experiments with the transformational potential of materials in order to explore the relationship that exists between humans and the material world.

Noriko completed a Fine Art Foundation Diploma at Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, University of the Arts London, before receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2012.

She has presented solo exhibitions in Melbourne at Sutton Projects, West Space and TCB Art Inc. Her work has also been exhibited in Japan, France and New Zealand.

Noriko received an Australia Council ArtStart grant in 2012, the Sainsbury Sculpture Grant in 2013 and the Youkobo Art Space residency in Tokyo in 2015. Noriko is currently the Gertrude Contemporary studio artist in Melbourne.

Maddocks Chair and member of the judging panel, Mark Henry, said the quality of the artists who had applied was outstanding.

‘We had a large number of artists enter the prize this year, each of whom had a compelling body of work to support their submission,’ Mark said.

‘It was an incredibly difficult decision but in the end James and Noriko stood out for their brilliant yet challenging bodies of work,’ Mark said.

Mark said that Maddocks was proud to continue to be a champion of the Australian arts scene.

‘Most lawyers probably fancy themselves as artistic, however the reality is that we are better served doing what we can to nurture and encourage artists. The Maddocks Art Prize is certainly at the heart of that.’

Past winners of the Maddocks Arts Prize include Mira Gojak, Benjamin Armstrong, Richard Lewer, Trevelyan Clay, Justene Williams, Ash Kilmartin and Will French.

By Jason Silverii

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