This summer Jamaican Visual Artist Maia Chung helped distinguish the island nation, when the International Open Art Event, “Art Olympia 2019” recognized her work among thousands of submissions, making her the only Caribbean representative in the prestigious Japanese Art Event. Her piece Rorschach Garden of the ID, was ranked in the mere 3% of art work that met the judges’ standard for honors – a recognition that will see her work being used in future art publications.
This year’s judges received 5,684 submissions from a total of 100 countries, and of this number a mere 19% were deemed worthy of honors, awards and exhibition for this year’s judging.
Chung’s triptych piece which was painted over the period 2018/2019, was accorded recognition from over 200 of the 5000 works assessed by art specialists from across the globe.
Chief Executive of Art Olympia said that Chung’s work falls within the category of “great works”, which the judges favor with an honorable mention.
Artists with honorable mentions are listed by name in an art magazine, and their works listed in the Art Olympia catalog and on the Art Olympia website. This provides them with worldwide exposure which is crucial to building their brand on a global level.
As expected, Chung is more than delighted by the development and is honored to represent her country for the second time internationally in her capacity as a visual artist.
“This is a very important and huge step for my life as an artist, these jurors are faced with the best the art world has to offer and chose my work, it is an important step in the lifespan of my art career and continuation… in terms of branding and development and accessing more global training to ensure my work develops and gets better and better, this is important to me as I represent my nation in this field”, Chung said.
She added, “to have started in 2016 and have my work being acclaimed globally is very awesome and humbling and scary”.
Chung’s first time representing Jamaica as a visual artist was in 2018, when her work Miss Jamaica Pain was selected by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) art collection curators, to be exhibited in its international moving art installation, “Sidewalk of the Americas”. The piece still graces the walls of the IDB headquarters.
Meanwhile this year’s entries were invited from two hubs, one in Tokyo (for works from within Japan) and the other outside of Japan.
The judging of the submissions was carried out by international art experts in the art world. The event is in its third iteration and was organised by the Art Olympia Executive Committee.
The event was co-organized by Living National Treasure Museum Planned with collaboration from Yoshimoto Art Entertainment Co., Ltd. Co-sponsors included Toshima City and Weekly Center Co., Ltd with support from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
She continued that “such being the case, I have always wanted to discover talented artists and back them up, and my longtime dream was finally fulfilled when I established “Art Olympia”. It is an international art exhibition of works from the public, where all the entries are assessed in a fair and equitable manner, using a points system to rank them”.
Yamaguchi said that the organizers are looking forward to seeing unique, attractive and finely expressive works that transcend imitation or convention.
Art Olympia was implemented with a focus on the three concepts: HUB, Excavation and Practice. In the HUB portion the executive seeks to discover talented artists pointing them in a direction that can foster growth and create avenues for international exposure.
In this regard, the executive has indicated that while many artists are working in their own country, there might be greater prospects for them to gain international recognition if they were to move overseas.
In the Excavation portion, the jurors seek to discover artists who demonstrate the potential of being recognized internationally. The jury comprises art experts from Japan, USA and France who accepted the invitation to serve. The aim is to discover artists whose work meet international standards.
In the Practice portion, the executive seeks the creation of new art work for the next generation from international artists. In fact this ties in with Art Olympia’s overarching goal which is “to create new art for the next generation by international artists.”
In addition, it is often said by organizers that Art Olympia’s utmost pleasure comes from helping artists to advance overseas, expanding opportunities for cultural exchanges among them, and creating new art for the next generation through mutual cooperation.
Art Olympia has given away approximately USD $500,000 in cash awards and prizes for supporting artist activities. The event is held once every two years.