Aye Ko wins 2017 Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art

We are pleased to announce that the winner for the 2017 Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art is Aye Ko from Myanmar. Ambassador Wagar said, “The Joseph Balestier Award honors artists who push the boundaries of creativity and challenge constraints to freedom of expression. There is no finer example of this than the work and courage of Aye
Ko. His unwavering commitment to principles of democracy extends beyond his own artistic practice as he works to foster creative spaces and the exchange of ideas in his home country of Myanmar.”

Chaw Ei Thein from Myanmar and Arahmaiani from Indonesia were also finalists for the award this year.

Named for the first American diplomat accredited to Singapore, the Joseph Balestier Award for the Freedom of Art honors an artist or curator from the Southeast Asian region who is actively committed to the ideals of liberty and freedom of expression, and through his or her work, continually seeks to express these ideals. The award is jointly organized by Art Stage Singapore and U.S. Embassy Singapore.