Priya Srinivasan wins Asia Pacific Arts Award 2024

Creative Australia has revealed the recipients of its inaugural Asia Pacific Arts Awards, celebrating the artists, collectives, and organisations engaged in creating and sharing work across the Asia Pacific. 

The Asia Pacific Arts Awards are designed to recognise and promote Australian artists, collectives and organisations engaged in creating, and presenting/sharing work across Asia Pacific. These awards, to be held annually, celebrate cultural exchanges and collaborative partnerships with overseas counterparts.

The inaugural awards ceremony was held on April 23, for the first time by Creative Australia as an initiative of the Australian Government’s National Cultural Policy Revive.

Shortlisted entries have engaged in building cultural links between Australia and its regional partners through people-to-people connections, opportunities for cultural exchange, expertise and knowledge sharing, and projects of high artistic merit.

The awards cover five categories, including Impact, Innovation, Inspire (Individuals/Collectives/Groups), Inspire (Organisations) and Connect.  

The recipients were announced during a ceremony at Paramatta’s Riverside Theatres this evening (Tuesday 23 April) in a celebration of culture including art and cuisine from across the region.  

Among those making the Australian Indian community proud and winning the Impact category, was our very own prominent Melbournian India – Dr Priya Srinivasan, an artist par excellence, known for her work bringing the First Nations people and Indian/Asian communities together.  

Dr. Priya Srinivasan is a thought leader, performer, choreographer, and writer. Srinavasan leads Sangam, a transformative cultural platform addressing inequity in the arts in Naarm. Since 2019, Sangam has thrived under her guidance, showcasing over 300 South Asian creatives towards self representation and artistic excellence. Rooted in Indian classical dance, Srinivasan’s work emphasises feminist decolonisation, spotlighting minority women’s histories. Her acclaimed intercultural pieces have graced stages worldwide, from the USA, China, Europe, India to Australia. Notably, ground-breaking works like The Durga Chronicles (Green Room Award Winner) and Agam at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra have shifted Australian contemporary practice. Srinivasan directs innovative projects like Serpent Dreaming WomenChurning Waters and Bunyi Bunyi Bumi, fostering equitable intercultural collaborations that offer models for engagement between First Nations and Asian Australians.

Federal Minister for the Arts Tony Burke said:  

“Engagement with our region isn’t only about the physical trade in goods. It’s also about sharing our creativity with the region, engaging with creators throughout the region, and most importantly creating new work together.” 

Creative Australia CEO Adrian Collette AM said: 

“To the many incredible diaspora artists and others engaging with the region, both within Australia and internationally – we see you. We recognise and celebrate the people and organisations that have worked to deepen connections between Australia and regional neighbours through the power of their creative practice.” 

Another proud finalist was S. Shakthidharan, making all Sri Lankan Australians proud.

S. Shakthidharan is a western Sydney storyteller with Sri Lankan heritage and Tamil ancestry. His two plays  Counting and Cracking and  The Jungle and the Sea, made with Eamon Flack and Belvoir, have won 7 Helpmanns, 7 Sydney Theatre Awards and 3 Premier’s Prizes between them, and toured internationally. But most importantly they’ve had a profound impact on the global Sri Lankan diaspora. Shakthi is Director of Kurinji, was co-founder of Co-Curious and was founder and Artistic Director of CuriousWorks from 2003-2018. He was the inaugural Associate Artist at Carriageworks and is a recipient of both the Phillip Parson’s and Kirk Robson awards.

Winners in the other categories were:

Innovation – Hyphenated Projects

Situated in a suburban house in Sunshine West, Hyphenated Projects support artists who operate across cultural, social and geographic hyphens, including through an artist residency and development programs.  

Inspire – Individuals/Collectives/Groups – Club Até

Club Ate (Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra) works across video, performance, events and activations, collaborating with members of the queer Asia Pacific diaspora in Australia and across the Oceania. 

Inspire – Organisations  – QAGOMA, Asia Pacific Triennial APT 10

QAGOMA’s 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT10) included 69 projects by more than 150 artists and collaborators drawn together from over 30 countries. 

Connect – OzAsia Festival, 2021 – 2023  

Under Artistic Director Annette Shun Wah’s leadership (2020-2023), OzAsia Festival amplified Asian and Asian Australian artists and experiences, centring these voices at the heart of festival programming.  

Read more about the recipients and the full list of finalists on our website.  

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