The Baloise Art Prize and People’s Pick Prize

The Baloise Art Prize, an annual award presented by the Swiss banking and insurance group and Art Basel since 1999, announced its 2024 recipients: Hong Kong artist and filmmaker Tiffany Sia and Sudanese-Norwegian artist and activist Ahmed Umar. The pair were selected among 18 nominees.

In addition to the CHF 30,000 cash prize (around U.S. $33,400), Baloise will acquire works by both artists, which will be donated to museums MMK Frankfurt and MUDAM, Luxembourg.

Umar is an LGBTQ activist and 'Venice Biennale breakout star', who works across jewellery, sculpture, and performance, transforming materials and references to Islam into 'poetic and spiritual forms'.

Sia is an artist best-known for videos and writings that build on her experience living in the Hong Kong diaspora. Sia’s installation investigates how diasporic communities create romanticized ideas of their homeland.

Chilean Swiss artist Francisco Sierra won the first-ever People’s Pick prize at Art Basel 2024 for his installation Guppy (2024). This winning artwork featured 48 wooden panels, each depicting a life-sized guppy on a concave relief. Presented by Basel-based gallery von Bartha in Art Basel’s Unlimited sector, the piece mirrors the aesthetic of home aquariums and is intended to critique recreational animal breeding.

Meanwhile, the second- and third-place prizes were awarded to Japanese installation artist Chiharu Shiota for The Extended Line (2024) and Chinese painter and photographer Wu Tien-Chang for Farewell, Spring and Autumn Pavilions (2024), respectively.