Indian artist Anup Mathew Thomas, winner of the 2015 Han Nefkens Foundation – BACC Award for Contemporary Art!
We are pleased to announce Indian artist Anup Mathew Thomas as the winner of the second Han Nefkens Foundation – BACC Award for Contemporary Art. This biannual award seeks to encourage artists in Asia under the age of 40 who already have a solid body of work but have not yet been showcased in major institutions. The award consists of 15,000 US dollars: a $3,000 artist’s fee and $12,000 towards the production of new work as well as a residency and an exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.

Statement from the Jury

The international jury has unanimously chosen the Indian artist Anup Mathew Thomas because of his creative inquiry which almost transcends the boundaries of photography and his use of photography in ways that push the boundaries of the medium’s established position. The jury was very impressed with his patient, methodical approach to the painstaking process of research and documentation over a period of time, allowing the material to come into its own. His method is such that ‘place’ becomes a natural background rather than a geographical ‘other’, while the stories that are being told are brought into relief, to be observed and experienced in a way which moves the audience and invites further reflection and discussion.

The jury believes that he is highly suitable for this residency and that his residency in Bangkok will benefit both him and the city. They are confident that he will be able to engage in a productive way with the environment, in view of both his background and the historical links between India and Thailand and the social identities of both nations.

Anup Mathew Thomas

Anup Mathew Thomas is a visual artist who lives and works in Bangalore, India and whose primary medium of choice has been photography. Through his work, he presents images that are personal and specific, but that also ask broader cultural questions. Drawing on various genres including photojournalism, documentary and fashion, his work presents a diverse set of approaches to the human subject. In presenting his work as projected images as well as prints, Thomas also brings to the table a reflexive engagement with the modalities and history of his chosen medium.

Predominantly produced in series, Thomas' photographs contain an innate critique of their subject matter, often engaging with narratives that seem local but which also resonate within a more inclusive context. Thomas' works are often presented as digital slide shows as well as prints.

The jury members are:

Luckana Kunavichayanont, Director of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (Bangkok)

Hilde Teerlinck, President of the Han Nefkens Foundation (France)

Prof. Ute Meta Bauer, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art – Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)

Dr Yongwoo Lee, President of the International Biennial Association (IBA) (South Korea)

Bose Krishnamachari, President of the Kochi Biennale Foundation (India)

Han Nefkens, Founder of the Han Nefkens Foundation

For more information:
Indian artist Anup Mathew Thomas, winner of the 2015 Han Nefkens Foundation – BACC Award for Contemporary Art!                              

The ArtAids foundation was set up in 2006 at Han Nefkens’ initiative. ArtAids fights AIDS with the power of art as its most important weapon. ArtAids invites leading artists to produce work that is inspired by AIDS and related problems. These works of art are used to raise the public’s consciousness and to encourage their involvement.

Fundació Han Nefkens

The Han Nefkens Foundation is a private non-profit organisation that was set up in Barcelona in 2009 with the aim of promoting the production of contemporary artworks. The mission is to stimulate artistic creation in Barcelona by offering international artists an opportunity to create artworks and interventions in the city, and to promote other fields of contemporary creation.


Han Nefkens started to collect art in 2000. The H+F Collection, named after himself and his partner Felipe, is in long-term loan to various museums in The Netherlands and abroad. Nowadays Han Nefkens is not only active as a collector but also as an initiator of international art projects, often in collaboration with museums and other art institutions.