Swatch Young Illustrators Award 2010

05 to 06-NOV-2010, Berlin, Germany

The Swatch Young Illustrators Award, the world’s most important prize for contemporary illustration, was awarded during a grand gala on a rainy friday night, 5-NOV at the Direktorenhaus, a new art space in Berlin.  A Swatch The Club Event was held to commemorate this occasion, so about 65 Club members were able to join the gala together with about 120 award nominees, VIPs, and journalists. 

At about 7pm, we met in front of the Direktorenhaus.  It was a little wet and windy, so we were happy when the doors opened on time.

a perfect fit!

art is everywhere!

At the wardrobe, we received our "entrance pass" for the night:  A New Gent (any of the 10 available) Young Illustrators Award 2010 with a special loop around the strap (no special ref.code).  Approx. 200 pcs were distributed.

The invitation said "Dress code: elegant or gala.", so most of us were dressed quite nice (I even dug out my wedding dress after 15 years :-)

Antonio: "no tie if you work for Swatch!"

artists top, collectors bottom? :-)

At about 8pm, the doors of the gala room were opened so we could quickly find a table.

Each table had a dark wooden table top and a few fluorescent pens so everyone was free to decorate his table...  A great idea, nicely fitting the theme of the evening. The paint of the table top was not completely dry, so it left a few marks on our nice white shirts :-/  As you can see, the artists had already been busy before the opening of the doors:

OK, yes, I am not an artist...

A real award ceremony needs some entertainment:  First act of the evening (before the welcome speech) was Bella Berlin, the "living disco ball"...

The jury of the Swatch Young Illustrators Award, initiated by the Berlin Illustrative founder and curator Pascal Johanssen, consisted of international renowned publishers and art experts like Patrick Burgoyne from Creative Review, Matthias Straub from Kinki Magazine, Akinori Kojima from Asterisk Agency, Maria Serrano from étapes, Pablo IA from Bélio Magazine, Julius Wiedemann from Taschen, Fernando Galan from Art Magazine, the art director Keiichi Tanaami, Jessica Helfand from the Design Observer, Ruben Enrique Diaz from Neo2, Lilet Breddels from Volume Magazine and Claudia Gerdes from Page Magazine.  They worked their way to many submissions and finally, they found the 15 nominees for the Swatch Young Illustrators Award.

Our hosts of the evening were two actors from Germany: Johanna Klum and Alexander Khuon:

The first award (category book art) was given by Swatch Artist, designer and Pro Team member in snowboard David Benedek to Hei Shing Chan from Hong Kong:

The second award (category animation) was given by GREMS, well known among Swatch collectors for his 2009 club watch.  You can see him on the picture below standing on the 2nd position from the left.  The winner in this category is Hara Katsiki from Greece:

The third award (category illustration [the essential discipline of the SYIA]) was presented by the internationally known German illustrator and artist Martin Haake:

The winners in the category illustration were Pascale Mira Tschaeni & Michael Husmann Tschaeni from Switzerland:

Between the award presentations, different courses of the dinner were served.  Others used their time for creating new art:

And finally, it was time to unveil the new art Swatch designed by last years special prize winner Takashi Koshii.  The watch was presented by Jörg Cieslak, Brand Manager Swatch Germany:

A short animated video introduced the watch:

Takashi Koshii entered the stage for the presentation of the watch:

he even held a very nice short speech in english

picture by Swatch

The artist special is called Electricity Man (SUOZ102S), limited and numbered to only 777 pcs. 

It is a New Gent watch and it comes in a very nice special packaging:

After the official launch of the watch, it was time to present the winner of the special prize of the SYIA 2010:  Julien Pacaud, illustrator from France.  He will design a Swatch watch in 2011!

With this last award, the ceremony of the Swatch Young Illustrators Award 2010 came to an end and Pascal Johanssen (Berlin Illustrative founder and curator) invited all guests to A Night at the Opium Den in another part of the building...

But of course, the die-hard Swatch collectors could not leave without a signature by Takashi Koshii!

a proud winner!

Click here to read part 2 ("A Night At The Opium Den and The Creative Corner") of my Berlin Swatch Young Illustrators Award 2010 report.

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