An international men’s health clinic has launched a new arts award aimed to raise awareness on the importance of sexual health this year.
Called the PULSE Awards: The Art of Life, the initiative is organised by PULSE Clinic and is calling for artists from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong to submit their artworks in five categories, namely: Painting (2D), Sculpture (3D), Photography, Ceramics and Digital Art. The theme this year is Sexual Health Matters.
Two winners will be selected from each category – First Prize and Most Promising – and both winners per category will take home US$3,200 and US$1,600 respectively. In addition to the prize money, finalists for the initiative will also have a chance to exhibit their works in Bangkok for a charity auction at the end of the year.
Half of proceeds will go to the artists and the remaining will be donated to Foundation for Life, a new charity based in Singapore that promotes awareness about STIs and heath services.
The awards is the brainchild of Dr Deyn Natthakhet Yaemim, who founded the first PULSE Clinic in Bangkok in 2015. Since then, the clinic has experienced a meteoric rise and now boasts 14 clinics scattered around Southeast Asia, including in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Speaking about the theme of the awards this year, Dr Deyn said he hopes to raise awareness on the importance of sexual health, remove social stigma towards the LGBTQ+ community, and normalise society’s attitudes towards sex and sexuality.
“After years of social suppression and depression, I think it’s time for us to feel some love, view some arts, be more aware of the things in life that matter but we don’t talk about it enough, such as sex, gender, and sexuality,” said the medical doctor, who is also a researcher with the Maastricht University in Netherlands.
“If God created human minds to be sexual, then God is definitely sexual and I am sure that the same God would want us to care more about sexual health and sexual mental health,” he added.
Interested artists are encouraged to submit artworks that are related to sex and sexual health, and also be creative in their interpretation of the subject, said Dr Deyn.
“Flowers are very sexual, animals are sexual, humans are sexual… Leather, high heels, muscles, bulges, curvy lines, candles. Anything can be related to sex and sexual health, it all depends on how you think about the topic and how you want to express it.”
The initiative is open only to new or emerging contemporary visual artists who are at least 18 years old. They must also be either local or foreign residents in Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Thailand, and Vietnam.
There is no entry fee and the deadline for submissions is 15 October. Winners will be announced on World Aids Day, 1 December. For more information on the PULSE Awards, including the criteria, prizes, and submission guidelines, visit the Call To Artists page.
This post is brought to you by PULSE CLINIC. PULSE CLINICS provide quality healthcare for all and are located in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore with a worldwide collaboration and support system. Here to help, not to judge.