Ullens Center shows three Chinese Contemporary Art Award winners

Liu Wei Purple Air

An exhibition of the works by the winners of the Chinese Contemporary Art Awards is on at the Ullens Center until December 21 2008.

About the Chinese Contemporary Art Awards

The  awards were founded by Uli Sigg in 1997 as a nonprofit entity to enhance the position of Chinese contemporary art both domestically and internationally. With the growth of the art market in the ensuing decade, the purpose of the awards has shifted to emphasize a critical position on the conversation over what constitutes meaningful art in current Chinese production. In the words of Uli Sigg, “The market is today the dominant force to validate artworks. To balance and enrich this debate, an institution such as the CCAA plays an important role.” The awards offer a platform for artists to become recognized on the world stage and to allow foreign curators to identify some of the most interesting art in greater China.

About the exhibition at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

”We are really proud to present CCAA at UCCA. In showing the 2008 award winning artists, UCCA is committed to the future of Chinese art and recognizes its value beyond market forces” said Jerome Sans, UCCA Director.

Liu Wei, Tseng Yu-Chin, Ai Weiwei, were selected by a jury committee consisting of

  • Hou Hanru, Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and Chair of Exhibitions and Museum Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute;
  • Ken Lum, Canadian artist of Chinese heritage who has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, enjoyed a career in education, and has participated in many major exhibitions;
  • Gu Zhenqing, curator and critic in charge of the recently opened gallery Li Space;
  • Chris Dercon, Director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich;
  • Ruth Noack, curator of Documenta 12;
  • Huang Du, independent curator and critic who co-curated the sixth Shanghai Biennale;
  • and Uli Sigg, founder of CCAA.

The artists were judged on the display of ‘original and unique talent in artistic creation’  to help stimulate debates about artistic value in the currently booming art market.

The exhibition of the winning artists’ works is accompanied by a publication written by Pauline Yao, who received the newly-established Chinese Contemporary Art Award for independent art criticism in 2008. (Buy book here)

Liu Wei (1972) – Best Artist

Liu Wei was born in 1972 and is based in Beijing. His installation and conceptual artworks have achieved great success on the international art scene. In his experiments, he continually revises his system of artistic production and methodically interrogates that which most artists take for granted. He has shaken our understandings of both the definition of contemporary art and the role played by the exhibition in this system. Liu Wei does not fear failure, and often begins again after unsatisfactory projects. In this way, he gestures towards a future beyond the current boom in the Chinese art market against a background of global production and consumption.

Ai Weiwei Descending
 

 

 

 

Tseng Yu-Chin – Best Young Artist

Tseng Yu-Chin, born in 1978 and based in Taipei, is recognized with the Best Young Artist award, creates work characterized by a deep and subtle humanism. He is largely concerned with the role of the individual in the context of a changing contemporary society, especially in terms of the perceived demise of traditional configurations of community and family; his practice, however, is also filled with hope and redemption. His films and videos are in turns compassionate and voyeuristic, pushing depiction of his subjects almost to a point of representational crisis. In this way, he pays homage to the pioneering video art of Zhang Peili while developing a unique aesthetic voice. These pieces often appear as video vignettes borrowed from a particular model of Taiwanese cinema, allowing his work to act as a bridge between the changing modernities of mainland China and Taiwan.

Ai Weiwei – Lifetime Achievement award

Ai Weiwei, born in 1957 and based in Beijing, is recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Perhaps no artist has mirrored the volatile and challenging history of Chinese contemporary art more deeply and accurately than Ai Weiwei. His work has transcended the category of contemporary art and penetrated the very heart of Chinese society, engaging with China’s complex social and political dynamics and contributing to its radically changing architectural and designed spaces.

“These exhibitions and this book will shed more light on the winning artists Liu Wei, Tseng Yu-Chin, and Ai Weiwei. They were selected in a very intense jury meeting and they deserve all the attention the CCAA book and exhibitions can create!”
-Uli Sigg

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