Winner of the Wolfgang Hahn Prize 2016, Huang Yong Ping is a central figure in contemporary art discourse.
Cologne’s Museum Ludwig is holding an exhibition of the Chinese artist’s work spanning from 1983 to 2004, including a recent acquisition by the Museum as part of the Wolfgang Hahn Prize 2016. As the exhibition draws to a close on 28 August, Art Radar offers a view of the show with an exclusive photo gallery.
“Huang Yong Ping: 2016 Wolfgang Hahn Prize” opened on 13 April 2016 at Cologne’s Museum Ludwig, a day after the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst am Museum Ludwig awarded the Paris-based Chinese artist with the Wolfgang Hahn Prize 2016, which honours “preeminent artists who have established themselves in the art world through an internationally recognized oeuvre”.
The jury for the 2016 Prize included M+ Chief Curator Doryun Chong as guest juror. The choice of an eminent Chinese artist who emerged from China’s avant-garde and who is also “well-versed in Western contemporary art” was justified by Chong, as quoted in the press release:
Without ever sacrificing either iconographical ingenuity or sculptural mastery, Mr. Huang’s work shows us what is not familiar and soothing. For this reason, we celebrate him and artists like him. We need our artists to be bards for our contemporary times, speaking uncomfortable truths and reminding us of convenient oblivions.
The exhibition features works ranging from 1983 to 2004, including one of Huang Yong Ping‘s (b. 1954, China) best-known artworks, entitled The History of Chinese Painting and the History of Modern Western Art Washed in the Washing Machine for Two Minutes (1987). The piece is “representative of Huang’s modus operandi”, as Museum Ludwig explains: “an existing phenomenon or object is scrutinized and transformed; supposedly established meanings are questioned and can be renegotiated.”
An important component of the show is the 2004 work Mémorandum: Bat Project I, II, III, 2001–2003, which takes as its point of departure the collision on 1 April 2001 of an American EP-3 spy plane (also called the “Bat”) with a Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea. The installation was acquired by the Museum Ludwig as part of the 2016 prize.
Quoted in the press release, Yilmaz Dziewior, Director of the Museum Ludwig and also a member of the jury, states:
Huang Yong Ping’s work is shaped by a richness and individuality that makes it impossible to tie it to a single cultural sphere. He represents the encounter between the so-called West and the so-called East in such a detailed and knowledgeable manner that each culture becomes intertwined with the other, and it becomes difficult to decipher individual characteristics. I am very pleased that with Huang Yong Ping, for the first time in over twenty years, an artist who is not from Europe or North America has been awarded the Wolfgang Hahn Prize.
“Huang Yong Ping: 2016 Wolfgang Hahn Prize” runs from 13 April to 28 August 2016 at Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany.
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