Search “Asian art” on any popular search engine, and more likely than not, you’ll end up finding images of statues, prints and paintings from centuries ago and dynasties past. However, as acclaimed fashion label Hugo Boss and Shanghai’s Rockbund Art Museum want us to realize, the contemporary art scene in Asia is much more than that — it is thriving, developing and dynamic. The acclaimed fashion label and esteemed museum have teamed up to establish the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award in China to “specifically support this region of the art world, which is burgeoning in artistic energy and production.”
The award will be given out every two years to one of a number of select finalists, who are all up-and-coming Chinese artists “from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.” The winner of the inaugural award, who will win a stipend of ¥300,000 (over $48,000), will be announced at a special group exhibition at the Rockbund, starting this September. This year’s finalists include:
- Birdhead, Shanghai
- Hsu Chiawei, Taipei
- Hu Xiangqian, Beijing
- Kwan Sheung Chi, Hong Kong
- Lee Kit, Hong Kong, Taipei
- Li Liao, Shenzhen
- Li Wei, Beijing
This year’s internationally-based jury are esteemed figures in the art world, all of whom have made a positive impact on the development of contemporary art both in Asia and around the globe.
In addition to the award, the fashion power house and art haven have joined forces and resources to develop an educational and research program devoted to exploring the strengths and challenges facing contemporary Asian art, including panels and interviews with jury members and finalists.
The Hugo Boss Asia Art award is an exciting and much-needed distinction that is much more than a simple recognition of artistic ability. With both the award and accompanying program, the efforts of both Hugo Boss and the Rockbund are an important, and multi-faceted, affirmation of the ever-strengthening and ever-growing presence of Asia in the international art scene and opens the doors for both present and future artists to pursue their craft.
Featured photo: (Top Row, L to R) Li Wei, “I’m Calm”; Lee Kit, “How to set up an apartment for Johnny”; Hu Xiangqian; “Xiangqian Art Museum (Beijing)”; (Bottom Row, L to R) Hsu Chiawei, “The Temple on the Island”; Hsu Chiawei, “Hual-Mo Village”; Birdhead, “Ballad on Climbing Youzhou Tower”
For more information and to see works from all of this year’s finalists, check out Hugo Boss.