Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Yishu Awards for Critical Writing on Contemporary Chinese Art

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art is pleased to announce the recipients of the Inaugural Yishu Awards for Critical Writing on Contemporary Chinese Art. Two jurors each made an independent selection: Britta Erickson, scholar of Chinese art, selected Maya Kóvskaya; and Gao Minglu, curator and critic of contemporary Chinese art, selected Sheng Wei. The awards carry a value of $5,000 CAD each, and each of the recipients will have a text published in the November/December 2010 issue of Yishu. The Yishu Awards for Critical Writing on Contemporary Chinese Art were established to encourage and recognize writers who are making an outstanding contribution to understanding the history and current issues of contemporary Chinese art.

Maya Kóvskaya is a curator, writer, and independent scholar on contemporary art. In 2009, she received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She moved to Beijing in 1996 and in 2009 established a second home base in New Delhi. She has curated exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art in Beijing, New Delhi, Houston, Los Angeles, Berkeley, and Toronto. Her writing has appeared in Art Review, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Art iT, Flash Art, Eyemazing, and positions: east asia cultures critique. Erickson says of Kóvskaya, “Connecting with the underground music and art scene after her arrival in Beijing, Maya Kóvskaya has since emerged as a critic and curator passionately engaged with contemporary Chinese art. While she knows critical theory, she resists the easy allure of flaunting such knowledge for its own sake, applying it in the service of an enhanced understanding of works of art.”

Sheng Wei was born in Chongqing and received his B.A. in art history from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, his M.A. in critical art history and theory from Tsinghua University, and his Ph.D. in Western modern art study from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Now he is engaged in the artistic study, criticism, and curatorship of modern/contemporary art in both China and the West. He was the editor-in-chief of Art Exit and Muse Art successively and was awarded the Wang Senran Art History Award in 2009. Gao comments, “Sheng Wei is a young critic who has emerged in the past few years, and has been quick to comprehend the contemporary art scene. With a profound knowledge of art history and theory, Sheng has become among the best young critics.”

The award ceremony will take place at the Xi’an Art Museum in Xi’an, China on September 10, 2010, and will be followed by two panel discussions:


Venue: Xi’an Art Museum, Shaanxi, China
Date: September 10th, 2010

First Panel: What Is Critical Art Writing Today?
Moderator: Keith Wallace, Editor-in-Chief,
Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Vancouver
Panelists: Murtaza Vali, Critic and Art Historian, Sharjah/Brooklyn
Britta Erickson, Curator and Critic, Palo Alto
Ken Lum, Artist and Professor, Vancouver
Maya Kóvskaya, Curator and Critic, New Delhi/Beijing

Second Panel: Critical Art Writing from a Local Perspective
Moderator: Gao Minglu, Curator and Critic, University of Pittsburgh, Beijing/Pittsburgh
Panelists: Yan Shanchun, Director, Shenzhen Painting Academy, Shenzhen
Jason Chia Chi Wang, Curator and Critic, Taipei
Carol Yinghua Lu, Curator and Critic, Beijing
Sheng Wei, Curator and Critic, Beijing/Chongqing

The event is open to public. Please contact Echo Zheng at Xi’an Art Museum for more information or to reserve a seat.

Support for the awards is courtesy of the Canadian Foundation for Asian Art, Stephanie Holmquist and Mark Allison, and Xi’an Art Museum, Shaanxi, China.

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