Mar 02 2019



HAO JINGBAN is the winner of the 2019 Han Nefkens Foundation – ArcoMadrid Video Art Award. Pictured: Hao’s Off Takes, 2016, still from single-channel video: 21 min 18 sec. Courtesy the artist and Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong.

On March 2, Beijing-based artist Hao Jingban was announced as the winner of this year’s Han Nefkens Foundation – ArcoMadrid Video Art Award during the ArcoMadrid art fair. Hao will receive USD 15,000 to produce a video piece that will be presented at the Matadero Madrid in February 2020—coinciding with the next edition of ArcoMadrid—before touring internationally through to 2021. The annual award, now in its second edition, is dedicated to supporting video artists aged 35 or younger.

Born in 1985 in the Chinese province of Shanxi, Hao completed her Master of Arts degree in film studies at the University of London in 2010. Known for her research- and film-based practice, Hao gained international recognition for her Beijing Ballroom project (2012–16), which used found footage, archival materials and interviews pertaining to the ballroom dance traditions of 1950s to ’70s Beijing in order to reflect on historical narratives and social movements in China. In 2017, she was named Young Artist of the Year at the 11th Award of Art China, and also received the International Critics’ Prize at the 63rd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.

Hao was unanimously chosen from eight finalists by a jury that comprised Han Nefkens, founder of the eponymous Barcelona-based Foundation; Ana Ara, head of public programs at the Matadero Madrid; Manuel Segade, director of Móstoles’s Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo and curator of ArcoMadrid 2020; Sunjung Kim, president of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation; and Rein Wolfs, director of the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn. The jury praised Hao “for the creative strength and the capacity for critical self-reflection in her work, which is aesthetically impeccable and projected towards long-term practice.”

The finalists, among whom are Afghani multidisciplinary artist Aziz Hazara and Hong Kong animator Wong Ping, were nominated by ten international art critics and curators, including Liverpool Biennial director Fatoş Üstek, and Venus Lau, artistic director of K11 Art Foundation. This year’s edition asked artists to respond to the title of “Perfect Lovers,” after the 1991 installation by late Cuban-American artist Félix-González Torres. According to the Han Nefkens Foundation, this prompt is “more than a homage to the artist, it is a continuation of the reflection on the vital subjects of love, life and time.”

The inaugural winner of the Han Nefkens Foundation – ArcoMadrid Video Art Award was Maya Watanabe. The audio-visual installation she developed for the prize is titled Liminal (2019) and explores the notion of grief. The work debuted at Madrid’s La Casa Encendida on February 27 and will remain on view until March 31.

Xuan Wei Yap is ArtAsiaPacific’s editorial intern.

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E-flux CHRISTIE"S IAAC7 David Zwirner Johyun Gallery 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art