Apr 07 2017

Wang Bing announced winner of the 2017 EYE Art and Film Prize

by Katherine Volk

(From left to right) Alexander Rinnooy Kan, chairman of the EYE Filmmuseum board of trustees; Béla Tarr, screenwriter, director and jury member of the EYE Art and Film Prize 2017; Wang Bing, winner of the EYE Art & Film Prize 2017; and Sandra den Hamer, CEO of the EYE Filmmuseum at the EYE Gala 2017, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Photo by Floris Heuer.

On April 6, Wang Bing was announced as this year’s winner of the EYE Art and Film Prize. The award was presented at a ceremony at Amsterdam’s EYE Filmmuseum, and includes GBP 25,000 (USD 31,000) to fund new creations. Bing was selected by an international jury for his “significant body of work” and his “unprecedented contribution, not only to documentary film, but also to video installation and feature film.”

Beijing-based Wang Bing is a leading figure in Chinese cinema, primarily known for his documentation of China’s rapidly changing environment. Wang typically works alone with a digital camera to capture the country’s transformations. Sandra den Hamer, CEO of the EYE Filmmuseum and chairperson of the EYE Art and Film Prize said, “His well-constructed work has a deep knowledge of the visual language and is a strong voice, both in cinema and in the arts. While political and outspoken, Wang Bing doesn’t push viewers to accept his perspective, rather, his beautiful, brave work leaves room for interpretation.”

Wang debuted as a filmmaker in 1999 with a nine-hour documentary titled West of the Tracks (Tie Xi Qu) that captures industrial China. His short film Brutality Factory (Baoli Gongchang) premiered at the renowned Cannes Film Festival in 2007. He has won prestigious awards for his work, such as the Venice International Film Festival Orizzonti Prize in 2012 for his documentary Three Sisters (2012), which portrays three sisters living alone in a small rural village while their father works in the city. In 2014, both Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique in Brussels and Paris’s Centre Pompidou mounted retrospective presentations of Wang’s oeuvre.

The EYE Art and Film Prize was created in 2015 by the EYE Filmmuseum in collaboration with the Paddy and Joan Leigh Femor Arts Fund. The award supports artists and filmmakers that contribute to their fields in unique ways and enhance the development between the two fields.

This year, Wang Bing will be one of the artists taking part in Documenta 14. In early 2018, Wang Bing will be included in an exhibition with the two previous winners of the EYE Art and Film Prize, Hito Steyerl (2015) and Ben Rivers (2016).

Documenta 14 runs from April 8 to July 16, 2017 in Athens, Greece, and from June 10 to September 17 in Kassel, Germany. 

Katherine Volk is assistant editor at ArtAsiaPacific. 

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