On January 10, Guangzhou-based artist Zhou Tao was announced the winner of the first “Han Nefkens Foundation BACC Award for Contemporary Art in Asia,” jointly organized by the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (BACC) and the Spanish Han Nefkens Foundation. This biannual award grants the artist USD 3,000, as well as $12,000 to realize a commission for the museum during a two-month residency at the BACC.
The award promotes Asian artists under the age of 40 who have a strong body of work but little international recognition. This year’s jury, chaired by art collector Han Nefkens, unanimously selected Zhou out of a pool of thirty nominations. The jury members were Hilde Teerlinck (director of the Han Nefkens Foundation), Luckana Kunavichayanont (director of the BACC), Yuko Hasegawa (head curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo) and Chinese freelance curator Feng Boyi.
Zhou’s video and performance works show a sensitivity to man’s lived environment. In a video 1,2,3,4, created for the Seventh Shanghai Biennale in 2008, Zhou addresses the fast-paced changes and peculiar social rituals that have emerged in China’s urban centers. 1,2,3,4 documents in absurd succession different groups of employees in Shanghai counting off in time with their company’s song, a common exercise among corporations to boost team spirit.
The artist will return to Bangkok in June to take up his residency at the BACC and will exhibit his commissioned work at the museum in August.