Chen Chieh-jen Named Artist Of The Year At 12th Award Of Art China
By Kayo Chang Black
On May 21, Taiwanese artist and filmmaker Chen Chieh-jen received the prestigious Artist of the Year honor at the Award of Art China (AAC) ceremony in Beijing. In its 12th year, AAC is an annual award founded by Chinese art media group Artron, recognizing the best of contemporary art within Greater China. Chen was presented with a trophy for his outstanding achievements as a leading figure in the promotion and development of Chinese contemporary art.
Chen was selected by a jury that was chaired by Chinese independent curator and art historian Zheng Shengtian, and that included American curator and writer Barbara London; Beijing-based critic and curator Fan Di'an; and Philip Tinari, director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing. Nominees are recommended by members of the AAC organizing committee based on their monthly observations reports on the Greater China contemporary art scene.
Born in 1960 in Taoyuan, Taiwan, Chen is known for challenging the territory's restraints on freedom of expression in the 1980s—when martial law imposed by the Kuomintang dictatorship was still in force—with guerrilla-style performance art and underground exhibitions. Spanning photography, video, performance and installation art, Chen explores experiences of marginalization in pre-democracy Taiwan, the territory’s political history and identity, and its transition to a globalized capitalist system.
Also announced at the AAC ceremony were the winners in three other categories. Beijing-based multimedia artist Cao Yu picked up the Young Artist of the Year Award; independent curator and critic Feng Boyi was named Curator of the Year; and Chinese Contemporary Art Yearbook (2015/16), edited by Zhu Qingsheng, was recognized as Publication of the Year.
Kayo Chang Black is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.
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