• News
  • Jan 04, 2024

M+ Sigg Prize 2023 Goes to Wang Tuo

WANG TUO with his work The Northeast Tetralogy, 2018-21, at "Sigg Prize 2023," M+, Hong Kong. Photo by Dan Leung. Courtesy M+, Hong Kong.

On January 4, M+ in Hong Kong announced that the Sigg Prize 2023 has been awarded to the Beijing-based artist Wang Tuo for his multichannel video work The Northeast Tetralogy (2018–21). Wang will receive a cash prize of HKD 500,000 (USD 64,000) while the five other shortlisted artists—Yu Ji, Trevor Yeung, Jes Fan, Xie Nanxing, and Miao Ying—were each awarded HKD 100,000 (USD 12,800). 

Born in Jilin in 1984, Wang is known for his moving-image, painting, and performance works that merge historical archives, mythology, and speculative narratives, blurring the boundaries between reality and fiction. Often drawing references from modern Chinese and East Asian history, Wang attempts to expose the driving force behind our social fabric by unraveling norms and historical traumas.

The artist’s triumphal work The Northeast Tetralogy is a multichannel installation of four videos: Smoke and Fire (2018), Distorting Words (2019), Tungus (2021), and Wailing Requiem (2021). The videos portray different protagonists across various periods in China that blend historical and fictional events. The video installation was set according to the outline of a shanshui painting, resulting in a monumental video collage that seeks possible resonance between the taboo and forgotten characteristics in Chinese culture.

The Sigg Prize jury called the work: “a pertinent and timely inquiry into the record and interpretation of history in the Greater China region and beyond . . . an elegant and resonating cinematic experience.” Suhanya Raffel, the museum director of M+ and a chair of the Sigg Prize, further noted: “Many layers of narratives in his epic work help foster cultural dialogue and demonstrate his unique vision of the contemporary world.”

Nearly 40 years old, Wang has already participated in solo exhibitions at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art and Taikang Space in Beijing, as well as New York’s Present Company. His works have also been presented in group exhibitions at the Seoul's National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; the Queens Museum, New York; Shanghai’s Power Station of Art; and the Times Museum of Guangzhou. Previously, he won the Three Shadows Photography Award and received the Outstanding Art Exploration Award at the Beijing International Short Film Festival and the Youth Contemporary Art Wuzhen Award in 2019.

The Sigg Prize 2023 exhibition at M+ is free for entry and closes on January 14, 2024. 

Alex Yiu is associate editor at ArtAsiaPacific.

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