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  • Jun 15, 2018

Suki Seokyeong Kang And Lawrence Abu Hamdan Win 20th Baloise Art Prize

On June 12, the 20th Baloise Art Prize was awarded to Suki Seokyeong Kang and Lawrence Abu Hamdan for their projects shown in the Statements sector at Art Basel in Switzerland. 

The prize is organized by the Swiss insurance holding company Baloise Group, and awards CHF 30,000 (USD 30,095) to each of the winners, highlighting exemplary solo presentations in the emerging section of the fair. The jury this year included Marie-Noëlle Farcy, curator and head of collection at Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (MUDAM), Luxembourg; Gabriele Knapstein, head of Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; Martin Hatebur, president of Basler Kunstverein and Kunsthalle Basel; Philippe Pirotte, rector of Städelschule Frankfurt; and Martin Schwander, artistic advisor to the Baloise Group and chairman of the jury.

One and J. Gallery presented four of Kang’s sculptures made from painted steel, leather, and wool, whose curving forms derive from Jeongganbo, a traditional Korean musical notation. At the booth of Mor Charpentier was Hamdan’s 2017 eight-channel video This Whole Time There Were No Land Mines, a project that looks at communities divided by the Syrian-Israeli border in the occupied Golan Heights, who communicate with each other by shouting from the hilltops. The works will be acquired by Baloise and donated to the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and MUDAM, Luxembourg.

Beirut-based Hamdan has received multiple accolades for his practice in the past few years. In March, he scooped up the 2018 Abraaj Group Art Prize at Art Dubai, then in 2017, he was presented the Tiger short film award for Rubber Coated Steel (2016) by the Rotterdam International Festival. In 2016, he won the Nam June Paik Award for new media. 

2018 has been a standout year for Kang too. The Institute of Contemporary Arts in Philadelphia is currently showing the first museum exhibition of the artist’s works in the United States, which includes the stateside premier of the Korean-tradition-inspired Gesamtkunstwerk Black Mat Oriole (2011–16), previously shown at the Gwangju Biennale in 2016. 

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