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  • Mar 01, 2024

Weekly News Roundup: March 1, 2024

Portrait of SUNG TIEU. Courtesy Schering Stiftung. 

Sung Tieu Wins Schering Stiftung Award 

The Berlin-based nonprofit foundation Schering Stiftung announced on February 28 that German-Vietnamese artist Sung Tieu was awarded the Schering Stiftung Award for Artistic Research 2024. The award was previously known as the Schering Stiftung Art Award and was redesigned in 2019 with the assistance of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion. Since 2020 it has launched a funding program that combines public and private funding for artistic research. In collaboration with KW Institute for Contemporary Art, the EUR 15,000 (USD 16,200) award includes a solo exhibition at KW for which the artist will create new commissioned work alongside a publication. The exhibition will be curated by Léon Kruijswijk from KW and is scheduled to open in February 2025. 

Portrait of NICOLE YIP. Courtesy Spike Island. 

Spike Island Names Nicole Yip as Director

The Glasgow-based writer and curator Nicole Yip was appointed as the new director of Bristol’s contemporary art center Spike Island on February 28. Yip will take up her new post in June, ending her tenure as chief curator of exhibitions and live programs at Nottingham Contemporary, where she has worked since 2019. Yip’s writing has been published by Frieze, CURA, the Paul Mellon Centre, and Yale University Press, among others. She is also a trustee of Film London and chair of Film London’s Artists’ Moving Image Network. Succeeding Robert Leckie as director, Yip is co-curating a major retrospective of the late British artist Donald Rodney, which will move from Spike Island to Nottingham Contemporary and London’s Whitechapel Gallery from 2024 until 2025. 

Futian, Shenzhen via Wikimedia Commons. 

Art Week Shenzhen Kicks Off

From March 18 to 24, more than 30 art galleries and seven nonprofit art institutions will gather to present the inaugural edition of Art Week Shenzhen. Hosted by China Merchants Culture Industry, Art Week Shenzhen will bring together institutions, artists, curators, collectors, and media for a week of exhibitions, forums, and social events. Various participating institutions from Shenzhen and its surrounding area, such as Shenzhen Art Museum, Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art and Urban Planning (MOCAUP), Sea World Culture and Arts Center, Times Museum, and others, will organize various activities across the city in the lead up to Art Basel HK, which is set to take place the following week. “Shenzhen’s art scene has been very active in recent years, and there are no signs of it slowing down, but rather, it’s growing rapidly,” said Zi Jing, director of Art Week Shenzhen. “Debuting the art week before Art Basel HK will allow our city’s art institutions to showcase what they have to offer, creating a new art map and allowing collectors to visit and exchange ideas.”

Portrait of DAISY NAM. Courtesy Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art. 

Daisy Nam to Lead CCA Wattis 

On February 27, the California College of the Arts announced Daisy Nam as the new director and chief curator of the college’s Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco. Nam will begin her new position on April 1, ahead of the Wattis’s reopening in a new space later this year. She was chosen for her extensive experience working with artists to curate and develop exhibitions, commissions, public and teaching programs, as well as fundraising and donor cultivation. Prior to joining Wattis, Nam was the curator (2020– ) and director (2022– ) at Ballroom Marfa in western Texas. During her tenure at Ballroom Marfa she curated exhibitions such as “Guadalupe Maravilla: Mariposa Relámpago,” “Kenneth Tam: Tender is the hand which holds the stone of memory” and the group show “Tongues of Fire.”

UNESCO World Heritage site of Hegra (Mada’in Salih) in AlUla, 2019. Photo by Ridet. Courtesy Afalula.

French Agency Managing Saudi Projects Faces Audit 

Afalula, the French agency charged with turning Saudi Arabia’s desert region of AlUla into an arts destination, is facing an internal audit. It will be carried out concurrently with the investigation into the corruption scandals concerning Amr al-Madani, the former chief executive of Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU). According to French newspaper Le Monde, Afalula’s budget reached USD 65 million in 2023 as part of the intergovernmental deal between France and Saudi Arabia that guarantees USD 32.4 million per year, over a period of ten years, starting in 2018. Afalula has been entrusted with a slew of cultural and luxury projects that will decorate AlUla’s historic ruins and desert canyons. Referring to the audit, a spokesperson for Afalula said, “This is an internal Saudi affair, with no impact on our action.”

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