Wu Tsang Awarded 2018 MacArthur Fellowship
By Dennis Mao
Filmmaker and performance artist Wu Tsang has been named one of the 25 MacArthur fellows for 2018. The MacArthur Fellowship is an annual USD 625,000 “no-strings-attached” award granted by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to creative individuals that allows recipients to advance their expertise, develop new work or pursue new projects. Tsang was selected for her “new conceptual and visual vocabularies [ . . . ] exploring hidden histories and marginalized narratives in works that collapse the boundaries between documentary and fiction,” according to the Foundation.
Tsang’s widely recognized projects include the film Wildness (2012), which tackles negotiations of identity and belonging through the lens of the historic underground Los Angeles nightclub Silver Platter and the weekly party “Wildness,” hosted there by Tsang and DJs Nguzunguzu and Total Freedom. Duilian (2016), the result of the artist’s six-month residency at Hong Kong’s Spring Workshop, revolves around feminist martyr Qiu Jin who was executed for revolting against the Qing Dynasty government in China, and her relationship with female calligrapher and publisher Wu Zhiying. Tsang’s latest film Into a Space of Love (2018), on the other hand, is an exploration of New York’s house music scene in the 1980s.
Tsang received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004 and an MFA from the University of California at Los Angeles in 2010. Her works have been exhibited at London's Tate Modern, New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art and New Museum, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, among other global institutions.
The 2018 MacArthur fellows also include artist and curator Julie Ault, choreographer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili and painter Titus Kaphar, in addition to practitioners from the fields of science, music, engineering, economics, music and writing.
Dennis Mao is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.
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