Zac Langdon-Pole Selected As 2018 BMW Art Journey Winner
By Christie Wong
On June 13, New Zealand artist Zac Langdon-Pole was announced as the winner of the BMW Art Journey award 2018 at Art Basel’s Swiss edition.
The artist’s proposed project, titled “Sutures of the Sky,” will involve following the seasonal migratory flight paths of birds across continents. According to the official press release, through this project, Langdon-Pole seeks to understand “how culture intersects with the science of celestial mapping,” and how these movements form a part of humanity’s development of identity in connection with our lived environments.
The winner was unanimously chosen by an international panel of jurors, including Richard Armstrong, director of New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation; Claire Hsu, director of the Hong Kong-based Asia Art Archive; Indian visual artist and president of the Kochi Biennale Foundation Bose Krishnamachari; Matthias Mühling, director of the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau in Munich; and Pauline J. Yao, curator of visual art at Hong Kong’s M+ Museum. Explaining their decision, the jury stated: “The first artistic expressions of humanity, until the 19th century, had been largely inspired by the beauty, grandeur, and spellbinding mysteries of nature. After the Enlightenment, this view of the wonders of the world became outdated. Zac Langdon-Pole's concept of an artist's journey brings this sense of wonder back to art, and as an occasion for ideological and political reflection.”
The shortlist for this year’s BMW Art Journey also included Pakistani visual artist Ali Kazim, and Los Angeles-based Colombian installation artist Gala Porras-Kim. All three shortlisted artists exhibited in the Discoveries sector, spotlighting emerging artists, at Art Basel Hong Kong in March 2018.
Langdon-Pole’s oeuvre centers on examinations of world narratives, and structures of knowledge and power, viewed through the lens of the natural world. Represented by Michael Lett gallery in Auckland, the artist has completed residencies in Denmark, Germany and Singapore.
BMW Art Journey is a collaboration between the eponymous German car manufacturer and Art Basel that allows artists to complete a creative research trip, culminating in a work of art. Langdon-Pole is the seventh winner since the initiative was established in 2015, joining the ranks of Indian visual artist Astha Butail, British collage artist Abigail Reynolds, and Hong Kong composer and installation artist Samson Young.
Christie Wong is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.
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