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2014.11.18 Tue, by
Winners of the 2014 CCAA Contemporary Chinese Art Award Announced

On November 14, the winners of the 2014 Contemporary Chinese Art Award (CCAA) were announced at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. Kan Xuan won the “Best Artist” award, Ni Youyu won the “Best Young Artist” award, while Song Dong won the “Outstanding Achievement” award. Kan Xuan and Ni Youyu will be awarded 10000 USD and 3000 USD respectively.

This year, 55 nominees were reviewed by the jury, which is made up of 7 members from China and internationally: Doryun Chong (Chief Curator at M+ Museum, Hong Kong), Chris Dercon (Director of Tate Modern, London), Gong Yan (Director of Power Station of Art, Shanghai), Jia Fangzhou (critic, curator), Ruth Noack (Curator of the 12th dOCUMENTA, Kassel, Germany), Uli Sigg (founder of CCAA, collector and former Swiss ambassador to China), Yin Shuangxi (critic, curator), and Liu Lili (Director of CCAA).

2014 CCAA Jury members: Jia Fangzhou, Uli Sigg, Ruth Noack
2014CCAA中国当代艺术奖艺术家奖评委贾方舟、Uli Sigg、Ruth Noack

The CCAA was founded by the Swiss collector Uli Sigg in 1997; the first awards were granted in 1998, with subsequent awards given out every two years. Aside from the award ceremony, there are also promotional activities and art exhibitions organized. Earlier this year, the “15 Years: CCAA” exhibition was presented at the Power Station of Art in Shanghai; it was the largest exhibition of CCAA to date and attracted widespread attention.

This year, the Art awards were also opened up to public nominations; this combination of nominations and public applications is aimed at encouraging independent artists who may not be very prominent within the public, market, or academic spheres to apply themselves.

The jury made the following comments about the winners:

Kan Xuan 阚萱

Kan Xuan 阚萱

“As a cutting-edge experimental video artist who has kept up her practice since the late 1990s, Kan Xuan is well known to the public. From her early video work ‘Ai!’ (1999) onwards, Kan Xuan has continually and deftly presented a real energy fusing simple and incising critical angles in order to highlight the social and emotional landscapes of contemporary life. These landscapes are filled with the brittle belief systems arising from growth and consumption, as well as the tension and intimacy between humans and objects. The work ‘Millet Mounds’ is also a sign that Kan Xuan is entering the next stage in her already well-established artistic career.”

Kan Xuan, “Millet Mounds”, 173 videos


Ni Youyu 倪有鱼

Ni Youyu 倪有鱼

“Though Ni Youyu is still a young artist, his works have already exhibited a high degree of amplitude and cohesiveness, while at the same time convey the conditions of contemporary thought as well as a traditional sensibility. In his works, the artist employs natural materials as well as set phrases in art and philosophy, conferring on them a new concrete reality. The works need to be understood through observation, sensation, and reflection, while also being the reflection and intersection of the artist’s eyes, hands, and mind. From this angle, he can also be interpreted within the context of traditional Chinese art. His techniques and themes are closely linked to the modern age, and focuses on the contemporary by having a foot in the past.”

Ni Youyu, “Pagoda”, wood, iron, 40 x 40 x 232 cm, 2013–2014
倪有鱼,《浮屠》,木、钢,40 x 40 x 232 cm, 2013-2014

Ni Youyu, “Galaxy”, miniature drawings, dimensions variable


Song Dong 宋冬

Song Dong 宋冬

“Since the 1990s, Song Dong has held an indispensable place within contemporary Chinese art. His early single-channel video works and his later performances and video works are equally important and highly appealing. In his works are presented the intense transpositions between urban spaces, individuals, family relations, as well as history and memory.”

Song Dong, “Wisdom of the Poor”, installation, 2005–2010

Song Dong, “Doing Nothing Garden”, 2010–2012
宋冬,《白做园》, 2010-2012

Song Dong, “Waste Not”, installation and project, dimensions variable, 2005

Past CCAA Winners:


2012 Pak Sheung Cheun (Best Artist), Yan Xing (Best Young Artist), Geng Jianyi (Outstanding Achievement)

2010 Duan Jianyu (Best Artist), Sun Xun (Best Young Artist), Zhang Peili (Outstanding Achievement)

2008 Liu Wei (Best Artist), Tseng Yu-chin (Best Young Artist), Ai Weiwei (Outstanding Achievement)

2006 Zheng Guogu (Best Artist), Cao Fei (Best Young Artist), Huang Yong Ping (Outstanding Achievement)

2004 Xu Zhen (Best Artist), Song Tao (Best Young Artist), Gu Dexin (Outstanding Achievement)

2002 Yan Lei (Best Artist), Sun Yuan & Peng Yu (Best Young Artist)

2000 Xiao Yu (Best Artist)

1998 Zhou Tiehai (Best Artist)

Critics’ Award:

2013 Dong Bingfeng (Critics’ Award), Cui Cancan

2011 Zhu Zhu (Critics’ Award), Venus Lau Sau-yee (Special Mention)

2009 Wang Chunchen (Critics’ Award)

2007 Pauline J. Yao (Critics’ Award)

(Source in Chinese: here, here, here, and here)