press release

M+ Pavilion, Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District

Sigg Prize 2019 exhibition
07.12.2019 - 13.04.2020

M+, Hong Kong’s museum of 20th- and 21st-century visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District, is pleased to present the inaugural Sigg Prize exhibition.

The exhibition brings together work by the six artists shortlisted for the prize: Hu Xiaoyuan (born 1977, lives and works in Beijing), Liang Shuo (born 1976, lives and works in Beijing), Lin Yilin (born 1964, lives and works in New York), Shen Xin (born 1990, lives and works in Minneapolis and Amsterdam), Tao Hui (born 1987, lives and works in Beijing), and Samson Young (born 1979, lives and works in Hong Kong). In recent years, each has articulated a distinguished artistic language to address topics that defy easy categorisation.

Concentrating on work produced in the last two years, the combination of six practices in this exhibition reveals multiple connections with our current time. Some of the shortlisted artists react to and reflect on social and political realities, while others pursue the refinement and expression of personal languages and inner worlds. Together, these artists show the diversity of practices in the Greater China region today.

Hu Xiaoyuan’s Spheres of Doubt is an installation featuring raw silk and found objects that addresses the imperceptible passage of time and the nature of reality. Liang Shuo’s In the Peak is a site-specific work that consists of a bamboo structure placed outside the exhibition gallery at the M+ Pavilion, proposing a visual and spatial connection between Victoria Peak and the M+ building under construction. Lin Yilin’s Typhoon is a video documenting a performance in the artist’s native Guangzhou, constructing an unexpected experience of urban space. In the video installation Provocation of the Nightingale, Shen Xin explores questions of identity and trauma with a particular set of protagonists. Tao Hui’s nine-channel video installation Hello, Finale! reflects on questions related to death and endings. In the video work Muted Situations #22: Muted Tchaikovsky’s 5th, Samson Young presents an orchestral performance in which the musicians mute the notes they play, drawing the audience’s attention to sounds that often go unnoticed.

The Sigg Prize, established by M+ in Hong Kong in 2018, was formerly the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA), founded by Uli Sigg in China in 1998 and presided over by Liu Li Anna since 2011. The CCAA was the first award for contemporary art in mainland China, and it was a leading force in steering Chinese art and artists to the world, helping to frame the international conversation on Chinese contemporary art. The CCAA was granted to twenty-five artists or artist groups and nine art critics over its history. Following twenty years of activity, the CCAA has transitioned to the Sigg Prize, administered by M+.

During the exhibition, members of the Sigg Prize jury will select the winner. A cash prize of HK 500,000 will be awarded to the winner, and HK 100,000 will be awarded to each of the other shortlisted artists to encourage their future practice. The final result will be announced in March 2020.

The Sigg Prize is open to artists born or working in the Greater China region who produce work that is relevant to the region, with the intention to highlight and promote on an international scale diverse and exciting practices. The shortlisted artists were selected by an international jury. For this inaugural edition of the prize, co-chaired by Suhanya Raffel and Liu Li Anna, the members of the jury are Maria Balshaw (Director, Tate, United Kingdom), Bernard Blistène (Director, Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris), Gong Yan (Director, Power Station of Art, Shanghai), Lai Hsiangling (curator, Taipei), Suhanya Raffel (Museum Director, M+, Hong Kong), Uli Sigg (collector and member of the M+ Board, Switzerland), and Xu Bing (artist, Beijing).

The exhibition is curated by Pi Li, Sigg Senior Curator, Visual Art; with Isabella Tam, Associate Curator, Visual Art; Ariadne Long, Assistant Curator, Visual Art; Minnie Cheung, Curatorial Assistant; Kary Woo, Curatorial Assistant; and Lai Man Kit, Intern.

Dates and times: December 7, 2019–13 April 2020
11am–6pm, Wednesdays to Sundays and on public holidays. Closed on December 25, 2019, January 1, 2020, and January 25–26, 2020
Location: M+ Pavilion, Art Park, West Kowloon Cultural District
Free admission