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  • Apr 09, 2020

Hong Kong Artists Up For BMW Art Journey

On April 8, Art Basel and automobile company BMW released the 2020 artist shortlist for the BMW Art Journey award, which funds successful candidates on a research trip for the creation of a new work. The winner will be announced in June, based on project proposals from the three finalists who are Leelee Chan, Jes Fan, and artist duo Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho. 

Two of the finalists are from Hong Kong. Leelee Chan, born and based in the city, is best known for her sculptural creations that reflect scenes from contemporary urban settings which inspire her. She utilizes industrial and natural materials readily found in her surroundings to portray snapshots of the city, highlighting both the common need for simulated nature in the concrete jungles and the effects of consumerism. Brooklyn-based Jes Fan, who was born in Canada and raised in Hong Kong, examines how identities are formed on a biological and ontological level, working with materials such as glass, silicone, and resin, as well as organic substances like fat, to explore the limitations of the body and construct interpretations of what it means to be the other.

New York and Berlin-based duo Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho creates research-driven, immersive installations that reflect their ongoing interests in issues of globalization and transnational identity in line with their nomadic lifestyles. 

As Art Basel Hong Kong (ABHK) was cancelled this year due to Covid-19 and moved online, likewise the award’s selection process went digital with jury members reviewing submissions—which includes a video from each applicant discussing their works—online. 

For the first time since the award’s conception in 2015, the prize has been expanded to include mid-career artists in addition to emerging artists who are represented by galleries in either the Discoveries sector of ABHK or from a gallery founded less than ten years ago. This year’s jury included: director of Hong Kong’s Asia Art Archive, Claire Hsu; Matthias Mühling, director of the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich; Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, president of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Philip Tinari, director of Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA); and artist Samson Young, the first winner of the BMW prize.

Ashlyn Chak is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific

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