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  • Nov 10, 2021

Virtual Reality Artwork Wins the 4th VH Award

Portrait of LAWRENCE LEK. Photo by Ilyes Griyeb. Courtesy Art Basel and Hyundai Motor Group VH Award.

On November 10, Seoul’s Hyundai Motor Group announced London-based multimedia artist Lawrence Lek as the Grand Prix winner of the 4th VH Award during a virtual ceremony held on the online platform SpatialWeb. Lek received a total cash prize of USD 50,000 for his virtual reality (VR) work Black Cloud (2021).

Spanning films, video games, VR, and music, Lek’s practice often questions the boundary between reality and virtuality, and examines the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in society. Black Cloud is a compilation of Lek’s ongoing VR productions, in which the artist explores the dynamics between AI technology and its influence on the geopolitical landscape of society using video game technology and CGI effects.

The four other finalists are Chicago-based Hong Kong artist Doreen Chan, New Delhi-based film director Paribartana Mohanty, Yogyakarta-based artist Syaura Qotrunadha, and Seoul-based multidisciplinary artist Jungwon Seo. Each finalist received USD 25,000 to produce audio-visual screen-based works.

All five artists’ works premiered at the virtual ceremony, and are available for public viewing on the website for the 4th VH Award. During the ceremony, visitors had a chance to join a virtual treasure hunt and collect NFTs that contain excerpts from the finalists’ works. The jury this year consisted of Tate Modern’s senior curator, Sook-Kyung Lee; independent curator and art critic, Christopher Phillips; Eyebeam’s executive director, Roderick Schrock; director of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN), Aaron Seeto; and Singapore Art Museum’s director of Curatorial, Collections and Programmes, June Yap.

Art director of Hyundai Motor, Choi Doo Eun, commented on this year’s finalists, “[t]hese emerging artists have illuminated our views on the future of humanity and empowered us to forge connections across cultural boundaries.” Previous winners include multimedia artist and graphic designer Dongjoo Seo, new media artist Hyungkyu Kim, and conceptual artist Je Baak. Their works are also publicly accessible through the VH Award website

Victoria Chan is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.

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