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  • Dec 29, 2023

Weekly News Roundup: December 29, 2023

Portrait of SHAHANA RAJANI. Courtesy of Han Nefkens Foundation.

Han Nefkens Foundation Named First South Asian Video Art Production Grantee

On December 20, the Han Nefkens Foundation announced that multidisciplinary artist Shahana Rajani is the inaugural recipient of its new South Asian Video Art Production Grant. The award aims to bolster video artists based in South Asia who have not had the opportunity to exhibit extensively despite producing a solid foundation of work. To aid in this endeavor, Rajani will receive a prize of USD 15,000 for the commission of a new work within a span of nine months, which will be presented by all the partner institutions of the grant, including: the Prameya Art Foundation, New Delhi; Nottingham Contemporary in the UK; Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai; the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo; the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, Belgium; and Para Site in Hong Kong. The jury for the grant explained why Rajani was selected: “Rajani’s work attempts to carry out a kind of listening, to things that are legible, illegible and the not yet legible in order to reflect on how every community's notion of belonging, resilience and resistance are as diverse as the histories they write.” 

Left: Gan Yingying and Zhou Yichen, winners of the Curatorial Award for Photography and Moving Image. Right: Lahem (Luo Xin) for the Discovery Award at Xiamen’s Jimei x Arles Photo Festival.

Xiamen’s Jimei x Arles Photo Festival Names Prize Winners

The ninth edition of Xiamen’s Jimei x Arles Photo Festival announced this year’s winners during the opening week on December 19. They include Lahem (Luo Xin) for the Discovery Award, along with Gan Yingying and Zhou Yichen for the Curatorial Award for Photography and Moving Image. Co-initiated by Beijing-based nonprofit Three Shadows Photography Art Centre and Les Rencontres d’Arles with support of Jimei District’s local government since 2015, the festival aims to nurture the creation, curation, and study of Chinese photography in Southeast China. With a prize of RMB 100,000 (USD 14,000), the Jimei x Arles Discovery Award invites the winner to hold a solo exhibition at the next edition of Les Rencontres d’Arles in France. Hangzhou-based artist and curator Lahem won the award for his exhibition at Jimei Art Centre titled “Modernity’s Fracture: The Odyssey of Returning Hometown,” which featured photography, video, and installations of his hometown, Sibei Village. The Curatorial Award for Photography and Moving Image, an award recently co-launched by Chanel in October 2021, provides an annual mentorship and exchange program, along with a cash prize of RMB 100,000 (USD 14,000) to winners Gan Yingying and Zhou Yichen for their exhibition “The Via Combusta,” which expanded on the Greek myth of Prometheus to explore intersections between “the ‘fire’ of technology and the ‘fire’ of spirit.” It will be presented at the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, as well as across cities in China in a traveling exhibition.

Portrait of NAMHEE PARK, the director of the Nam June Paik (NJP) Art Center in Yongin, South Korea. Courtesy NJP Art Center.

New Director to Lead Nam June Paik Art Center into 2024

Namhee Park was appointed the director of the Nam June Paik (NJP) Art Center in Yongin, South Korea. Park had taken on the role in late September, succeeding Seong Eun Kim, who had helmed the institution since 2019. The new director stated that her vision for the NJP Art Center includes “a hyperconnected shared platform in the 21st century heritage community,” with a “polyphony” of art, technology, and heritage as its core values. Park went on to describe how this vision can be achieved through three goals: first, the establishment of a public forum to facilitate further research on art and technology for a post-Nam June Paik exhibition; second, to bring Paik’s art closer as a public asset by collaborating with media artists, art centers, and museums, both locally and internationally; and lastly, to realize the artistic ethos of Paik “at a time when the value of world peace is required more than ever.” Park seeks to curate a space absent of isolation and discrimination so as “to cultivate the house where Paik lives on as the home to media art where the future lives.”

Construction work on teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi in the Saadiyat Cultural District. Courtesy Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi.

TeamLab Abu Dhabi Venue Nears Completion on Saadiyat Island

On December 27, the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi, with Miral, the leading creator of immersive destinations in Abu Dhabi, and the international art collective teamLab announced the completion of 70 percent of the overall development of teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi. When it opens in 2024, the 17,000-square-meter mega-project in the Saadiyat Cultural District will offer a multisensory exploration of experiential artworks created by the Japanese collective teamLab, offering creative spaces at the intersection of art and technology that inspire the imagination. This massive art project was conceptualized and designed by teamLab Architects as part of their new concept “Environmental Phenomena,” which aims to provide artworks with an environment to evolve alongside unique to Abu Dhabi.

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