2010 “Art Power” Awards Ceremony Held In Beijing: Zhou Chunya Tops, Ai Weiwei Outside

Zeng Fanzhi, Wu Guanzhong, UCCA Feted At Awards Ceremony

Most Influential Artist Zeng Fanzhi

Most Influential Artist Zeng Fanzhi

This week, BMW and Art Value Magazine (艺术财经) held the fourth annual “Chinese Contemporary Art Power” awards ceremony in Beijing’s 798 arts district, celebrating the work of some of China’s top artists, curators, galleries and arts institutions. Reflecting on the year in Chinese contemporary art, the key word during the event was “upward,” as the year marked a turnaround from the comparatively dour mood that prevailed in the wake of the global financial crisis in 2009. With 2010 being the year that blue-chip Chinese contemporary artists once again gained global recognition and new Chinese collectors drove Chinese art towards a “second boom,” this week’s “Art Power” awards had a lot of ground to cover.

In all, a jury of 100 artists, curators, and art critics voted on 18 awards to artists and arts organizations, celebrating “their efforts to impact the world of of Chinese contemporary art, to promote the Chinese contemporary art market and make a contribution to academic development, and to break through industry limitations.” Aside from these 18 awards, a special award was chosen via online voting, in cooperation with the Chinese online portal Sina — a partnership that caused a great deal of controversy last week, when it was found that Sina had abruptly stricken front-runner Ai Weiwei from the “Artist of the Year” vote (a category that was eventually dropped) and Three Shadows Photography Art Centre (designed by Ai and founded by artists Rong Rong and Inri) from the “Studio of the Year” category. In characteristic fashion, Ai Weiwei and a group of supporters showed up at the ceremony bearing an ironic banner mocking Sina.

Ai Weiwei and supporters carry ironic banners outside the awards ceremony

Ai Weiwei and supporters carry ironic banners outside the awards ceremony

In addition to Ai Weiwei (who stayed outside), a number of top Chinese contemporary artists made it out for the ceremony, including Fang Lijun, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhou Chunya, Yue Minjun and Wang Guangyi. Representatives were also on hand from auction houses Beijing Poly, China Guardian, Beijing Hanhai, and Shanghai Hosane, and galleries like Pace Beijing, UCCA and the Minsheng Art Museum. Arts insiders like Xiao Ke, Meng Jinghui, Wang Xiaoshuai and Liu Zhenyun and Ma Wei turned up for the event as well.

Now for the 2010 “Art Power Awards”:

Artist of the Year: Zhou Chunya (周春芽)

Most Influential Artist: Zeng Fanzhi (曾梵志)

Best New Artist: Li Hongjun (李红军)

In Memorium: Wu Guanzhong (吴冠中)

Best Curator: Wang Huangsheng (王璜生)

Best Public Education Program: Ullens Center for Contemporary Arts (UCCA)

Best Gallery: Pace Beijing

Best Art Event: Shanghai Biennale

Best Exhibition: Minsheng Art Museum Inaugural Exhibition

Best Museum Administrator: Fan Di’an (范迪安)

Best Auction House: Beijing Poly

Top Collectors: Liu Yiqian (刘益谦) and Wang Wei (王薇) — previously on Jing Daily

Top Promoter of Chinese Contemporary Art: He Juxing (何炬星)

Top Art Broker: Wang Dingqian (王定乾)

Most Popular Art Institution Among Internet Users*: China Guardian Auction House (voted on through Sina)

Zhou Chunya accepts the Best Artist award

Zhou Chunya accepts the Best Artist award

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Art & Auction, Culture, Events