HUGO BOSS ASIA ART 2019 opens at Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, unveiling a rich diversity of artworks by the four finalist artists


Duration: October 18, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Venue: Rockbund Art Museum, No. 20 Huqiu Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai

Artist: Hao Jingban, Hsu Che-Yu, Eisa Jocson and Thảo-Nguyên Phan

(October 17, Shanghai, China) The Rockbund Art Museum together with HUGO BOSS hereby announce tomorrows opening of an exhibition of artworks by the finalists of the 2019 HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award for Emerging Asian Artists .

Since its inception in 2013 the Award has encouraged and promoted new and diverse narratives in contemporary Asian art, while continuously reviewing and improving its own selection methodology. This year’s competition will employ the same process as last year’s, where finalists were carefully chosen from a list of names established by a multiregional group of nominators and a selection jury. Following from the deliberations of the nominating committee, the finalist artists of the fourth edition of the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award are: Hao Jingban, Hsu Che-Yu, Eisa Jocson  and Thảo-Nguyên Phan.

From October 18, 2019 to January 5, 2020, the exhibition of works by the four finalists will be open to the public at the Rockbund Art Museum. The winner of the Award will be announced on November 6; the Award carries a stipend of RMB 300.000.

Hao Jingban

Film and video play a significant role in Hao Jingban’s practice. Against a sea of ever-changing images and rapid development, Hao is adept at finding new spaces to discover forgotten narratives and images from the past. Her latest work Forsaken Landscapes 2019 is set in a north-eastern hinterland. Using an immersive montage that moves between moving-images and performance, different moments in the history of film in China that took place in this landscape are interwoven. Such intervention explores the capacity of cinema to shape our relationship to different landscapes and reflects on how we project meaning onto these terrains.

Hsu Che-Yu

Working between the worlds of filmmaking, animation, and drawing, Hsu Che-Yu’s art examines in forensic-like detail the abnormalities that occur in the portrayal of our reality through mass media. His latest work Single Copy continues to explore how this intertwines with our daily lives to merge fact and fiction in various unexpected ways. It looks deeply into the meaning of what it means to have a life under the interpretation of media, also discusses how our memories intersect with technology and how this influences the collective imagination.

Eisa Jocson

Trained as a visual artist with a background in ballet, Eisa Jocson distils folk rituals, oral traditions and contemporary pop songs into a growing archive of key extracts, phrases and dance routines this time, maping out a contemporary adaption of the ancient ‘epic’ tradition of femininity to different generations in the Philippines. In the exhibition, she also reflects on her previous performances. From pole dancing or macho dancing, to the strict protocols of a hostess or the dramaturgy of a Disney princess, Jocson is able to rewire the logic of these dance forms, and investigates the identity and gender formation, and creates a new space to question what the migrant Filipino body can mean and represent.

Thảo-Nguyên Phan

Thảo-Nguyên Phan’s practice has its origins in painting, which has now developed towards a practice that weaves together drawing, sculpture, and video. These different facets allow for a multi-layered visual experience, which the artist describes as a “half-real, half-fictitious”. No jute cloth for the bones is a new site-specific intervention where a mass of natural jute stalks are suspended from the ceiling of the space. The audiences are encouraged to interact and pass through the work. Its ghostly presence is a physical reminder to us of past historical events that refuses to disappear.

Based on their individual identities and cultural backgrounds, the four artists have each developed their own unique manner of engaging in artistic research, resulting in the creation of substantial, breakthrough works. From body and sound performances to moving imagery, from fictional and non-fictional narratives to visual installations, these four artists are dedicated to exploring the many layers of cultural contexts and historical accounts, producing works which are creative responses to or modifications of such themes, and which present societal issues and artistic endeavors very relevant to their time.

Billy Tang, the curator of the exhibition, remarks, with the fourth iteration of the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award for Emerging Artists there is particular attention to symbolic boundaries that define our connection to a geography, the circulation of material in the information age that gives structure to our collective memories, and also migration within the region and its effects on the body and our language forms. The group exhibition format brings with it opportunities for interaction and speculation. Through the display of different works by these four artists, as well as the publication of exhibition-related materials and a series of educational activities (lectures, workshops, etc.), the public will be able to grasp the diverse potential and independent vision of contemporary art in our world today.

“We are pleased to see how the Award has evolved over the past six years. Together with the Rockbund Art Museum we want to invite the art community, our customers and a wider international audience to experience the exciting vibe of Asia’s cultural scene. It is with great pleasure that we are exploring the four nominated artists’ oeuvres in the show, including their latest work,” says Mark Langer, CEO of HUGO BOSS AG.

Since its inauguration in 2013, the “HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award” represents a network of multiregional and multidisciplinary partners from all over Asia. Throughout significant societal, economic and cultural changes in Asia, it has played a role in critical developments in contemporary art and exhibition projects in the region. Over the period of a few years, the competition has developed alongside artists, independent curators, researchers and art institutions in the region, and has reconstructed the art network in Asia into one that goes beyond standard definitions and boundaries. It is within this context that these artists, curators and other participants may observe, learn, and search for breakthroughs or opportunities to collaborate with one another, reimagining and developing art projects as well as a unique vision which challenge the fixed definitions related to the region.

As Larys Frogier, the Director of Rockbund Art Museum and Chair of the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART jury elaborates,

“As the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award for Emerging Asian Artists has developed over the past years, we have consistently emphasized the motivation to go beyond the limits of both national and local frameworks. It has been a process of opening up forms of creation that traverse between new horizons in Asia, to celebrate artists from different localities and backgrounds.”

The exhibition of works by the four finalists of HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award 2019 runs through to January 5, 2020, curated by Billy Tang, Senior Curator of Rockbund Art Museum. For the duration of the exhibition, audiences will be able to enjoy the augmented reality guided tour with the curator on mobile devices. A series of public and education activities including performances, workshops, lectures and walk & talk will be held alongside the Award to further explore the intellectual and social contribution of the finalist artists. Parallel to the exhibition, the public and educational programs make up another platform of the Award that is committed to exploring and presenting different artistic and social contexts in present-day Greater China and Southeast Asia. This will extend, complement and enrich the topics generated by the finalist artists while connecting with the general public.

About Rockbund Art Museum

For over nine years Rockbund Art Museum has been at the forefront of the growing contemporary art scene in China, presenting world-class programs in a unique museum setting. A boutique Museum of the utmost quality, RAM holds a unique position within Shanghai’s continually expanding cultural scene. The Museum is located within the Bund district and housed in an exquisite heritage Art Deco building, which was renovated by architect David Chipperfield before opening in 2010.

The museum’s exemplary curatorial, education and research programs showcase acclaimed and emerging Chinese and international artists. RAM presents a bold and pioneering program of three exhibitions and a special project “RAM HIGHLIGHT” per year, exploring and realizing artists’ most ambitious projects and working with them to tailor exhibitions to the Museum and to the Shanghai context, often with a large proportion of works being new commissions. RAM devises, produces and curates its program in-house, in conjunction with carefully selected international collaborations of the highest quality.

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About the HUGO BOSS Global Arts Program

Contemporary art is an integral part of the HUGO BOSS corporate culture. In conjunction with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum the Group established the HUGO BOSS PRIZE in 1996 which has evolved into an internationally renowned art award. The prize was complemented by the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award in 2013. HUGO BOSS has also supported numerous international exhibitions. To date, these have presented works by Ross Bleckner (1995), Georg Baselitz (1995 and 1996), Dennis Hopper (2001), James Rosenquist (2003), Olafur Eliasson (2005) and Josephine Meckseper (2007). In 2012, HUGO BOSS sponsored the solo exhibition of Jeff Koons at the Fondation Beyeler in Switzlerland. Since 2014, the Group has started a special partnership with the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, supporting exhibitions like “Konstantin Grcic Panorama” (2014), “The Bauhaus #itsalldesign” (2015/2016) and “An Eames Celebration” (2017).


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