13th Annual Sovereign Asian Art Prize to Li Hongbo

The winner of the 13th annual Sovereign Asian Art Prize has been awarded Li Hongbo. The Chinese artist won Asia’s longest established award for Contemporary art with a sculpture titled “Desire”, making him the first artist to win the Prize for a 3D work.
“Desire” consists of a knife with a series of delicately carved silhouettes of running figures extending from the blade, with each figure following each other in a line.
The artist was chosen as a winner among over 300 participating artists.
Commenting on his win, Li Hongbo said: I am very honoured and would like to thank The Sovereign Asian Art Prize and the panel of judges for awarding me this prize. This achievement is a very big encouragement for me and will drive me to work harder. I have decided to donate the all the prize money of USD 30,000 to good causes, whereof 50% to the Sovereign Art foundation. What en exceptional prize winner and we wish him all success.

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KWM Art Center, Beijing shows Ye Yongqing

KWM Art Center in Beijing presents a solo exhibition by Ye Yongqing entitled “Paper Chase – Presents from Rauschenberg until end of June 2017. It includes over eighty works on paper which covers 20 years of Ye Yongqing’s creative production. Of these there will be 29 works created on a special edition paper manufactured by American Artist Robert Rauschenberg in China 1982. The artist believes that as paper is easily operable it carries connotations of freedom; especially in ancient China.

Ye Yongqing sees each work in the exhibition as a demonstration of and proof to, his attainment of freedom. for details visit: http:/www.kwmartcenter.com

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The CEO of Ullens Center in Beijing leaves

The CEO, May Xue, at Beijing Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) located in the 798 district, is stepping down as from April 20th. The museum has been for sale by the present owners, collector Guy and Myriam Ullens for a while, but no potential buyers have been found.
May plans to join another high-profile, privately-funded art initiative in China called K11 Art Foundation based in Shanghai. However her role is more to look after the foundations forthcoming Beijing “Kunsthalle” space, located close to the new K11 art mall, which opens in 2019.
May joined UCCA in 2018 and took leadership in 2011 and the owners saluted her for nine years of incredible serve and leadership at the Ullens Center and developed it into a leading art institution in Beijing and globally. May also appreciate the incredible art journey together as the Chinese contemporary art scene develops and extends its influence to the world.
She will be missed but ready for a new challenge in the art world.

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Chinese Ink Artist Peng Wei at Suzhou Museum

The Suzhou Museum Contemporary Art Gallery became the stage for Peng Wei ethereal timeless ink artwork around the architectural surroundings, playing in perfect harmony. Her latest solo exhibition is named ” I Thought of You”.
The show features over 50 works, created by the artist during the last five years.
Peng Wei’s career started in year 2000 with works entitled “Stone”. It followed with other series named “Shoe’, (above) “Robe”, Painter installation “, “Letters from a distance”, and Shan-Yuan.

Known for her outstanding ink works, she weaves traditional China painting and personal vision, mixing the boundaries between tradition and contemporary, East and West, past and present.

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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei visits Qatar


Well known Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is visiting Qatar this week to experience the country’s flourishing arts and culture scene. Qatar Museum is committed to bring established creative artists to the country to inspire generations of indigenous talent. He will visits most museums and art institutions and he will explore many of then country’s notable and recognisable public art projects, including the striking sculpture East-West / West -East by Richard Serra, located in Zekreet.

He will also as part of the visit be giving a public talk, open to all to attend at the Museum of Islamic Art, alongside Swiss businessman, diplomat and art collector Uli Sigg. Sounds like he will soon add something to the public art scene in Qatar and we can only look forward to what that will be. I ma sure he will be an inspiration to many young and aspiring artists during his stay.

Above is the sunflower seed made by Lego pieces as donated last year under some controversy.

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Record price of Western Art in Asia

Hong Kong recently had their Art week with Art Basel HK and Art Central attracting over 60,000 visitors. It was a huge success and the visible trend of more modern art than contemporary art. Perhaps a direction from the organisers. The mix is definitely good and educational for Asia as the art market is getting more and more global. Hopefully we will then also see more Asian art in Art Basel, Basel and Art Basel Miami.

Last weekend Sotheby’s had their spring auctions in HK and an Andy Warhol painting of Mao Zedong from 1973 was sold for HK$ 98.5 million (US$ 12.6 Million), setting a new record price for any western work of contemporary art sold in Asia. Well, it has to be a Asian icon of course so a daring move by Sotheby’s for such blue chip artwork. The previous owner bought it from Sotheby’s in London in 2014 for almost the same amount, meaning the value of the work failed to keep up with inflation. An Asian private collector is now the happy owner of this great artwork.

Finally a note of sad news that James Rosenquist has passed away. A truly iconic painter representing the pop art from USA at its best. Above artwork was exhibited at Art Basel HK 2 weeks ago as a statement that pop art will always be in demand forever.

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Liu Di at Pekin Fine Arts

Liu Di (85) has a solo exhibition at Pekin Fine arts in Beijing titled “Break with Conversation” and will continue until April 29, 2017.
Di’s latest works are on display and focus on the themes long pursued in his photo works by critiquing the conflicting relationship between nature and human society. Using subtle humor and science-fiction (like the enlarged animals a few years ago), the artist pay homage to traditional landscape photography and nature photography. His aim is to break the stereotypes and bring awareness.

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