The AICA Prize for Distinguished Contribution to the Visual Arts in Taiwan and the 6th AICA Incentive Award for Young Art Critics, Taipei, Taiwan 2018

The Awards Committee of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) awarded prizes in two categories at the 51st International AICA Congress in Taiwan on 18 November 2018. The ceremony was organised and directed by Sophie Allgårdh, Chair of the Awards Committee and marked the closure of the AICA Congress in Taiwan 2018.

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Proposed by AICA Taiwan, the Taiwanese professor and curator Huang Hai-ming (b. 1950) received the Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Visual Arts in Taiwan. Huang Hai-ming has since the 1980s greatly contributed to shaping artistic and curatorial practices, especially in the field of art in the public domain including outdoor spaces which are recurrent topics in his critical writing and curatorship. He has served as a curator at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and worked as an independent exhibition manager sought by institutions and art initiatives in Taiwan. On receiving the diploma from AICA International President, Lisbeth Rebollo Gonçalves, Huang Hai-ming expressed his gratitude and spoke of the significance of an international organisation’s recognition of critical curatorship in Taiwan.

The aim of the Distinguished Prize is to honour a senior critic from the country hosting the annual AICA Congress and to introduce that critic to a wider network. Published work should be of international stature and may be translated into English and anthologised for publication in the AICA series Art Critics of the World. This year AICA International chose to rephrase the prize to “Distinguished Contribution to the Visual Arts in Taiwan”. Previous recipients of the AICA Award for Distinguished Contribution to Art Criticism are Ticio Escobar (Paraguay, 2011), Annemarie Monteuil (Switzerland, 2012), Tomáš Štrauss (Slovakia, 2013), Lee Yil (South Korea, 2014), Sarah Wilson (United Kingdom, 2015), Adelaida de Juan (Cuba, 2016) and Georges Didi-Huberman (France, 2017).


The winner of the 6th AICA Incentive Award for Young Art Critics is Felix Ho Yuen Chan (b. 1994 in Hong Kong), who graduated from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Studies in 2017 with a focus on avant-garde art in China and Japan and the social history of photography. Living and working in New York, he is currently a curatorial assistant at The Walther Collection, where he is assisting Brian Wallis in organising a series of exhibitions investigating vernacular photography.
The AICA Awards Jury praises Chan’s winning submission A Theater—In Absence as a “well-researched evaluation of artworks and their institutional and social contexts, with a fair and reflective judgment as a whole. His essay demonstrates art criticism at its best – identifying the uneven powers that art and artists may be immersed in and contextualising art and artists in the complexities of institutional, social, cultural, political, and economic realities.”

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The Awards Committee also congratulates the two recipients of an Honorable Mention: Alana Victoria Hunt (b. 1984 in Australia) for her paper A mere drop in the sea of what is, and Enkaryon Ang (family name: Mu-Cheng Hung, b. 1981 in Taiwan) for his essay Return to the Psychogenic Theatre: A discussion about Chen Che-wei’s `Yang-Shen-Yuan’.
Alana Hunt lives in Miriwoong country in the remote north-west of Australia. She makes art, writes, and works with a variety of media across public, gallery and online spaces. The jury praises her work as “documenting the compelling reality in Kashmir in terms of representation in daily life as well as in evoking artistic justice, by boldly pushing the limits of artistic discourse which tend to stay within existing orthodoxies.”
Enkaryon Ang studied Chemistry and Life Sciences and is now a PhD candidate in chemical biology and biophysics. He has published two poetry collections Rorschach Inkblot (2009) and Hedgehog (2014). The jury praises his essay From bio-politics to Psychoanalysis for “a wide and deep analysis of the modernity of Taiwan.”

After receipt of his diploma from the Awards Chair, Sophie Allgårdh, Felix Ho Yuen Chan gave a presentation of his winning essay which offers new perspectives on Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other –a complex work by the Chinese duo Sun Yuan and Peng Yu. Moderator Damian Smith, curator of Words for the Art, Melbourne, Australia, conducted a Q&A. Juror, Yang Yeung, curator and founding member and artistic director of Soundpocket in Hong Kong, shared insights of the democratic working process of the jury, selected by AICA Taiwan and composed of seven critics and academics from the Asian Pacific region. Prizewinner Felix Ho Yuen Chan receives expenses paid travel to Taipei to follow the Congress. Previous AICA Award winners of the Incentive Prize are Franck Hermann Ekra (Ivory Coast), Alessandra Simões Paiva (Brazil), Sebastian Baden (Germany), Lee Sun Young (South Korea), and Victor Wang (Canada/UK).

The purpose of the Incentive Prize is to recognise and support emerging voices in contemporary art criticism. Young art critics, maximum 40 years old, were invited from around the world to submit a text discussing contemporary art produced in the Asia Pacific region. There were 18 entries from nine countries and a multitude of backgrounds. AICA thanks all participants and the jury for its exemplary work.

The Awards Jury 2018

Ching-Wen CHANG
PhD, Assistant Professor, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

Chien-Mei LIU
Professor, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto

Damian Smith 
Curator, Director of Words for Art, Melbourne, Australia

Mariko Takeuchi 
Curator, and Associate Professor, Kyoto University of Art and Design

Jeannine TANG 
PhD, Curator, Art Critic, CCS Bard core faculty & Graduate Committee

Nhung WALSH 
Executive Director and Chief Curator of Indochina Arts Partnership

Curator, Founding Member & Artistic Director of Soundpocket

Sophie Allgårdh
Chair of Awards Committee