The Shortlist Is in for the 2021 Edition of the BMW Art Journey. And the Nominees Are…

The winning artist will be granted with the exciting opportunity to travel anywhere in the world to conduct research and create new work.

BMW Art Journey shortlisted artists Julien Creuzet, Alice Wang, and Kelvin Kyung Kun Park. Photos courtesy BMW and the artists.

Art Basel and BMW have announced the 2021 shortlist of the BMW Art Journey, the world-renown prize that honors a young or mid-career artist with an exciting opportunity.

The BMW Art Journey can take an artist almost anywhere in the world—to research, to network, and to envision and create new work. Artists showing in Art Basel’s selection for emerging artists in Hong Kong are eligible for the BMW Art Journey. “Our inspiration was to create a unique art award: to offer an experience allowing creativity to unfold—on the road, like a mobile studio. Together with our long-term partner. Art Basel, we are very much looking forward to the proposals of this exciting shortlist,” says Hedwig Solis Weinstein, Head of Brand Cooperations, Arts & Design.

The nominees for this year’s award are 35-year-old French-Caribbean artist Julien Creuzet, who lives and works in Montreuil, France, and is represented by High Art gallery in Paris; 43-year-old Korean multimedia artist Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, who lives and works in Seoul, and is represented by Shanghai’s Vanguard Gallery; and 38-year-old Chinese sculptor and filmmaker Alice Wang, who lives and works in Los Angeles and Shanghai, and is represented by Capsule Shanghai.

The award, first given in 2015, will give the winning artist an opportunity to “undertake research, make contacts, and envision and create new work,” according to the initiators. The winner will be announced in late June.

Over the years, the initiative has grown in renown around the art world, and the heavyweights on this year’s international expert jury are Claire Hsu, director of the Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong; Matthias Mühling, the director of the Städtische Galerie and Kunstbau in Munich; Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, president of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin; Philip Tinari, director of the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing; and the artist Samson Young, winner of the first-ever BMW Art Journey.

“We were deeply impressed with the group of artists we reviewed, and those we selected,” stated the jury in its unanimous decision. “Their profiles are very different in terms of practice, research, and expressive modality, and this lends a great richness to the group. Together, their varied perspectives and ways of working represent the artistic horizon of the BMW Art Journey.”

Leelee Chan, "Circuit (New Moon)" (2021). Photo courtesy BMW.

Leelee Chan, “Circuit (New Moon)” (2021). Photo courtesy BMW.

Winners of the prize in recent years have included Jamal Cyrus, Lu Yang, and Leelee Chan, who won last year’s award.

Chan’s project, Tokens From Time (2020) sought to trace the evolution of material culture from past, present, and future across Japan, Europe, and the Americas through her visits with families who practice time-honored craft techniques using copper, silver, marble, and other materials.

Chan also used the award to speak with scientists to understand how these natural materials might be substituted with synthetic ones in the future as environmental precautions ramp up.

The results of her project will be available to view during Art Basel Hong Kong in the BMW Showroom. (Hong Kong-based visitors can register here to view the exhibition.) In addition, a series of new sculptures is on view at Capsule Shanghai’s booth in Art Basel’s Discoveries sector.

Check out works by this year’s nominees as well as a retrospective with works from former BMW Art Journey winners in the virtual showrooms at Art Basel Hong Kong: Live and be sure to keep an eye out for the announcement of the winner in the coming weeks.

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