$25,000 Art Prize to Focus on AAPI and Asian Diaspora Artists: We Wont Be Overlooked Again – ARTnews

Posted By on July 21, 2021

With the aim of rectifying disparities that continue to impact the art world, a new art prize will be given out every other year to artists who are Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) or from the Asian Diaspora. Titled the Gold Art Prize, it is being founded by advisor Kelly Huang and Gold House, a California-based nonprofit focused on Asian and Pacific Islander leaders.

The biennial prize will go to five artists each time, with each winner taking home $25,000. The winners of the first edition are set to be revealed in December. A catalogue devoted to the winners work and a video series will also complement the award.

In an interview, Huang said that conversations about starting the Gold Art Prize began two years ago, though recent forms of violence and racism toward these communities have only underlined the need for the award. With the pandemic and the increase in anti-Asian hate in this country, it felt more imperative for us to come together as a community around something really positive and to center our efforts around supporting artists, she said.

She continued, For us, the goals are very clear: its to support artists first and foremost, to increase scholarship, and to inspire the current and next generation to be more engaged with contemporary art.

To assemble an initial list of nominees, Huang and Gold House brought together a group of well-regarded curators that includes Whitney Museum curator Christopher Y. Lew, Los Angeles County Museum of Art curator of contemporary art Christine Y. Kim, and Sohrab Mohebbi, who is at work on the next Carnegie International.

Their nominations will go to a jury that will be balanced between notable art patrons like ARTnews Top 200 Collector Komal Shah and Whitney vice chair Miyoung Lee, and celebrities whose fame exceeds this industry, including chef Padma Lakshmi, fashion designer Prabal Gurung, and actress Gemma Chan.

Bing Chen, president of Gold House, said he was sure to tap household names in an attempt to widen the winners reach in areas beyond the art world. Fine art is everywhere and should be accessible to everyone. Having more people who have an authentic and personal passion for fine art extends leverage as well as accessibility. You have a new legion of visibility for your art, so youre not focusing on the same traditional folks and galleries.

The award represents one attempt to undo centuries of under-representation for AAPI artists. We know that representation matters, Huang said. Our histories matter, our voices matter, and our ideas for the present and future matter. Artists are the ones who articulate that best, in my opinion, and were supporting that here with this cash prize. Were shining a spotlight on these artists to ensure that we wont be overlooked again.

A list of the 32 finalists for the Gold Art Prize follows below.

Correction, 7/20/21, 3:35 p.m.: A previous version of this article misstated Christine Y. Kims title. She is curator of contemporary art at LACMA, not associate curator of contemporary art.


$25,000 Art Prize to Focus on AAPI and Asian Diaspora Artists: We Wont Be Overlooked Again - ARTnews

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