Inaugural prize goes to Chinese artist

Chinese artist Zhou Tao has won the first Han Nefkens Foundation-BACC Award for Contemporary Art.

As part of the award, announced last week, the 37-year-old will spend two to three months in Bangkok and develop an art project for the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. He will also be given US$3,000 (90,800 baht).

The award was set up by the BACC and the Han Nefkens Foundation to promote young Asian artists aged under 40 years. The award is designed to recognise artists who are known in their community but have not yet established themselves internationally.

Dutch collector and foundation founder Han Nefkens chaired the judging panel, which included BACC director Luckana Kunavichayanont, Han Nafkens Foundation director Hilde Teerlinck, Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art chief curator Yuko Hasegawa and independent Chinese curator Feng Boyi.

The judges praised Zhou for his curiosity about the environment and his ability to contrast and investigate different spheres such as urban and rural, public and private spaces, as well as the history of art itself. They also observed growth and maturity in his work so far.

"If he resides in Bangkok, with his potential, he could improve the city and change its environment," said Luckana.

As well as the cash prize, US$12,000 will be used to produce the art project in the BACC. The solo exhibition will be shown in August.

The Han Nefkens Foundation-BACC Award for Contemporary Art will be awarded every two years.