Christie’s sponsors the announcement of the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation’s “Female Youth Artist Grant Program”

Christie's sponsors the announcement of the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation's "Female Youth Artist Grant Program" in spring 2022. The program, launched by BCAF, aims to select and support four emerging female talents in exploring and developing their careers in the art world. 

It is open to all female artists from mainland China, particularly those from remote or rural areas, with a university degree and no more than five years' experience in painting, installation art, sculpture, video, or other new media creation.

The program attracted 329 young female creators from 27 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions, who submitted 439 works. Creative themes include social humanities care, women's survival and development, minority cultures, environmental protection, rural and grassroots issues, technology, and space future.

"Official application platform data for the Female Youth Artist Sponsorship Program as of September 1, 2022."

The applicant qualification and final reviews of the program took two months. The organizing committee staff, review experts, and final judges based their reviews on the principles of prioritizing and respecting artistic originality, comprehensively reviewing the four dimensions of work creation level, artist development planning, consideration and insight into social issues, and the ability to connect public life through artistic action. The final judges were Zhang Dandan, a senior expert from Christie's 20th and 21st Century Art Department; Cui Qiao, the President of the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation, and Cao Dan, the publisher of "The Art Newspaper (Chinese Edition)" and "LEAP". Four artists were selected, and each of them will receive US $10000 in unlimited creative funding support. The award ceremony and exchange forum was held in mid-November 2022 in Shanghai.

Long Pan, Pang Li, Tang Xin, and Zhang Yanhong are the four selected artists. The organizing committee cheers on every young female talent who proactively positions themselves in life and is alert to gender stereotypes.

Selected Artist Introduction

Listed in alphabetical order by last name:

Long Pan, from Yichun, Jiangxi.

Areas of creation:

Installation art, new media, and film art.

Long Pan is a Chinese artist specializing in installation art, new media, and film art, with a focus on exploring the relationship between human survival and the environment. She graduated from the New Media Department of the China Academy of Art in 2019 and has since been devoted to her work in her hometown of Yichun, Jiangxi. Long Pan's work often involves the concept of "invisibility" and aims to shed light on the often-overlooked aspects of the environment that have a significant impact on human life.

Representative works:

"Wind Chime" video + installation; single-screen video recording + separate sound, high-definition, color, 14 minutes and 9 seconds; circuit board, copper bell, plant ash, etc., 2021. Still image from the video work - copper wind chime blowing in the field.

One of Long Pan's representative works involves extracting copper from plants in electronic waste-polluted areas through plant mining and turning it into a wind chime. The sound of metal collisions in the wind is a manifestation of environmental alienation caused by heavy metals entering the food chain and beyond, creating extensive traces that will remain long after humans are gone.

Screenshot from the video work.

Long Pan's work has been praised for its interdisciplinary approach, which combines fieldwork, visual art expression, and contemporary thinking. Her work provides a new perspective on the deeper relationship between human survival and the environment and explores the "secret counterpart" of the entire network of life in which humans exist. Long Pan's work has the potential for long-term and extensive links with interdisciplinary field investigations and practical applications.

Screenshot from the video work.

Jury comments:

"Long Pan takes 'invisibility' as the basis of her work and research direction, and through interdisciplinary research, fieldwork, and visual art expression, she attempts to provide us with a new perspective to interpret the deeper and often overlooked relationship between contemporary human survival and the environment. Philosopher and thinker Maurice Merleau-Ponty believes that 'invisibility' is not the opposite of 'visibility'. 'Visibility' itself has an inherent framework of 'invisibility', and 'invisibility' is the secret counterpart of 'visibility'. Long Pan's work is trying to explore and present the 'secret counterpart' of the entire network of life in which humans exist."
——Cao Dan

"The artist has a broad vision and clear positioning. Her spiritual and contemporary thinking process from the network of life, social scenes, and returning to her hometown has the potential for long-term and extensive links with interdisciplinary field investigations and works. Starting from the 'human traces in living organisms', the relationship network of 'invisibility', and the 'mutation in daily life', she tries to 'find broader connections between things' and the 'true existence' of the network of life. The environmental issues in the work are not only expressive but also have creative transformations that are subtly practical."
—— Cui Qiao

Pang Li, from the Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Hubei Province.

Areas of creation:

Visual arts, literature

Pang Li's work highlights the lives of rural women in Enshi and their roles in the traditional funeral band. By showcasing the changes and challenges faced by these women, she captures the complex dynamics of gender and power in rural communities. Her ability to translate her literary works into visual art demonstrates her versatility as an artist and her dedication to exploring various forms of expression. Overall, Pang Li's work provides an important perspective on the lives of marginalized communities and their relationship with the environment.

Representative Works:

"Three Funerals and a Women's Band" video; high-definition, color, 2020. Screenshot from the video work.

Jury Comments:

"With simple yet textured shots and seemingly plain language, the work presents sincere and vivid life stories that allow viewers to strongly empathize. The joys, difficulties, helplessness, and happiness in life are mixed together to form a real-life, forward-moving existence."
——Zhang Dandan

"The creator is from the Tujia ethnic group and has outstanding abilities in observing the community with sensitivity, and in constructing the logic of literary and visual works. The struggles from life to death are presented, and the work is highly penetrating."
——Cui Qiao

Song Wanrong, from Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province.

Areas of creation:

painting, installation,sculpture art, new media,film art

Song Wanrong is a multidisciplinary artist from Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province. Her areas of artistic creation include painting, installation and sculpture art, as well as new media and film art. In 2022, she obtained a master's degree from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Song's works often stem from her personal experiences and resonate with the times she lives in. For instance, her work "One Hundred Days Without a Child" is a personal documentation of the era of China's one-child policy.

Representative works:

"Life Line", oil painting, pigment, 2m*2m, 2020, Atelier Veron Gallery, Paris, Image source: Artist.

Recently, Song has been researching Nushu, a script used exclusively by women in Hunan province, for her latest art project "Nushu and the Tower of Babel." In her interpretation, the Tower of Babel represents a spirit of "doing something despite knowing it is impossible," similar to the women in the 19th century who created their own script. Each Nushu guardian in Song's project protects one Nushu character, and as the project progresses and expands, the Tower of Babel will eventually encompass all of the characters.

During the creative process

Trying different methods of ceramic firing during the creative process.

Jury comments:

"Every work completed by the artist so far 'travels' between multiple artistic mediums, surpassing expectations, possessing unique personal characteristics and sensitivity, free and unrestricted, with considerable confidence and systematic methods. Starting from the work from the perspective of her family background, to questioning the survival situation of women, the distribution of social rights, and extending to the latest 'social installation' of Nushu, she self-stimulates more energy of 'doing something despite knowing it is impossible,' creating a new type of connection across eras and cultural backgrounds. The proposed project has outstanding sustainable future planning, resonates with and mutually assists the local community, and promotes cross-cultural cooperation and field documentation, realistically presenting the multiple dimensions of the new generation of female artists changing the future." 
—— Cui Qiao

Zhu Wenjia, from Ji'an, Jiangxi.

Areas of creation:

New media and visual arts.

Zhu Wenjia's works demonstrate her interest in exploring the conflict between local culture and modernity in the process of China's social transformation. Her research topic focuses on rural documentary images and revisiting nostalgic memories.

Representative works:

"The Disappeared Woman" single-screen video, 56 minutes and 57 seconds, 2021.

Through her work "The Disappeared Woman," Zhu investigates the social identity, collective consensus mechanism, and individual encounter problems of rural women under macro-historical events. Her creations are purpose-driven, and she pays special attention to the presentation of the image and the viewers' experience. Overall, Zhu Wenjia's works showcase female narration and expression and give special attention to individual or collective memories.

Video screenshot. Through the accounts and memories of friends during her grandmother's lifetime, pieced together were her grandmother's unfortunate childhood, the experience of losing her father in her youth, her rebellion upon getting married, and the eventual circumstances of her taking poison.

Jury comments:

"Zhu Wenjia boldly uses various image creation methods and formal languages to explore the intense conflict between local culture and modernity in the process of China's social transformation. Whether it is a huge plan like 'revisiting nostalgic memories,' or documentaries or feature films about recording individual fate in grand history, Zhu Wenjia gives female narration and expression and gives special attention to individual or collective memories."
——Cao Dan

"Zhu Wenjia's works are purpose-driven creations, and she presents the existence and concept of the work with strength. This strength is also extended to the presentation of the image. She pays attention to the viewers and the experience of viewing. The creation not only stays at the interpretation of the work's viewpoint but also includes the presentation of the work."
——Zhang Dandan

Special thanks to Ms. Li Shirui, the artist, and Mr. Qi Chao, the chief editor of Harper's Bazaar Art, for their strong support and input in the preliminary review work of the "Female Youth Artist Sponsorship Program".
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