Dialectics between initiating trends in Chinese art history and confirming them
The definition of the unknown artist for CCAA is changing along with the Chinese contemporary art scene.
Firstly CCAA is trying to promote Chinese contemporary on the art scene. The unknown artist to the international curators, museums and art collectors might well be already a "figurehead" in China.
The different interviews with Li Zhenhua and Pauline Yao suggest some perceived contradictions (why call artists suggested by galleries "talented and prime" if they offer nothing new?). "Conflict" (of ideas) and "Change" were two words coming back and back again.m
I understand that CCAA's ambition is likely to focus on the high end Chinese artists in the foreseeable future. I guess that different prizes might address different types of artists.
Besides the search for the unknown artist has expanded in scope. A Chinese artist comes from Mainland China, also Hong Kong and live outside China. This is an interesting approach to show how artisys sharing a similar culture or at least language can develop their artistic language in a global context.
Another key trend is that the CCAA needs some form of validation by cultural institutions like museums. To that extent the partnership with M+ is fundamental even if one can fear a decreasing appetite for bold artist choices and a desire to serve artists who will belong to the art history before thinking about what is "new" in their vision.
Finally we would like to highlight the funding questions. At this point Uli Sigg remains the main sponsor together with selected banks and now M+. I guess that the sources of funding will evolve too over time. This is a potential interesting theme I am keen on exploring further.