CCAA | Chinese Contemporary Art Award

Chapters 5 › Unit 5: Create a journal entry: Development of the Unknown Artist View instructions Hide instructions

Create a journal entry: Development of the Unknown Artist


In the beginning of the CCAA, finding the Unknown Artist was one of its main aims. Explain the changes in the search for the Unknown Artist within the last 15 year and discuss possible outside factors which fueled this development.

Share your experiences and have a look at the journals of other participants.
Feel free to comment.

Development of the Unknown Artist

1 comment

With the birth of the CCAA, apart from giving artists a platform, it gave Chinese artists an insight into the standards of presenting their works to any foreign entity, specifically to an international audience. From presentation down to the application by post.

As Anna Liu in the interview said that the people's reaction to the CCAA was that it was quite a mystery. With the lack of media and communication & of course lack of interest in the Chinese government & the various other complications, I think that the very “lack” of a written mission/vision allowed the CCAA to adapt itself to the changing conditions without having to amend its mission/vision every time.

It's actually kind of sad that most artists in China require an international/ foreign entity to justify their value & existence in the international world because China simply couldn't and wouldn't make the effort to do so.
The saddest part is China just doesn't want Mr. Sigg's collection. Hong Kong's accidental receiving of the collection is of course a blessing in disguise because this collection will bring about many exciting things to come and bring about traffic in the Hong Kong art scene.

I would like to bring the two questions back from before.
Do we prefer an awarding platform that gives opportunities on a massive level to search for an army of new "unknown artists"(excellency & to understand artists of China)? or Does the world need another fancy award that is only exclusively for the elite and well-known/ well to do mature artists- thus excluding up and coming immersing young talent?

In order to create a solution to the problem of reaching artists due to limited media & lack of awareness, the award has resorted to the nomination system. By doing so, this has created another form of restriction to the artist applicants that depend their lives on this golden opportunity, therefore causing the mass public in misunderstanding the sudden change by misinterpreting this change as "substituting real talent" for "recognition based merely on connections and dumb luck" (famous artists get more well-known, whereas unknown talent stand in line with no avail.)
As mentioned previously, with the modernization in China and the fast developments of the media and communication, the award can consider resorting back to their original intent of open applications to continue their search of the "true unknown artist" as opposed to merely nominating and segregating other artists.
Lastly, the decision to open up the award to all nationalities still strikes me as quite odd. but this should be left for conversation on a later day.


almost 2 years ago

I agree with you that the claim that 'Real talent' being substituted by ' Recognition based on connections and dumb luck' is a crude and misinformed interpretation. But, it is true though, that a lot of different parties seem to be fishing in the same pond. I guess this is an international phenomenon; in my homeland, Holland, for instance, after the government cuts have been executed only one real big platform that subsidizes young artists remain; this basically means a monopoly, as a lot of gallery owners and curators tend to be not very interested in finding and promoting new unknown talent themselves, but actually prefer to just check the newspaper to see who was already recognized by the fund and approach them. So it quickly becomes a circle.
This is just how it works, and as i also explained in the assignment 'Development of the unknown artist' how it is no surprise that the CCAA follows a similar path ever since it became really big and succesful. So for that reason i wonder if it is possible, or even sensible for the CCAA to want to go back to discovering unknown talent; it might simply not be the right platform for that anymore.
I do agree with you totally that is a very strange move that the CCAA opened op the submission to international artists! In what way can it still be called a Chinese award then, apart from the fact that it happens to be hosted in China? I just opened a discussion on this topic in chapter 4.5, i'm looking forward to your response, or that of other students.

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