The International Awards for Art Criticism ( IAAC ) are an ongoing annual project that has already been successfully hosted for two years in succession by the Board of the not-for-profit International Awards for Art Criticism Ltd. and organised by the Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum and Anxin Trust Ltd. – Artemis. The Awards are held in partnership with the Royal College of Art, London, and in association with the International Association of Art Critics ( AICA ), Paris. Their main sponsors are the China Minsheng Banking Corporation Ltd., the Shanghai Minsheng Charity Foundation, the Anxin Trust Co. Ltd. and the Bureau of Cultural Affairs of the Pudong District Council. This year the IAAC 2 received a total of 222 submissions ( roughly, one half of them each in Chinese and English ), from a total of 49 countries and regions. There could be no better demonstration of the speed with which the information about this project has spread, or guarantee of its openness, diversity and global inclusiveness. At the end of a lengthy selection process, involving two rounds of intensive discussion and debate, the combined international jury of Chinese and English-speaking specialists whittled the number of finalists down to 20 ( including the three main Award-winners ). The twenty shortlisted reviews, reproduced in this bilingual publication, represent merely the outstanding crop from a still greater and more varied harvest of submissions.

Over ten years of lively practice and experimentation, China Minsheng Bank has gradually marked out is own specific territory in the wide field of public welfare initiatives and demonstrated its unwavering commitment to a range of notable cultural and artistic causes. The single initiative launched only ten years ago by the Minsheng Cultural Foundation has since developed into a large-scale platform for exhibitions and artistic exchanges of all kinds, with the support of three art galleries in Beijing and Shanghai, and an art centre in Hangzhou. It is by this means that the Minsheng Cultural Foundation has chosen to pursue its mission of supporting cultural and artistic integration, innovation and development. While continuing ourselves directly to organise and host a wide selection of art exhibitions and public education programmes, we have also continued to develop a lively environment for theoretical debate.

As an important member of the family of organisations belonging to the Minsheng Charity Foundation, Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum always upholds the public welfare ethos of China Minsheng Bank, and actively explores and promotes the creation of a new culture. After only a little more than a year since opening to the public, the Bank has achieved public recognition and appreciation from the industry for its role in promoting international artistic exchange. The International Awards for Art Criticism, which are presented in close co-operation with British and international institutions, are intended not merely as a gesture of recognition towards individual critics for their outstanding achievements, but also as a public expression of support for a significant cross-cultural initiative which aims to stimulate independent critical thinking about contemporary art in a global perspective. By continuing to hold these Awards, year in year out, we hope to inspire the critical thinking of young art critics, students, independent curators, artists and art lovers, as a stimulus to their appreciation of contemporary art and a spur to further research and creation. Independent contemporary art criticism not only serves to enlarge and reinforce the impact of significant theory – it opens up a rich field for the general public to explore, and helps us all to develop our perceptual and cognitive faculties.

In the future, the ‘Three Galleries and One Centre’ belonging to the Minsheng’s artistic galaxy will consistently focus on cutting-edge issues in the field of art, absorb creative and forward-looking ideas from academia at an international level, and play the role of intermediaries in facilitating memorable encounters between Chinese contemporary culture and global contemporary culture. Together, these four institutions will work to promote the discovery of new cultural and artistic values, stimulate fresh creative thinking and try to build a spiritual home that is noted for its humanity and inclusiveness. In this way, they hope to be able to encourage us all to develop the capacity for self-criticism.

 

Guoqiang Chen

Director of Minsheng Art

Administration Committee

 

作为一年一度的常设艺术项目,由上海二十一世纪民生美术馆与国际艺术评论奖组委会、英国皇家美术学院、上海至美艺术发展中心、国际艺术评论家协会( AICA )共同合作举办的“国际艺术评论奖”( IAAC )至2015年已顺利走过了第二个年头。相比第一届而言,本届评论奖共收到来自49个国家和地区的中、英文投稿222篇,呈现出全球性、多元化、开放包容的特点。在此,评委会的专家们最终遴选出的20篇入围文章,以原文和译文双语形式呈现给读者,以期展开更广范围的交流,引发深度讨论。

经过十年的实践和摸索,中国民生银行逐步确立了持续投入支持文化艺术事业的特色公益之路,民生艺术体系由一家场馆发展到如今北京、上海三家美术馆和杭州一家艺术中心的较大规模的艺术展示和交流的系统平台。在此过程中,以支持文化艺术交融、创新和发展为己任的民生系艺术机构,直接举办多种类型的大小艺术展览、公共教育活动同时,我们一直持续营造理论对话的活跃和理论环境的建设。

上海二十一世纪民生美术馆作为民生艺术机构的重要成员,始终秉承中国民生银行的公益理念,积极探索并推动新文化创造。在对公众开放迄今一年有余的时间里,其国际化的艺术步伐已经初步受到业内关注和赞赏。与英方机构合作进行“国际艺术评论奖”,不仅是单纯地推出一个艺术领域评论奖项,它更代表了一直努力姿态和推动方向金对跨文化和全球化视野的培养与推动,对当代艺术的独立性和批判性思考的探索。我们希望通过奖项的持续性举办,激发年轻艺术评论者、院校学生、独立策展人、艺术家及艺术爱好者的批判性思考,从而活络艺术鉴赏、乃至进一步的研究与创作。独立的当代艺术评论不仅将丰富艺术理论世界,使其成长为艺术评论版图上的重要坐标,也为公众对艺术评论的探索引导出多条路径,构建艺术多重认知维度。

未来民生艺术体系下的“三馆一中心”还将持之以恒地关注艺术领域的前沿问题,吸纳国际范围内具有创造力、前瞻性的学术思考,在中国当代文化与全球当代性文化碰撞与融合的过程中,充当桥梁和舞台的作用,推动文化艺术的价值发现、创造力更新,建设充满人文关怀、包容度与自我批判能力的精神家园。

陈国强
民生美术机构管理委员会主任
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