Art from Asia: The 4th VH Award

We Maketh God / Jungwon Seo, We Maketh God / Jungwon Seo

Established in 2016, the VH AWARD has acknowledged and supported emerging artists who have engaged contextually with Asia. The award encourages those who push the boundaries of audiovisual arts to challenge our understandings of the past, present, and future.

The 4th VH AWARD exhibition at the Ars Electronica Festival will include the work of Grand Prix recipient Lawrence Lek and finalists Doreen Chan, Paribartana Mohanty, Jungwon Seo and Syaura Qotrunadha. Their works range in subject matter from the relationship between humans and artificial intelligence to the most pressing social and ecological challenges of our time. Through their works, visitors will be able to see the different perspectives of their imagined futures and challenges. For the 4th VH AWARD, the works were evaluated according to the main criteria established by the jury: originality and aesthetics, convincing concept and innovation, and quality of presentation.

But what can artists expect from participating in the award? The five shortlisted artists, teams, or collectives will each receive a grant of 25,000 USD for the production of new works and will be invited to participate in a residency program. For the 4th VH AWARD, an online residency program led by Eyebeam included professional development sessions and regular mentorship meetings with notable artists and curators around the globe and an online screening event to engage with global audiences.

The Grand Prix recipient receives an additional grant of 25,000 USD and all five artists are able to present their works through various global platforms. All the artists from the 4th VH AWARD were able to present their works during a private viewing at the New Museum during Frieze New York in May 2022, and a virtual screening exhibition is also currently on view at Elektra’s virtual museum until June 1st, 2023. Their works will also be presented at MACAN, Indonesia’s preeminent institution for modern and contemporary art starting September 10th this year and opens until November 13th 2022.

From extending its vision to Asia for the fourth edition of the award, it was interesting to observe their diverse roots and backgrounds in projection and at the same time, their global thinking interlaced behind building conceptions. It was especially fascinating to see how the artists progress and develop their ideas throughout the residency and how diverse their cultural backgrounds are inherited in their style and approach of practice and narrative.

“The Ars Electronica is a significant platform for the VH AWARD to be introduced to artists, curators, and professionals in the respective fields.”

DooEun Choi

Hyundai Motor’s Art Director, DooEun Choi, commented on the cooperation: “We are delighted to present the 4th VH AWARD exhibition at the Ars Electronica Festival, with whom we have partnered since the first VH AWARD. As a prominent art and technology festival that shares our dedication to fostering intercultural dialogue and interdisciplinary practices, the Ars Electronica is a significant platform for the VH AWARD to be introduced to artists, curators, and professionals in the respective fields.”

One of the 5 selected jurors of the VH Award this year is Martin Honzik, CCO of Ars Electronica Linz and Managing Director of the Ars Electronica’s Festival, Prix and Export: “Ars Electronica is once again honored to present the VH Award at our festival. Since the establishment of this valuable opportunity for Korean media artists by Hyundai, we at Ars Electronica have witnessed how fertile and creative the Korean soil is for media art and specifically for computer animation. VH Award has established itself as a prize that not only provides Korean artists with a challenging task but also offers them the opportunity to enter international stages. The ever-increasing quality of the works realized has shown how important this award has become in recent years and how much this particular scene of media art is developing in Korea.

“For Ars Electronica, this Korean perspective is a valuable and inspiring contribution to the attempt to present a global perspective on media art through various cultural influences and how technology is used and applied. In the Programs of the Festival VH Award again will belong to the highlights.”

Martin Honzik

The selected projects can be experienced during the Ars Electroncia Festival on September 8 and 10 in the Deep Space 8K at the Ars Electronica Center. You can find all the details in the festival program.

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