The Opening Forum of the Sixth International Award of Art Criticism (IAAC6)


Minsheng Lecture



Lewis Biggs, Gerard Hemsworth, Peter Oakley, Anthony Young, Su Wei, Wang Huan

The Opening Ceremony of the Sixth International Award of Art Criticism (IAAC 6)

May 24, 2019, Friday, 14:30-16:30
Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum
Xinyefang 3, Wenshui Road 210, Jing’an District

Five years passed quickly since IAAC was founded. In these meaningful five years we received 1,108 submitted articles from 63 countries and regions all over the globe. As the influence of IAAC continuously expanding, we are looking forward to the new journey with more participants.
This year, the press release of the IAAC6 is going to be held on May 24, 2019. The call for submission will still be open. We have invited numerous special guests, including scholars and critics, to join the discussion about writing and criticizing of art at the press release. Let’s embrace another year’s art bouquet in 2019!


Opening Agenda for The Sixth International Awards for Art Criticism

14:30 - 14:35
Speech: Co-chair of the Board and Executive Committee of IAAC,
The Director of Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum Gan Zhiyi

14:35 - 15:35
Talk: Writing about art: why? And who for?
Guests: Lewis Biggs & Gerard Hemsworth

15:35 - 16:05
Talk: Dilemma in Subjectivity of writing
Guests: Anthony Yung, Su Wei, Wang Huan

16:05 - 16:20
Speech: Inspiration, Appropriation, Acculturation
Guests: Peter Oakley

16:20 - 16:30
Media Inquiries & Group Photo


Lewis Biggs

Lewis Biggs is a freelance Curator, Writer and Cultural Consultant. He was Director of Liverpool Biennial 2000-2011, having been a founding trustee of the charitable company in 1998. Lewis was Director of Tate Liverpool from 1990 to 2000 – a decade in which it was the only dedicated Museum of Modern Art in the UK, and at a time when the Tate 'brand' was associated overwhelmingly with the work of Turner and Constable. Biggs is now the Curator of the Folkestone Triennial 2017, General Editor of Tate Modern Artists (books on contemporary artists since 2002), International Advisor, School of Fine Arts, Shanghai University and Chair, Organising Committee, International Award for Excellence in Public Art (Shanghai). He was Co-curator, Aichi Triennale 2013, and undertook a consultancy in 2011-2013 with Osage Art Foundation, Hong Kong.

Gerard Hemsworth

Gerard Hemsworth was born in London in 1945, from 1963-68 he studied at St Martin’s School of Art, London and has exhibited internationally since the 70’s. Up until 2011 he was Professor of Fine Art and the Director of MFA Fine Art Programme at Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2000 he won the Charles Wollaston Award at the Royal Academy of Arts. In 2010 he moved his studio from London to East Sussex where he now lives and works.
In his work, Hemsworth brings together signs and representations of modernist art, alongside and integrated with, signs and representations from what seem like cartoon narratives, presenting pictorial and ideological contradictions. What initially seems like a straightforward representation of something familiar, unproblematic, simple and innocent is undermined and consequently presents the possibility of picturing something we don’t fully understand. Contradictions between the serious and the absurd become both uncanny and subversive. For Hemsworth the ‘unknown’ is an essential element and a necessary feature for critical engagement. His work presents anxieties, notions of difference and indifference and the question of value.

Peter Oakley

Dr. Peter Oakley leads, contributes to, or oversees externally funded research projects in the School of Arts & Humanities of Royal College of Art, as well as supervising PhD students and supporting the development and review of staff grant applications. Dr. Oakley is a specialist in material culture, with a specific interest in making and manufacturing. His current research interests include the social identities of prestige materials and luxury goods, the development and impact of ethical and sustainable material sourcing programs, contemporary uses of traditional craft techniques, the introduction and exploitation of innovative manufacturing processes and the management and presentation of industrial heritage sites.

Anthony Young

Anthony has been working with Asia Art Archive for over 10 years now. He graduated from Hong Kong University and is a Hong Kong person, as they say, but now lives part time in Shanghai. And he has been, since the very beginning, our researcher in charge of our activities relating to Greater China – Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. His main focus is research and the gathering of primary and secondary materials, as well as its digitization, annotation, and activation. In addition to working at AAA full time, Anthony writes and has received several awards for his writing, including the Forth Yishu Awards for Critical Writing on Contemporary Chinese Art (2014). He also curated the exhibition “A Hundred Years of Shame – Songs of Resistance and Scenarios for Chinese Nations” at Para Site art space in Hong Kong. Along with Hu Xiangqian, runs a nonprofit organization called the Observation Society, which is an independent art space in Guangzhou.

Su Wei

Su Wei is an independent art critic and curator, based in Beijing and Hong Kong. Since 2008, his work has focused on theoretical practice and writings on contemporary art. In 2012, he participated in Independent Curators International New York’s curating class. Su Wei was also involved in the curatorial team of 'Little Movements: Self-Practice in Contemporary Art' in 2011. In 2012, Su Wei co-curated the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, OCAT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Shenzhen. In January 2014, he curated the exhibition, 'Keep the Modern Going: Immersion, Awaiting and Idealism', also at OCAT, and in March 2014, the exhibition, 'Position of Interference: Zhao Liang's Solo Exhibition', at the Three Shadows Gallery, in Beijing. His publications include Little Moments, Self-Practice in Contemporary Art (with others), Guangxi Normal University Publishing House, 2011; Accidental Message: Art is Not a System, Not a World (with others), Ling Nan Art Publishing House, 2012; Individual Experience: Commentaries and Narratives of Chinese Contemporary Art from 1989-2013 (with others), Ling Nan Art Publishing House, 2013. He has also written a commentary (with Carol Yinghua Lu) on Hans Belting: Art History after Modernism, in his own translation of the work.

Wang Huan

Wang Huan is a writer and curator currently living in Beijing. He tries to write in a de-stylistic way via practicing. His criticism has been published at ARTFORUM, Leap, Jiazazhi, Art World, Artshard, Ray Art Center, etc. He curated the exhibition “Objects That Have Been Intruded” (2016, a Jimei × Arles International Photo Festival program), “Finalist Exhibition of 2016 New Talent Award” (2017, Chronus Art Center), etc. He is the winner of the first prize in IAAC5, 2018.

About IAAC

International Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC) is China’s first contemporary art criticism award co-host by UNESCO and International Association of Art Critics (AICA), as well as Royal College of Art (RCA). The first IAAC was organized in November, 2014 in Shanghai. It then calls for submission of Chinese and English contemporary art exhibition criticism annually, facing towards the globe and becoming an annual competition. The Organising Committee of the International Awards for Art Criticism aims to support independent critical coverage of contemporary art, away from the immediate pressures of the market, media and private patronage. The Awards are to stimulate good writing, critical thinking and dialogue and research in China, the UK and wider afield.
Since it’s being established, the influence of IAAC has expanded over the five years. In total IAAC has received 1,108 articles from all over the world, from 63 countries and regions, and has produced 16 prize winners and 87 finalists. IAAC has been successfully helping them to gain more attention and improve their careers.