News : Kwan Sheung Chi wins Hugo Boss Asia Art

Kwan Sheung Chi was awarded the Hugo Boss Asia Art award on 31 October 2013, presented by the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai. Work by Kwan Sheung Chi was displayed in an exhibition with the other six shortlisted artists - Birdhead (Shanghai), Hsu Chiawei (Taichung), Hu Xiangqian (Beijing), Kwan Sheungchi (Hong Kong), Lee Kit (Hong Kong), Li Liao (Shenzhen), and Li Wei (Beijing) - which opened on 13 September 2013. For this first edition of the prize, artists under 35 years old from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau were eligible. 

The aftermath: Kwan Sheung Chi’s  Water Barrier   (Maotai-Water, 1:999)  (2013) toppled following last Friday’s event. Courtesy the artist

The aftermath: Kwan Sheung Chi’s Water Barrier (Maotai-Water, 1:999) (2013) toppled following last Friday’s event. Courtesy the artist

 In the new work titled ‘Water Barrier’, the artist installed in the exhibition space at the Rockbund Art Museum two 170cm high anti-riot water-filled barriers, inside of which is filled with water and a bottle of Maotai liquor. A video is playing of the artist trying to tip over the barrier, while in front of the barrier is a scroll which reads “Please Tear Down this Wall, Warm Reminder: Beware of People Behind”.

By using an unbalanced mixture of water and Maotai, the most expensive Baijiu on the Chinese market, the artist is trying to both highlight the disparity of status and also create a protective mechanism against outside forces. Making a critical point, viewers were encouraged to push it over at the celebration party on November 1 before drinks were served in the gallery space. 

Kwan Sheung Chi was awarded ¥300,000 in prize money.