International Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC) 4 winners announcement + IAAC 5
Royal College of Art
Above: International Awards for Art Criticism Ceremony 2017
Above: International Awards for Art Criticism Ceremony 2017
Royal College of Art
Kensington Gore
London SW7 2EU
United Kingdom
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Fourth International Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC 4), 2016–17
Each year, the Awards are adjudicated in strict anonymity by a changing international panel of high profile experts, all of whom have a thorough knowledge of contemporary artistic creation, and critical practice.

This fourth competition brought the number of submissions in Chinese and English to a record total of over 200, from all parts of the world and of China itself. All the entries were anonymised before being submitted to preliminary assessment by critics’ panels in Shanghai and London. The resulting shortlist of around 50 was then submitted for final adjudication to the international jury in Shanghai and neighbouring Suzhou on November 26–27. The jury announced the three main Award winners at a packed press conference at the Minsheng Museum of Art, in Shanghai, the following day, Monday 28 November, as follows:

First Prize of 10,000 EUR and a fully funded visit to London or Shanghai for a critic writing in Chinese or English:

Jyoti Dhar, Colombo, for her review, "Distorted Transmissions," of the exhibition, Chandragupta Thenuwara: GLITCH + at the Saskia Fernando Gallery, Colombo, July 22–August 23, 2017. Dhar is a contributing editor for ArtAsiaPacific and regular contributor on art in South Asia for Artforum and The Sunday Times in Sri Lanka. She was the recipient of the Forbes India Emerging Art Writer of the Year Award in 2014, and is currently working on a book about contemporary art in post-conflict Sri Lanka.

Joint Second Prizes, each of 3,500 EUR, for one critic writing in Chinese and one writing in English:

Liu Jiaqiang, for his review, "Spirits of an Exhibition – On Printed Matter," of the live exhibition, Asia Independent Art Publishing Exhibition – Free Anchor: Ambition and Action at the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, 2017. Liu, who is a graduate from the Sichuan Fine Art Institute, was nominated for the Zhang Xiaogang Art Scholarship in 2013. He has worked at Art and the magazine Art Absolute, as an editor and deputy director of new media. In 2017, he launched the local art practice, "Action in the Stagnation Zone," in marginal communities.

Sean Ashton, for his review, "Natural Selection," of the exhibition of the same title by Andy and Peter Holden at the former Newington Library, London, September 10–November 5, 2017. Ashton is a writer of essays and stories. He is a regular contributor to ArtReview and is the author of a collection of reviews of imaginary cultural phenomena, Sunsets and Dogshits (Alma, 2007). He has just published his first novel, Living in a Land (Ma Bibliothèque, 2017). His second novel, The Way to Work, is forthcoming in the next year. He lives in London and works at Leeds Beckett University.

The Jury also recommended reattributing the cash from this year’s Fourth Prize of 3,500 EUR to training or mentoring activities in support of young art writers in China.

Finally, the Jury recommended the inclusion of the following 18 submissions (10 originally in English, and 8 in Chinese) in the forthcoming (fourth) edition of the IAAC’s bilingual Exhibition Reviews Annual, due out in May 2018 & online.

Chinese: Chen Han / Hu Hao / Kang Xiaoxi / Liu Jiaqiang / Tang Kexing / Wang Ruiqi / Wang Pengjie / Wu Ziyu

English: Sean Ashton / David Blamey / Jyoti Dhar / Chris Fite-Wassilak /  Orit Gat /  Adam Hines-Green / Joshua Leon / Andres Petrossiants / Chanon Praepipatmongkol / Harry Thorne 

The Jury of the IAAC 4 was composed of the following:
Antonia Carver
, Director of Art Jameel, Dubai
Gong Yan, Director of The Power Station of Art, Shanghai
Tim Marlow, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Arts, London
Raqs Media Collective, New Delhi
Shen Kuiyi, Professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism, University of California, San Diego

Note: The fifth edition of the Interntional Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC 5) will be open for submissions between May and September 2018

Contact: T +44 (0)20 7590 4423, [email protected]

February 23, 2018


Royal College of Art, London