Emerging Artist Award

Last modified in 2019.


Named by an independent, international jury as one of the two inaugural winners of the Emerging Artist Award, Cheng Ran combines cinema, poetry, drama, novels and installation works in a loose but significant manner, bringing together free association, fragmentation of meaning and the appropriation of stories. Various cultures, social positions and existential questions coexist in a highly stylized scenography. Cheng strives to accomplish work that addresses complex and sensitive spiritual conditions that are near impossible to represent through objectified aesthetic forms. His work surpasses solely pointing out the exuberance and radical social change in contemporary China. Cheng no longer focuses on the so-called identity issues, but more discovers new values from multiculturalism. It seems that the artist's self-judgment has been hidden, but this is precisely the embodiment of the artist's autonomy in creation. Therefore, Cheng Ran reflects his thoughts on the themes of borders, differences, even confrontation and marginalization from various aspects.​

His multi-channel installation Diary of a Madman (2016-17), shown at the New Museum in New York as his first solo museum exhibition in the United States, was created through a residency at the museum in partnership with K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong. Combining familiar images of New York City, of the sort that visitors would expect to see, with unanticipated views from a marginal perspective, the installation borrows its title from a 1918 work by Lu Xun that is considered to be the first modern short story written in China. Another one of his representative works, In the Course of the Miraculous (2015), a nine-hour film conceived in 2013 during Cheng Ran’s residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, weaves together fact and fiction as it narrates three real-life stories of adventure and exploration, spanning the years 1924 through 2011.

Cheng Ran’s works have been featured in numerous biennials and museum exhibitions, including FRONT International: Cleveland (Transformer Station, Cleveland, 2018); Art Institute of Chicago, (Chicago, 2017); The 63rd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (Oberhausen, 2017); “China Remixed Initiative” (The Media School of the University of Indiana, Bloomington, 2017); “Saltwater: a Theory of Thought Forms” the 14th Istanbul Biennial (Istanbul, 2015); “When I Give, I Give Myself” (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, 2015); “Inside China–L’Intérieur du Géant” (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2014); the 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial (Shenzhen, 2014); “ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice” (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2013); the 26th European Media Art Festival (Osnabrück, 2013); “Video Art in China–MADATAC” (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2011); The Third Guangzhou Triennial (Guangzhou Museum of Art, Guangzhou, 2008) and The Second Chinese New Media Art Festival (China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, 2004).​

Cheng Ran was nominated for the first edition of the OCAT & Pierre Huber Art Prize in 2014 and the Absolute Art Award in 2013. He was named Best Video Artist by the online art magazine Radian in 2011. In addition to the creation of his own works, Cheng Ran founded Martin Goya Business, an artist-run space in Hangzhou in 2017, which is an experimental platform for younger artists.​

He was born in 1981 in Inner Mongolia, China and lives and works in Hangzhou, China.​


Named by an independent, international jury as one of the two inaugural winners of the Emerging Artist Award, Cameron Rowland’s work critiques legal and economic structures that enforce contemporary life. Rowland was born in Philadelphia, and currently lives and works in Queens, New York. Rowland has had solo exhibitions at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Établissement d’en Face, Brussels; Galerie Buchholz, Cologne; Fri Art Kunsthalle, Fribourg, Switzerland; Artists Space, New York; and ESSEX STREET, New York. Rowland has participated in group exhibitions including Secession, Vienna; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the São Paulo Biennial, Brazil. Rowland's next solo exhibition will be at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 2020.

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