Korean contemporary artists who are working in the US have a great resource to support them, the AHL Foundation which - among many other activities - organizes visual art competitions and awards generous cash prizes. This year, I was one of the judges for one of the competitions, the AHL Foundation 2016 Visual Art Award competition. This was my second year as a judge of this prestigious competition (read more about my experience with judging the 2015 award here).
I had the honor to speak on behalf of the jury of the AHL 2016 Visual Art Award at the AHL Foundation's 13th Annual Benefit Gala & Awards Ceremony, New York City, October 22, 2016.
It was a true pleasure to work together with two other judges - exceptional colleagues, leading experts in the art world: Sharon Matt-Atkins, Vice Director of Exhibitions and Collections Management at the Brooklyn Museum, and Sara Reisman, Artistic Director at The Shelly & Donald Rubin Foundation.
The AHL Foundation Visual Art Award is a highly competitive award - there are three prizes, and this year we reviewed around one hundred applications. It was exciting to see all the application and to learn about the very different artistic practices. There were applications from established artists as well as art students, from artists working in all possible media, ranging from painting to video, and from sculpture to photography.
The work of the jury was not easy because all submissions were of high quality. All three of us brought in our different insights and perspectives, but we found agreement and the prizes went to the artists whose work stood out the most - artists who had the most convincing voice and the most articulate vision, and whose work had the most distinctive character among the other applications this year.
I wish to congratulate all three Visual Arts Award winners on behalf of the jury: Ji Yeon Lim (Yaloo), Kira Nam Greene, and Soi Park.
The work of all three artists was on display in the exhibition Multiple Exposure at the Art Mora gallery (October 20 – November 2, 2016, 547 West 27th Street, New York), so beautifully curated by Eun Young Choi.
Here is a link to some of the publicity the AHL Award and the winners received in the Korean press:
Being a judge of the AHL Foundation Visual Art Award competition has been a very important experience for me as an art historian and curator, and I have learned so much about Korean and Korean-American contemporary art.
Read more on AHL Foundation's website about the annual Visual Art Competition and many other programs organized by this foundation. The AHL Foundation is initiated and led by Sook Nyu Lee Kim with the aim of supporting Korean artists working in the United States. I think it's a great cause and worthwhile to support.