Art and Design Academy: 2012 John Moores Painting Prize (China)

1 September – 7 October 2012

Viewing:  31 October 17:00

Following last year’s successful artist residency as part of the John Moores Painting Prize China, four of the five finalists from this year’s competition have flown into Liverpool to exhibit their work and produce new works inspired by the city.

The painting prize is an extension of the long-running Liverpool-based competition which is due to open at the Walker Gallery as part of Liverpool Biennial 2012 on 15 September.

The artists have come over to Liverpool for a month and will be spending their time at Liverpool John Moores University’s Art and Design Academy, home to the Liverpool School of Art and Design, and METAL at Edge Hill Station.

The finalists were whittled down from nearly 3000 entrants by a panel of esteemed judges; Michael Craig-Martin, Tony Bevan, Yu Hong, Ding Yi and Liverpool Biennial’s former Chief Executive, Lewis Biggs.

The finalists are:

• Winner of the prize, Nie Zhengjie was selected for his oil on canvas work, ‘Being’, a study of migrant workers in China
• Hu Wenlong was shortlisted for his stunning oil on canvas, ‘Aphasia’ which took 18 months to paint using fine detail to create a photograph-like finish
• Zheng Jiang’s oil on canvas, ‘Waiting’, uses varnishing techniques to stunning effect
• Pu Yingwei’s oil on canvas, ‘Desire’ explores the different states of body in contemporary Chinese society
• Zhang Aicun’s piece, ‘Makeup NO.2’ is a bright acrylic on canvas, exploring through makeup packaging how women of different classes distinguish themselves depending on the makeup they buy and wear.

Ling Min, Head of International Development at the College of Fine Arts, Shanghai University said: “We are very pleased to be in Liverpool again with the finest talent from China’s fine arts community.

“This year’s John Moores Painting Prize China has been a phenomenal success and we received many more entries than the previous year, from all over China. We hope people from around Liverpool are able to come and see our exhibition, to meet the artists and see how exciting contemporary Chinese art can be.”

The collaboration extends further in September when, alongside the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery, the first John Moores Critics Award is launched, inviting the public to submit critical writing around the exhibition.

The Critics Award will run in parallel to the painting prizes in Liverpool and Shanghai and will offer two winners, one from China and one from the UK, the opportunity to travel to the UK and China respectively for residencies hosted by Shanghai University and LJMU as part of the cultural exchange programme. There will also be cash prizes for runners up.

Professor Juan Cruz, Director of the Liverpool School of Art and Design said:

“This collaboration marks an exciting time for LJMU and the city of Liverpool. Our new artists in residence have exceptional talent and have done very well to get here. We are pleased to welcome them and we hope that their stay in Liverpool is as culturally enriching as it is inspiring for their art.”

The John Moores Painting Prize China show is on in the public gallery on the ground floor at the Art and Design Academy, Duckinfield Street, L3 5RD (beside the Metropolitan Cathedral) from 1 – 10 September, opening times 10 – 6pm.