Wang Bing was announced as the winner of the 2017 EYE Art & Film Prize at a ceremony in Amsterdam’s EYE Filmmuseum on Thursday, 6 April 2017. Bing received the £25,000 GBP prize, which will go towards funding the creation of new work. In spring 2018, EYE will present an exhibition of Wang Bing and the two previous winners of the EYE Art & Film Prize, Hito Steyerl and Ben Rivers.
Alexander Rinnooy Kan, Chair of Board of Trustees EYE Filmmuseum; Béla Tarr, screenwriter/director and jury member EYE Art & Film Prize 2017;
Wang Bing, winner of EYE Art & Film Prize 2017; and Sandra den Hamer, CEO of EYE Filmmuseum at the EYE Gala 2017, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Photo Floris Heuer.
The EYE Art & Film Prize, created by EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam and the Paddy & Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund, supports and promotes an artist or filmmaker whose work has contributed in a unique manner to developments in the field between art and film.
Beijing-based Wang Bing was chosen from a shortlist presented to the Jury by an International Advisory Board. A leading figure within Chinese cinema, Wang Bing’s selection as winner of the EYE Art & Film Prize is based on his significant body of work, which has made an unprecedented contribution, not only to documentary film, but also to video-installation and feature film.
Wang Bing’s work as a filmmaker and visual artist touches upon the transformations taking place in Chinese society. Working virtually alone and using a digital camera, Wang Bing creates films characterised by their reliance on natural lighting and ambient sound. Often employing long, steady shots and blending time and reality, Wang’s monumental films challenge the larger narratives of contemporary China by capturing the banal humanity of their subjects. His films point to the raw and existential realities of the human condition.
On behalf of the Jury, Sandra den Hamer, CEO of the EYE Filmmuseum and chair of the EYE Art & Film Prize, noted:
With his uncompromising way of working, Wang Bing is a sincere and authentic artist, who shows his engagement with today’s society and his perspective on the human condition. His well-constructed work has a deep knowledge of the visual language and is a strong voice, both in cinema and in the arts. While political and outspoken, Wang Bing doesn’t push viewers to accept his perspective, rather, his beautiful, brave work leaves room for interpretation.
Wang Bing received the EYE Art & Film Prize at the annual EYE Gala, which coincided with EYE’s fifth anniversary.
EYE Art & Film Prize
The EYE Prize was created in 2015 with the aim of supporting and promoting an artist or filmmaker whose work unites art and film, and who demonstrates quality of thought, imagination and artistic excellence. The annual £25,000 GBP prize is intended to fund the making of new work. The winners of previous editions were Hito Steyerl (2015) and Ben Rivers (2016).
EYE, The Dutch national museum for film, is committed to exploring the interface between art and film – both historical and contemporary developments – in its programming of exhibitions, screening room programmes, events, lectures and symposia. The many artists/filmmakers that have been the subject of dedicated exhibitions include Isaac Julien, Yang Fudong, Oskar Fischinger, The Quay Brothers, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Fiona Tan, Anthony McCall, David Maljkovic, Rosa Barba, Douglas Gordon, Melanie Bonajo, Nicolas Provost and William Kentridge. EYE is also internationally acclaimed for its knowledge of and expertise in the field of film restoration, research and education.
The PJLF Arts Fund
The PJLF Arts Fund was established in 2011 to support artists, writers, filmmakers and musicians. Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915–2011) was a celebrated British writer. He and his photographer wife, Joan Eyres Monsell (1911–2003), were active supporters of the arts. Both their archives are housed at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh.