Announcement of 2017 HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Finalist Artists


Jun 29, 2017

Mr Larys Frogier, Director of Rockbund Art Museum; Mr Xinkai Chen, General Manager, HUGO BOSS Greater China; Mr Li Qi, Senior Curator of Rockbund Art Museum; finalist artists of HBAA 2017: Mr Li Ming, Ms Yu Ji, Mr Tao Hui, Mr Robert Zhao Renhui

Shanghai, China, June 29, 2017 — Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai) and HUGO BOSS are delighted to announce the finalist artists for the third edition of the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award for Emerging Asian Artists today. After much deliberation by the jury members, the finalist artists of HUGO BOSS ASIA ART 2017 are: Li Ming (China); Tao Hui (China); Yu Ji (China); and Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore).

Since its establishment in 2013, the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award has become a well-respected contemporary art award in Asia. It continuously reflects on current topics and explores the future of art in Greater China and Southeast Asia. “The HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award is a wonderful element in our Arts Sponsorship program. We are very happy to offer this platform to young talents for the third time, especially in such an important cultural context as Asia,” says Dr. Hjördis Kettenbach, Head of Cultural Affairs, HUGO BOSS AG.

A group exhibition showcasing works of the four finalist artists will be shown at Rockbund Art Museum from Oct 27, 2017 to Jan 7, 2018, presenting newly commissioned works as well as existing works by the

finalists. The winner of the Award will be announced in November; the Award carries a stipend of RMB 300 000.


Exploring new opportunities of contemporary art from Greater China and Southeast Asia

The biannual award contributes towards artistic and cultural exchanges in the broader historical and social contexts of Greater China and Southeast Asia, giving voice to emerging artists in the field of contemporary art in this region while simultaneously bridging boundaries so as to encourage inter-cultural communication.

In 2017, the Award continues to focus on emerging talents at the forefront of artistic exploration in Greater China and Southeast Asia, instigating long-term dialogue between contemporary art and their rich, diverse and continuously mutating contexts.


New Selection Process

For HUGO BOSS ASIA ART 2017 a new selection process has been adopted on the basis of the previous two editions, incorporating a separate committee of nominators. Rockbund Art Museum invited twelve nominators and five jury members to contribute to the selection.

Larys Frogier, the Director of Rockbund Art Museum and Chair of the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART jury, elaborates on the new selection process: “I am extremely grateful to the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART 2017 nominators and jury members for researching, selecting, sharing and supporting promising emerging artists in Asia. As a new fundamental process in the selection of the artists, the nominators play an essential role since they contribute in drafting the decisive first list of artists to propose to the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART jury. The solid expertise and engagement of the nominators in specific Asian art contexts, their independent and on-going support to emerging Asian artists, as well as their fresh and precious observation of contemporary art in Asia allow this first list to be closely connected to audacious artistic practices and creative transformations.

“The emerging Asian artists thus selected are highly relevant for the HUGO BOSS ASIA ART Award. With the jury examining the nominators' selection, additional opportunities arise for exchanges in new contexts, topics and practices, since the jury is able to conduct further, in-depth research on the nominated artists.”


Exhibition and Education Activities

The group exhibition of the finalist artists of HUGO BOSS ASIA ART 2017 will be presented at Rockbund Art Museum from October 27, 2017. The exhibition will evolve from the previous editions with a new curatorial conceptualization and cooperation. As the designated curator, Li Qi, Senior Curator at Rockbund Art Museum, will fully engage with the artists in terms of commissioning new productions, selecting highlights from the artists’ previous oeuvre. The Rockbund Art Museum will also produce a publication for the Award.

“The four finalist artists demonstrate competence and versatility in their practice as well as in their acute insights and reflections on personal and social engagements. Not only do we appreciate their contributions to new forms of expression and experiences in contemporary visual art, but we also recognize their knowledge and intelligence across disciplines. In the finalist exhibition, the audience can expect encounters with the artists’ most recognized works, and will partake in the artists’ vision of the promising potential and new directions of contemporary art with the new commissions,” says Li Qi.

A series of public and education activities including talks, seminars, forums, and workshops will be held along with the Award to further explore the academic and social value of the finalist artists. Parallel to the exhibition, the public and educational programs make up another platform of the Award committed to exploring and presenting different artistic and social contexts in present-day Greater China and Southeast Asia. This will extend, complement and enrich the topics generated by the finalist artists while connecting with the general public.

About the Finalist Artists


Born in 1986 in Yuanjiang, Hunan Province and graduated from China Academy of Art, Li Ming currently lives and works in Hangzhou, China. His recent solo presentations include: “MEIWE”, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2015); and “Mediation”, Antenna Space, Shanghai (2014). His recent group exhibitions include: “No Walk, No Work”, Centre d'Art Contemporain Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland (2016); “Why the Performance?”, Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai (2016); “Turning Point: Contemporary Art in China since 2000”, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (2016); “Hybridizing Earth, Discussing Multitude”, Busan Biennale (2016); “TUTORIALS—Moving Images and a User’s Guide from China”, Museo Pino Pascali, Polignano a Mare, Italy (2016); “WE—A Community of Chinese Contemporary Artists”, Chi K11 Art Space, Shanghai, China (2016); “Essential Matters—Moving Images from China”, Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul (2015); Shenzhen Biennial (2014); “Pandanonium”, Momentum, Berlin (2014); “The Popular Tree and Mirror”, International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York (2014); “28 Chinese”, Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2014); and “On | Off” at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2013).


Born in Yunyang, Chongqing Province in 1983 and graduated in 2010 from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute with a BFA in Oil Painting, Tao Hui currently lives and works in Beijing. He won the special award of Contemporary Art Archive from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2008, and the Grand Prize at Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_VideoBrasil in 2015; he had also been shortlisted twice in two previous editions. Tao Hui is also the winner of Art Sanya & Huayu Youth Grand Award in 2015. His solo exhibitions include: “New Directions: Tao Hui”, UCCA, Beijing (2015); “1 Character & 7 Materials”, AIKE-DELLARCO, Shanghai (2015). Group exhibitions include: “The mulberry forest becoming ocean”, Esther Schipper, Berlin, Germany (2017); “Hack Space”, K11 Foundation Pop-up Space, Hong Kong (2016); “M+ Screening: Forty Years”, Broadway Cinematheque, Hong Kong (2016); “Why Not Ask Again”, 11th Shanghai Biennale, Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2016); “Turning Point: Contemporary Art in China since 2000”, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (2016); “TUTORIALS—Moving Images and a User’s Guide from China”, Museo Pino Pascali, Polignano a Mare, Italy (2016); “Bentu: Chinese Artists in a Time of Turbulence and Transformation”, Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France (2016); “Essential Matters—Moving Images from China”, Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey (2015); “Southern Panoramas”, Contemporary Art Festival_Videobrasil, São Paulo, Brazil (2013).


Born in Shanghai in 1985, and graduated from the Department of Sculpture at the Fine Art College of Shanghai University, Yu Ji also received a master degree; she currently lives and works in Shanghai. She is known for the diversity of her practice, dealing chiefly with sculptures and installations along with performances and videos. Her long-term interest has been an ongoing investigation into specific loci that are charged with geographical and historical narratives. She frequently conducts field research and is keen on creating bodily interventions in different sites. Her recent solo exhibitions include: “Black Mountain”, Beijing Commune (2016); “Dairy of Sulfur Mining—Pataauw”, Mind Set Art Center, Taipei, (2016); “Never Left Behind”, Beijing C-Space (2014). Yu Ji's work has been exhibited at various art institutions, including Palais des Tokyo in France, CAFA Museum in Beijing, Yuz Museum in Shanghai, and Times Museum in Guangzhou. She has been invited to the 11th Gwangju Biennale and the 11th Shanghai Biennale in 2016. She has undertaken a seven-month residency in Palais de Tokyo, OBC Pavillon in 2017. As another part of her artistic practice, Yu Ji co-founded the AM Art Space in 2008, which is one of the few non-profit, experimental art spaces active in Shanghai today.


Born in Singapore in 1983, and graduated from the Camberwell College of Arts at the University of the Arts London in 2005, Robert Zhao Renhui graduated from the London College of Communication at the University of the Arts London with a master degree in 2011. He works mainly with photography but often adopts a multi-disciplinary approach by presenting images together with documents and objects.

His solo exhibitions include: “Christmas Land, Naturally”, ShanghART, Singapore (2017); “The Nature Collector”, ShanghART, Shanghai (2015); “A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World”, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan (2014); “The Last Thing You See”, 2902 Gallery, Singapore (2014); “Fake or Reality”, Anzenberger Gallery, Vienna (2014); “Flies Prefer Yellow”, Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco (2014). His recent group exhibitions include: the Sydney Biennale (2016); Moscow International Biennale of Young Art (2014); Singapore Biennale (2013); President’s Young Talents, Singapore (2013); the Photoquai Photography Biennial, France (2013); the International Festival of Photography, Mineiro Museum, Brazil (2013); and “Engaging Perspectives”, CCA, Singapore (2013). He has also exhibited in: Noorderlicht Photofestival, Amsterdam; Format Festival, Derby, UK; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan; Photo Levallois, Paris; and Seoul Arts Center, Korea, among others.

About Rockbund Art Museum

For over seven years Rockbund Art Museum has been at the forefront of the growing contemporary art scene in China, presenting world-class programs in a unique museum setting. A boutique Museum of the utmost quality, RAM holds a unique position within Shanghai’s continually expanding cultural scene. The Museum is located within the Bund district and housed in an exquisite heritage Art Deco building, which was renovated by architect David Chipperfield before opening in 2010.

The museum’s exemplary curatorial, education and research programs showcase acclaimed and emerging Chinese and international artists, responding to and reflecting on present and urgent challenges of society locally and internationally. RAM presents a bold and pioneering program of three exhibitions and a special project “RAM HIGHLIGHT” per year, exploring and realizing artists’ most ambitious projects and working with them to tailor exhibitions to the Museum and to the Shanghai context, often with a large proportion of works being new commissions. RAM devises, produces and curates its program in-house, in conjunction with carefully selected international collaborations of the highest quality. 

HUGO BOSS Global Arts Program

Contemporary art is an integral part of the HUGO BOSS corporate culture. In conjunction with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum the Group established the HUGO BOSS Prize in 1996 which has evolved into an internationally renowned art award. The prize was complemented by the HUGO BOSS Asia Art Award in 2013, focusing on upcoming Asian artists.

HUGO BOSS has also been supported numerous international exhibitions of contemporary art. To date, these have presented works by Ross Bleckner (1995), Georg Baselitz (1995 and 1996), Dennis Hopper (2001), James Rosenquist (2003), Olafur Eliasson (2005) and Josephine Meckseper (2007). In 2012 HUGO BOSS sponsored the very first solo exhibition of Jeff Koons. Since 2014 the Group has started a special partnership with the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, supporting exhibitions like “Konstantin Grcic Panorama” (2014) and in 2015/2016 “The Bauhaus #itsalldesign.”


The HUGO BOSS Group is one of the leading companies in the upper premium segment of the apparel market that focuses on the development and marketing of premium fashion and accessories for men and women. The product portfolio offers menswear, womenswear, as well as licensed fragrances, eyewear, watches, children‘s fashion, home textiles and writing instruments.

Further information on HUGO BOSS can be found on our website at

Full materials are available to be downloaded via the following link:

Press Inquiries

Rockbund Art Museum

YU Lujia,,

+86 21 63216253


Dr. Hjördis Kettenbach, Head of Corporate Communications,

+49 7123 94-83377

Contemporary Art Consulting

Patrick LIU ,,

+86 18513099106

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