Famed John Moores Painting Prize exhibits on show

116 contemporary masterpieces shortlisted by John Moores Painting Prize are being exhibited at Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum. 
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Prizewinner Zhong Xueqing with his painting “Walking on thin ice”

Presenting different movements, avant-garde, techniques and styles, 116 contemporary masterpieces shortlisted by John Moores Painting Prize are being exhibited at Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum. 

This year marks the 30th edition of the biennial John Moores Painting Prize in the UK and the 5th in China. The exhibition, consisting of 103 shortlisted paintings from Chinese contemporary artists and 13 from Michael Simpson, the prizewinner of the competition in 2016, is considered to be the biggest one since its foundation. 

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Excellence award-winning work by Pan Lin

The competition in China this year reaches a breakthrough point in terms of the quality of paintings and the number of participators. The 3319 competitors, whose ages range from under 18 to over 70, enrich the competition as well as the exhibition with diverse elements, artistic styles and aesthetic interests. 

The prize of the competition provides the winners more opportunities to broaden their horizons and help them with solo exhibitions to present their works to the world. 

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Excellence award-winning work by Duan Xiaogang

“The five prizewinning paintings every two years may be from famous painters, from overlooked talented artists in their late years, or from emerging artists with their careers in front of them. But it is certain that this prize promotes nothing but paintings and painters — it does not promote a company or any product other than painting, or a lifestyle or fashion or philosophy,” said Lewis Biggs, the curator.

The results of the five prizewinning paintings were finally announced to the public at the exhibition opening ceremony on Tuesday. “I can experience, get close to this world through painting and my individualism is embodied in my works,” said the prizewinner Zhong Xueqing. “But the final say still belongs to the visitors.”

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Excellence award-winning work by Wang Yi

For the first time, at the John Moores Painting Prize in China, the Visitors’ Choice award got the public involved. “I hope this award can get more people to express their feelings and share their comments on artist works and connect the art museum with the public, art experts and the society,” said Gan Zhiyi, the curator of Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum.

Collectively hosted by Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, the John Moores Painting Prize Committee and Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, the exhibition is scheduled to run until June 15.

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