Li Anna Liu
Since CCAA established its first Chinese contemporary art awards in 1998, it has not only witnessed, but also participated in the evolution of contemporary art in China in the the past 18 years. As an award that stresses academic value, transparency, fair play and purity, what role does CCAA play in the different phases of Chinese contemporary art?
From a semi-underground state to the world stage, from small-scale discussions to truly high-end academic exchange on global level, CCAA followed with great interest how Chinese culture encountered and interacted with Western culture as well as explored how our contemporary era was confronted with and inherited our tradition. The selection of the awards in the past 18 years can be viewed as a consistent effort to explore the possibilities for individuality to coexist with collectivity, and the mainstream with the marginal, and also as its persistence in supporting and encouraging creative art practice. It has actually built a platform for all those who are interested contemporary art, Chinese contemporary art in particular, to reflect on and relive these impressive 18 years.