Alex Gao

Director of Today Art Museum


What matters most too young artists is the choices they make. For us, the jurors of this appraisal and selection, we would like to unveil the myriad of dynamic forms and orientations in art, including not only traditional ink and wash painting, oil painting, but also installation, video, and other new and mixed media. Young artists should strive to be engaged in as many artistic categories as possible, instead of being confined to "easel art" or traditional forms. This is the criterion we consider when appraising the contestants' works, for the purpose of encouraging the awareness of innovation and challenge. We will also focus on the academic level of this year's selection of works.


There are many art contests these days, thanks to which we have gained more opportunities for seeing students' works. At the same time, some students have become "standing members of contests" with their works repetitiously appearing at various events. In some cases, students have even gone so far as to use one single piece or series for two or three consecutive years. Although the active involvement of these young artists should be applauded in any event, and the repetitious appearances of the same piece or series on different occasions may help maintain their presence, as well as the artistic caliber of the contests, what I look forward to most is seeing new works, since relentless innovation is the driving force behind any creative breakthrough.


Although there is a certain satisfaction in viewing a relatively mature, well-distilled piece of work, I still prefer to witness the growing process of young artists. Although their work may strike one as undeveloped due to lack of experience, techniques, or tools, each piece is the carrier of its creator's inner tensile force and inspiration, which is what we are trying our best to discover.


I hope that artists will not stop experiencing life. The emotions aroused by real connections between life and heart - confusion, pride, anguish, and everything else in-between - can be repurposed to make a piece of work moving and stunning. A work will be refreshing to viewers as long as it is real and inspirational, even if it may be somewhat immature in execution.