K evin Ching, Chief Executive Officer for Sotheby's Asia, was a recipient of an Asia Art Pioneers award in the inaugural year of the honor, founded by Modern Media to promote the innovation and creation of art. The organization gives recognition to artists, exhibitions, art projects and entrepreneurs who have contributed to arts in Asia as well as contemporary culture worldwide.
Editors of The Art Newspaper China, ArtReview Asia, and LEAP served as the jurors for the award, basing their decisions on reports and reviews from across the three publications, and honor key figures that have advanced global dialogue and represented innovation in arts across Asia. The awards ceremony was held in early November in Shanghai. Kevin Ching received the first Asia Art Pioneers award in the category of Art Market Personality.
Other recipients of the honor included the late Huang Yong Ping, a pioneering artist of China’s avant-garde, who earned the Asia Art Pioneers lifetime achievement award. Other artists that were recognized in 2019 were Cao Fei, Nikhil Chopra, Ho Tzu Nyen, and Heague Yang.
The Award for Art Market Observer, China, went to Wu Kejia, author of TEFAF Art Market Report: The Chinese Art Market and Professor at Sotheby’s Institute New York.
Honors were also given to exhibitions and art projects including: Picasso–Birth of a Genius at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, David Hockney: Works from the Tate Collection at M Woods–Hutong, Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at Long Museum West Bund, Maurizio Cattelan: The Artist Is Present at GUCCI and Yuz Museum, Beyond Boundaries: Cartier and the Palace Museum Craftsmanship and Restoration Exhibition presented by The Palace Museum and Cartier, China Landscape: Selections from the Taikang Collection 2019 presented by Taking Insurance Group, The Painted Screen: Past and Future at Suzhou Museum, and Awakenings: Art in Society in Asia 1960s–1990s at National Gallery Singapore.
Okayama Art Summit 2019 was the Public Art Project of the Year, while the innovator of the year went to Gudskul: Collective Study and Contemporary Art Ecosystem by the collective ruangrupa, Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara, Indonesia. K11 Musea received honors for Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration and PRADA Rong Zhai Art Projects supported by Fondazione Prada garnered the Art Programme of the Year.