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The winners of the second Chanel Next Prize, which awards ten artists working across disciplines ranging from art, to film, performance and music, have been announced. Each will receive €100,000 to help further their practice and realise their most ambitious work. They will also be offered two years of mentorship and given access to an international networking programme formed in collaboration with the French fashion house’s partners.

The biennial prize was launched in 2021 as part of Chanel’s Culture Fund, a funding initiative that seeks to support and promote figures at the cutting edge of contemporary culture. The judging panel for the award includes some of the most prominent names in the sector, including the actor Tilda Swinton and the artist Cao Fei—both returning for a second time—and the curators Legacy Russell and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

The winners of this year’s prize include the Georgian artist Tolia Astakhishvili, whose multidisciplinary practice includes installations exploring the relationship between people and architectural space, and the Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen, whose films and performances often combine images from mythological, art historical and documentary sources to offer new ways of looking at the past.

Installation view of Tolia Astakhishvili, space reflected owner I, in the exhibition The First Finger at Bonner Kunstverein, 2023.

Speaking to The Art Newspaper Ho says: “I hope [the prize money] will go a long way in developing my studio and infrastructure, so as to expand my capacity to continue my practice in the long term. Of late, I’ve become preoccupied with different understandings of the notion of power. I’m particularly interested in how we can swerve from the exercise of power over others, to the notion of power as the capacity to be affected, an opening up of our senses and an enlargement of our potential for empathy.”

Installation view of Ho Tzu Nyen, The Cloud of Unknowing (2011) at Singapore Art Museum, 2013.

“There can never be too much support for artists whose practices that are not commercial in orientation,” he continues. “We seem to be living through an interregnum of sorts, but this can only mean that there are new worlds waiting to be born.”

Among the other awardees are Sam Eng, a self-taught video game developer who has previously collaborated with digital art pioneer Ian Cheng. Others include Dalton Paula, whose painted and photographic portraits bring to the fore overlooked figures from Brazilian history, and the choreographer Oona Doherty. The filmmaker Maxy Fox, musician and poet Moor Mother and the composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir also won.

Sam Eng, Skate Story (2024)

Paula says: “The prize will pave the way for bigger dreams, which involve the construction of a forest-school. A space that, like the Sertão Negro Ateliê and Art School that I already develop, is guided by ancestral knowledge, so that young artists and researchers can continue developing their work and potential through the sharing of codes from the artistic system and care for the land.”

Dalton Paula, Luiza Mahin (2020). Mahin was believed to be an important figure in organising the slave uprisings that took place in Bahia, Brazil, in the first half of the 19th century.

Asked about his hopes for the award as a judge, Cao tells The Art Newspaper: “The Chanel Next Prize fosters creativity among artists, especially those who challenge conventional definitions in visual arts, contemporary culture, dance, music, gaming, and beyond. I hope that these 10 winners will continue to progress in their respective fields. I also look forward to Chanel Next Prize further elevating its impact on the global art scene.”

Yana Peel, the global head of arts and culture at Chanel, says: “Our work at the Chanel Culture Fund is long-term, collaborative and multidisciplinary—so too for the NEXT Prize. At the individual and institutional level, we endeavour to accelerate the ideas that advance change for a better future. Today’s visual artists are part of a global conversation, and we are there to amplify their voices.”

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