First Winners of $25,000 Gold Art Prize for AAPI and Asian Diaspora Artists Named

The inaugural winners of the Gold Art Prize, which will award $25,000 to five AAPI and Asian diaspora artists every other year, are Jes Fan, Maia Ruth Lee, Candice Lin, Moved by the Motion, and Miljohn Ruperto.

Two of the winners are currently the subject of major showcases. Fan, whose work is on view in the 2021 New Museum Triennial in New York, is known for including organic matter in sculptures that mull identity and queerness. And at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Lin is showing an installation that asks viewers to consider cats’ perspectives on the world.

The other three artists have shown their work widely. Lee focuses on language and systems in her sculptural installations. Moved by the Motion is an artist group that has included Wu Tsang, Tosh Basco, Fred Moten, and others; it has created performances and sound installations that are themselves about collaboration. Ruperto makes videos, animations, and photographs that expose the shaky nature of truth.

The Gold Art Prize was formed by adviser Kelly Huang and Gold House, a California-based nonprofit focused on Asian and Pacific Islander leaders. The creators have said their goal is to increase scholarship and visibility for AAPI and Asian diaspora artists.

“Inviting AAPI leaders of art and culture to nominate and select awardees guarantees that the Gold Art Prize holds the necessary gravitas to be truly impactful—not only for the artists, but also in breaking through to a larger audience,” Huang said in a statement. “We want to celebrate the thought-provoking and relevant practices of these artists in hopes of inspiring others to engage with contemporary art.”