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  • Kelly Huang

Preface by Kelly Huang

The Gold Art Prize aims to spotlight and support the leading next generation of AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) and Asian diaspora artists. Its goals are to elevate AAPI artists, increase their visibility, support diversity and representation, and build community.


Throughout my 15-year career in the art world, in roles at galleries, institutions, and as an advisor, I could not help but notice the relative invisibility of Asian American artists. Building a community is the first step in creating belonging. And belonging means having a meaningful voice and the ability to contribute to a larger culture. Art should belong to all of us, and it requires our participation to make it more accessible to everyone.


My career has largely been built on supporting artists who are pushing the definitions of contemporary art through rigorous conceptual practices. I tend to favor artists who, I feel, have the potential to shape the evolution of art history or redefine the canon—rather than follow what is trending in the market. The collectors I work with are aligned with me in these values, and we build collections together that are centered around their passions and interests, with a strong belief that art can enrich our lives. That focus and those values formed the basis of my concept for the Gold Art Prize.


The strength of the Gold Art Prize initiative is in the people who were brought together around this centralized goal. I began by inviting eight leading curators from US institutions, all of whom are Asian

American, to be on the Nominating Committee. Each brought their own diverse perspective and experience to naming the finalists. The Selection Committee included art collectors and board leaders of museums, as well as writers and cultural programmers. Through a partnership with Gold House, the committee extended to include leading fashion designers and celebrities from the Asian diaspora.


“The Future”—our theme for the inaugural Gold Art Prize—is about laying a foundation of support now to build a more inclusive future for all. This effort begins with granting a $25,000 unrestricted cash prize to each awardee. Through Gold House’s Future Network, we are connecting them with a broader community beyond the art world to leading creatives in entertainment, fashion, music and more.


We want future generations to see themselves represented and understand that diversity is a strength. We want them to feel validated in choosing to pursue careers as cultural producers. We want them to feel supported by a community.


The five inaugural recipients of the Gold Art Prize—Jes Fan, Maia Ruth Lee, Candice Lin, Moved by the Motion, and Miljohn Ruperto—represent a diverse cross section of identities and practices. Their works contribute to critical discourse regarding construction of identity, how histories and rituals shape our contemporary experiences, and the functions and definitions of language. They, along with the 27 finalists chosen by the Nominating Committee, deserve the visibility that the Gold Art Prize aims to provide.


In a year of both trauma and solidarity, we have found a way to create something meaningful together. We are honored by the contributions of those who have partnered, challenged, and supported us along the way. Now it is up to all of us to continue to choose solidarity and to design for inclusivity. There is still much work to be done, and we look forward to a future of collaboration. This is just the beginning.


 

Kelly Huang is a Co-Founder of the Gold Art Prize. She is also the founder of KCH Advisory, a full service art advising firm with a focus on building curated collections of contemporary art.

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