Chanel Announces Winners of Inaugural ‘Next Prize’

Monday, December 13, 2021
Chanel Announces Winners of Inaugural ‘Next Prize’

The luxury French fashion house named 10 award-winners working in film, design and the performing arts. Each prize winner received €100,000 ($113,000) to invest in their work.

The luxury fashion house Chanel announced the awarded $113,000 apiece to 10 international artists as part of its inaugural Chanel Next Prize, an initiative begun earlier this year as a way to bolster the careers of creatives working across a number of different disciplines. This initial spate of winners includes game designer Lual Mayen, screenwriter and director Rungano Nyoni, dancer and choreographer Botis Seva and the artist and poet Precious Okoyomon, who in 2021 also took home the Frieze Artist Award. The Chanel Next Prize is part of the Chanel Culture Fund, a global initiatives program founded to provide support for various artistic projects.

The artists selected by Chanel as the winners represent a broad spate of artistic disciplines, and they were selected by an elite group of artists themselves: internationally renowned architect David Adjaye, actress Tilda Swinton and multimedia artist Cao Fei. Theater director Marie Schleef’s recent work NAME HER. In Search of Women+ address the dearth of representation of women throughout history in the form of a 7 hour long multimedia performance lecture. “In the German theater world, only about twenty percent of text that is put on stage was written by women,” Schleef said in a statement. “So there’s a huge gap. Ironically, sixty percent of people who go and see theater are women. So I wonder, why is there such a strong margin and why is it happening?”

In addition to the $113,000, each of the artists being awarded by Chanel will also have access to a selection of Chanel-appointed mentors; they’ll also have the ability to put the funds toward any kind of individual initiative they want. “Through the creation of the Next Prize, we extend Chanel’s deep history of cultural commitment,” Yana Peel, the Chanel global head of arts and culture, said in a statement, “empowering big ideas and creating opportunities for an emerging generation of artists to imagine the next.”

Precious Okoyomon launched an installation in New York earlier this year intended to hold and reshape apocalyptic, pandemic-era grief entitled FRAGMENTED BODY PERCEPTIONS AS HIGHER VIBRATION FREQUENCIES TO GOD. “I’m obsessed with the miracle of the everyday life,” Okoyomon said. “I’m obsessed with how that translates into the very concept of how we imagine the good life or life itself, or how we stretch the imagined fabrics of what even we see art as.”

The recipients will convene for the first time in April 2022 at the Venice Biennale, Italy’s prestigious multidisciplinary artistic showcase. The complete list of winners are:

Jung Jae-il: a Berlin-based, composer, performer, music director and producer.

Keiken: a collaborative practice between artists Hana Omori, Isabel Ramos and Tanya Cruz.

Lual Mayen: a self-taught game designer from South Sudan.

Marlene Monteiro Freitas: a Cape Verdean dancer and choreographer.

Rungano Nyoni: a Zambian filmmaker based in London.

Precious Okoyomon: a British artist and poet.

Marie Schleef: a Berlin-based theatre director.

Botis Seva: a British dancer, choreographer and director.

Wang Bing: a Chinese filmmaker.

Eduardo Williams: an Argentinian filmmaker and artist.

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