Winner EYE Prize 2017 | Wang Bing
Wang Bing wins the third EYE Art & Film Prize.
Beijing-based Wang Bing has made a significant body of work, in which he uses both documentary and feature film, as well as video-installation.
Wang Bing’s work as a filmmaker and visual artist touches upon the transformations taking place in Chinese society. Working virtually alone and using a digital camera, Wang Bing creates films characterised by their reliance on natural lighting and ambient sound. Often employing striking long, shots and blending time and reality, Wang’s monumental films challenge the larger narratives of contemporary China by capturing the banal humanity of their subjects. His films point to the raw and existential realities of the human condition.
On behalf of the Jury, Sandra den Hamer, CEO of the EYE Filmmuseum and chair of the EYE Art & Film Prize, noted: “With his uncompromising way of working, Wang Bing is a sincere and authentic artist, who shows his engagement with today’s society and his perspective on the human condition. His well-constructed work has a deep knowledge of the visual language and is a strong voice, both in cinema and in the arts. While political and outspoken, Wang Bing doesn’t push viewers to accept his perspective, rather, his beautiful, brave work leaves room for interpretation.”
Born in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China, in 1967, Wang Bing studied photography at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Art and cinematography at Beijing Film Academy. He began his career as an independent filmmaker in 1999. Officially released in 2003, West of Tracks (Tiexi qu), an enormous documentary work of over 9 hours, was internatlionally succesful immediately. In addition to his feature documentaries (Three Sisters/San zimei, ’Til Madness/Fengai), he is also active in video installation (Crude Oil/Yuanyou, a 14 hour film), fiction film (Brutality Factory/Baoli gongchang, The Ditch/Jiabiangou), and photography.
Wang Bing’s work has been selected for major international film festivals, including Cannes Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival and International Film Festival Rotterdam. Several of his films have been recognised with international awards, including the award for Best Film in “Orizzonti” at the 69th Venice International Film Festival for Three Sisters (2012). Acclaimed by critics and recognised as one of the most important Chinese artists, documentary makers and film directors of his time, Wang Bing has been honoured with retrospectives in museums, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique in Brussels. In 2017, he is participating in documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany.
In spring 2018, EYE will present an exhibition of Wang Bing and the two previous winners of the EYE Art & Film Prize, Hito Steyerl and Ben Rivers.