The China Contemporary Art Award was founded in 1998 by Uli Sigg on the principles of fairness, independence and academic judgment. The award is operated through an independent, not-for-profit institution with the aim of encouraging highly talented Chinese artists and art critics who have produced outstanding work.
From the first artist award in 1998, a prize has been given every two years. Later on the CCAA began to award Best Artist, Best Young Artist and Outstanding Achievement prizes. The CCAA is now an important event on the Chinese art scene.
The CCAA benefits from the unique way its panel is chosen: each member is a director or curator from one of the world’s top institutions, and the panel is divided equally between Chinese and international members. For fifteen years, the CCAA has thoroughly promoted Chinese contemporary art on the world stage and made a major contribution to bringing Chinese artists onto the global art scene.
As contemporary art grows in China, strong support from public institutions will become the central pillar underpinning efforts to balance the market and guide the fast-growing public who are following or contributing to Chinese contemporary art. An art institution that is continually growing requires independent analysis and criticism; in order to highlight this, the CCAA held every two years formalized a system for itself in 2007.
Looking back over the past fifteen years, the CCAA has seen participation from more than 60 of some of the most talented judges both in China and internationally. The achievements of the nineteen winning artists and six critics chosen from close to a thousand entries have been recognized not only through the prize money and the honor of winning; the CCAA has also published 13 books and held three exhibitions.