Established in 2016 to celebrate innovation and the drive for virtuoso research in contemporary craftsmanship, the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize will celebrate its 2021 edition with a virtual exhibition. The physical exhibition, which was to take place at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs after the 2020 edition was postponed, will not be able to take place due to the pandemic. A restriction that has not discouraged the organizers, who together with the museum have decided to experiment with a new digital formula to highlight the work of the thirty finalists selected from over 3000 applications by the jury led by Wang Shu, architect Pritzker Prize in 2012.
Visitable through a 3D exhibition path that realistically reconstructs the Grande Salle of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the exhibition offers a focus on each work and finds a valuable compendium - realistic in photos, so that the incredible materiality and technique that distinguishes each piece can be better appreciated - in an online platform, The Room, designed as an in-depth look at the individual works and artists.
"The inspiration of this year's award to contemporary art may lie in that it is important but not enough to inherit local traditions. The only way to inherit traditions today is to innovate by leaps and leaps. Only the concept of innovation is not enough, innovation must have the depth of craftsmanship, otherwise it is a flash in the pan show”, Wang Shu tells Domus. Following this desire to value a radical renewal of artistic craftsmanship, the jury named Chinese artist Fanglu Lin (1989) as the winner of the 2021 Edition. Her work SHE (2016), awarded for its "monumental scale and incredible skill" according to the jury's motivation, is inspired by the textile workings of Bai women in the Yunnan region.
"We are undoubtedly very sad to have lost the physical edition of the Loewe Craft Prize 2021," says Olivier Gabet, Director of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. "However, I must say that the virtual exhibition welcomes visitors in a new way and on an unprecedented scale thanks to the possibility of reaching a worldwide audience, anywhere and anytime, and I think this proves to be an incredibly generous opportunity. This virtual exhibition is a tour de force, it certainly doesn't replace the sensitive and immediate dialogue we have with the artwork, but it offers another dimension with its worldwide reach. I've had the privilege of spending time with the works themselves, I'm not sure if some aspects are left unexplored, but what I am sure of is that this offers a privilege to many virtual visitors”.
- Loewe Craft Prize