The winner of the 2021 Loewe Foundation Craft Prize has just been announced – and so has a brand new digital experience
The Room is a new digital platform which showcases the work of all 115 finalists of the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize ever since its conception in 2016.
Fanglu Lin from China – a young designer motivated by the need to salvage the fading traditions and folkways of China’s ethnic minorities – was chosen as the winning entry of this year’s Loewe Foundation Craft Prize with her work, SHE (2016). The work astonished the jury with “its monumental scale and breath-taking skill.” Made with cloth, the work is influenced by the thousand-year-old sewing methods of women of Bai Minority in Yunnan province, China.
The Prize Jury also agreed upon two special mentions. The first was for David Corvalán from Chile, for the work Desértico II (2019). This beautiful copper wire and resin work possesses the allure of an artefact from a distant era, and is loaded with ancestral and political messaging. Part of a series of geomorphological sculptures inspired by Corvalán’s home in the Atacama Desert, it brings attention to the way commercial greed motivates industrial mining. Fashioned from copper wire and resin, the petrified surface serves as a representation of the fragility of the beauty that surrounds us, while evidencing how human behaviour imperils natural wonder.
The Jury’s second mention was for Takayuki Sakiyama from Japan, for the work Chōtō: Listening To The Waves (2019). A swirling love letter to the fluctuating power of the sea, this enchanting sculptural vessel is a triumph of material mastery and technique. Condensing his own observations of the ocean’s ebbs and flows into this orbicular form, Sakiyama uses a unique sand glaze that both invokes and inverts the seabed. Frequently drawing inspiration for his works from the sea surrounding the Izu Peninsula where he resides, Sakiyama’s pieces can be found in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Le Musée National de Céramique de Sèvres in France.
Lin, Corvalán and Sakiyama were chosen from 30 finalists by a distinguished jury composed of leading figures from the worlds of design, architecture, journalism, criticism and museum curatorship, including Olivier Gabet, Naoto Fukasawa and Patricia Urquiola. The finalists were chosen by a panel of experts in 2020 from over 2,500 submissions by artists representing more than 100 countries – the most international edition since the prize was conceived by creative director Jonathan Anderson in 2016.
Anderson’s overall aim with the prize was to acknowledge the importance of craft in today’s culture – to showcase and celebrate the excellence and artistic merit of modern craftsmanship – whilst simultaneously recognising working artisans whose talent, vision and will to innovate set a standard for the future. The Loewe Foundation Craft Prize 2021 subsequently recognises the shortlisted artists as having made fundamentally important contributions to the development of contemporary craft, and functions as a multigenerational snapshot of the utmost excellence in craft today.