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Turner Prize candidates on show in English seaside town

By Bo Leung in Margate, Kent | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-10-02 17:29

The English seaside town of Margate in Kent is playing host to the renowned Turner Prize for the first time.

An exhibition of the work of four artists shortlisted for the 2019 running of the prestigious contemporary art prize is being held at Turner Contemporary in Margate.

The Turner Prize celebrates the best of modern art and is one of the biggest art prizes awarded in the United Kingdom. Every second year, a venue other than the Tate Britain gallery in London hosts the prize.

Established in 1984, the prize is named after British painter J. M. W. Turner and this year's venue has a direct connection to the artist because Turner spent much of his life in the seaside town.

The four contenders for the 25,000-pound ($30,600) prize are Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo, and Tai Shani.

Abu Hamdan creates audio-video installations, audio-archives, and performances. For the Turner Prize 2019, the artist looks into sound and sound-effects in an audio-visual installation following research from an investigation Abu Hamdan undertook in which Syrians suffered from the civil war were interviewed.

Cammock explores the role of women in the civil rights movement in Derry in Northern Ireland in the movie The Long Note. Cammock's presentation also includes two performances, a reading area, and a series of screen prints.

Tai Shani's work is inspired by tales from mythology and history. [Photo by Ouyang Xueyan / China Daily]

Murillo focuses on the political and socio-economic movement in the UK for his Turner Prize 2019 exhibition. Murillo has created a group of life-sized papiermache figures that are sitting on church pews to represent a mobile and globalized workforce.

And Shani has taken inspiration from varied mythologies, histories, and fictions to create a dark and fantastical world and also to question the construction of gender, feminism, and the patriarchy.

Rowan Geddis, Turner Prize 2019 co-curator, said: "They are four very bold artists that are all asking super pertaining questions about the state of the world right now, and what our roles collectively are in moving forward. They are also, in a number of ways, looking at the history that we share and questioning how that history was constructed, and for whom."

The winner will be announced on Dec 3. The exhibition continues until Jan 12.

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