Eisa Jocson. Courtesy of the Rockbund Art Museum.

Eisa Jocson Wins 2019 Hugo Boss Asia Art Award

The Manila-born artist, dancer, and choreographer Eisa Jocson been named the winner of the 2019 Hugo Boss Asia Art, which recognizes emerging artists. Jocson creates works that often examine gender formation, body politics, and social mobility in the service and entertainment industries in the Philippines. She was selected from a shortlist that included Hao Jingban, Hsu Che-Yu, and Thảo-Nguyên Phan, and will receive a prize of $42,800. The finalists’ work will be on display at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai until January 5, 2020.

“As a female artist conceiving stunning and always unexpected art projects from performance to sound and visual installations, Eisa Jocson has already a unique position in the contemporary art scenes in Asia and globally,” said Rockbund Art Museum director Larys Frogier. “The artist creates multilayered images, revisiting the vocabularies of dance and music, as well as infiltrating local popular references and contemporary visual art formats. It is with great intelligence that Eisa Jocson engages today’s life and art, always repositioning her own practice into the unknown, going beyond fixed identities, genders, and frontiers.”

Among Jocson’s works on view in the prize exhibition are Super Woman KTV, 2019, a karaoke video which combines song and dance performances inspired by folk rituals, oral traditions, and contemporary pop songs that draw attention to the evolving notion of femininity and the trajectory of female empowerment, and the four-channel video installation Corponomy, 2019, a mix of archival material from the artist’s previous performances, which range from pole-dancing and macho dancing to practicing her act as the Disney princess Snow White and imitating hostesses of nightclubs in Tokyo.

Chaired by Frogier, the 2019 prize jury comprised the Beijing-based artist Cao Fei; art historian and curator Patrick D. Flores, artistic director of the Singapore Biennale; Gridthiya Gaweewong, artistic director of the Jim Thompson Art Center in Bangkok; Sunjung Kim, president of the Gwangju Biennale Foundation in Seoul; and Carol Yinghua Lu, director of the Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum.

Installation view of Eisa Jocson’s Corponomy, 2019, in the “Hugo Boss Asia Art Award” exhibition. Photo: Rockbund Art Museum. Courtesy of the artist.