The VIA Arts Prize is London’s bespoke visual Ibero-American themed arts competition. It is organised by the Embassies of Latin America, Spain and Portugal and is hosted annually at the Embassy of Brazil, in its impressive Sala Brasil gallery.
The best 30 artworks received in our strongly contested Call for Entries are now on display. The theme of this year’s competition is ‘Dialogues with Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese art’, and all of our finalists have established fascinating connections with these regional art styles.
Also on display is a solo show KOSMOS by last year's 1st Prize winner Ting Tong Chang, which explores the universe of science and art through an innovative blend of robotics, taxidermy and film.
We would like to invite you to join us for an Artist's Talk, an event with last year's VIA winner, Ting-Tong Chang, and this year's runner up, Rafael D'Alo, who will discuss their current exhibited works, the process of participation in the award and their inspiration and insights into the VIA Arts Prize.
To attend, please rsvp through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/via-arts-prize-artists-talk-tickets-39870163733.
About the artists:
This year’s runner up was Brazilian artist Rafael D’Alo’s analog photograph entitled Belo Monte Incidental number 65. His evocative image features a traditional Amazonian boat, submerged in muddied waters and was taken in the Brazilian town of Altamira on the River Xingu. An area originally populated by indigenous groups, the region has recently experienced an overwhelming migration of workers due to the construction of the Belo Monte dam. D’Alo’s work seeks to analyse the relationship between man versus nature and how the environment is reshaped by the same culture it helps to produce.
Ting-Tong Chang’s solo exhibition 'Kosmos' is inspired by German scientist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt’s treatise on science and nature, which paints a general “portrait of nature”, describing the physical nature of outer space and the earth. Humboldt viewed the world as what the ancient Greeks called a kosmos – “the assemblage of all things in heaven and earth, the universality of created things constituting the perceptible world.” The title of the show, also responds to the Sala Brasil, exhibition venue which was the former ticket hall for the Oceanic Steamship Company, where it is said tickets for the Titanic were sold. Known for creating immersive site specific installations, for Kosmos, Ting-Tong Chang attempts to re-imagine the location as the centuries old departure point for unknown travellers seeking a better place—the Utopia, and the imaginary cosmos of the artist’s own journey. Throughout the exhibition, the artist explores a range of themes connected with the location—from Amazonia expeditions and explorers, automatons and robots, to identity in contemporary culture. The artist presents a reality that is both old and new, factual and fictional.