LONDON — Nowness, the art and culture video platform, plans to announce its inaugural Nowness Awards today, WWD has learned.
Ten honorees from different backgrounds will be revealed as a part of the ones-to-watch list for 2020 on Nov. 27 at the Modern Media Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Bunny Kinney, creative director of Nowness, said the end of a year award aims to spotlight and celebrate “the filmmakers and artists working in moving image, whose work we feel not only embodies the best of 2019, but has the potential to truly push culture forward in 2020 and beyond.”
The honorees have been selected by a group of jurors including the Oscar-nominated film director Luca Guadagnino; artists Andrew Thomas Huang, Martine Syms and Daniel Arsham; art historian and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist; designers Matthew Williams, Alexa Chung and Michele Lamy; stylist Lucia Liu; model Lily Cole, and one of China’s top sustainable fashion advocates, Shaway Yeh, according to Kinney.
“We didn’t want to have the internal team to select the final list. We sat down and came up with a list of high-level friends and family to nominate breakout artists that over the last year have made the most significant impact. The result is an incredibly diverse and global list. Each one of them represents a different point of view,” he said.
Jefferson Hack, cofounder of Dazed Media, added that: “We look forward to celebrating them and showcasing their work at the V&A’s Modern Media Gallery next week.”
It’s been almost 10 years since the inception of Nowness in 2010. It was set up as a visionary online luxury magazine by LVMH and Jefferson Hack to revitalize the then-failed e-commerce platform Eluxury.com, with a focus on video content. At that time — in the heyday of print — it was considered risky.
Nowness was quick to position itself as a global media brand. A Chinese language version was set up in 2012, and now videos are available in up to 10 languages including English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian.
In 2017, LVMH sold a majority stake of Nowness to Thomas Shao’s Modern Media of China, and a joint venture between Modern Media and Dazed Media was formed to ensure that Nowness could continue to showcase the best in art, design, fashion, beauty, music, food, travel and culture.
Nowness now has a monthly audience of 14 million in China.
With offices in London, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Kinney said Nowness is run by “an eclectic group of people,” and the Chinese edition and global edition have achieved great synergy, helping emerging Chinese moving image makers gain international recognition, and vice versa.
“I am personally hugely passionate about Chinese culture. We are using our China office as a new outpost to nurture domestic creativity and elevate them to a global stage,” Kinney said.
The venue for the event, Modern Media Gallery at the V&A is located within its newly opened Photography Centre, which was created with donations from Modern Media and Shao Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded by Shao, Modern Media’s chairman and editor in chief.
“It’s with great pleasure that to close what has been a phenomenal year for Nowness. We celebrate the future by launching the annual Nowness Awards. This initiative brings together our truly global community to call out the names of ten individuals whose work is exceptional and offers unconventional and new perspectives that are leading the cultural conversation on an international level,” said Shao.
Modern Media is a key player in China’s fashion publishing industry. It is the publisher of Modern Weekly, City Magazine, and the Chinese editions of InStyle, Numero, Bloomberg Businessweek and The Art Newspaper.