History of JMPP CHINA

The John Moores Painting Prize is held every two years to recognize the best contemporary paintings. It was established in 1957, and is named after its founder Mr John Moores. Prize-winning works and entries will be exhibited in the Walker Art Gallery of National Museums Liverpool as part of the Liverpool Biennale. Past prizewinners include internationally renowned painters such as David Hockney, Peter Doig and Richard Hamilton.

John Moores, the founder of the Prize, is a business tycoon, and an amateur painter. He participate in a dozen painting competitions at that time, but failed the selection because of his identity of businessman. He thought the selection of some competitions was unfair, and that the jury preferred their acquaintances. So he decided to set up an unbiased competition, and that’s the original intention of establishing the John Moores Painting Competition. On the premise of fairness and anonymity, the jury can only ballot for the most potential and most excellent painters based on the quality of the paintings. In 1957, the first John Moores Painting Competition was rounded off. It was a competition that was intended to be held for once. Yet because of its huge success, it later became a continuous competition.

In early 1960s, the exhibition of the competition was regarded a major show to lead the avant-garde art in Britain. The prize-winning artworks were collected by John Moores, and were permanently collected by and displayed at Walker Art Gallery. Among them, a number of classic artworks, such as “Creation and Crucifixion,” paintings by William Scott, “March 1963” by Roger Hilton and “Peter getting out of Nick’s Pool” by David Hockney, ensure Walker Art Gallery’s status in post-war British art, and that the gallery stands no inferior to any collection agencies in Britain.

From 1960s to late 1970s, despite the fact that painting was challenged by new media art, and the John Moores Painting Prize was also affected, its leadership in Briitsh painting still remained. Being its first prize winner was always regarded the highest honor one could get in a national painting competition. In 1980, Walker Art Gallery once again purchased a series of competition works, including “Broken Bride 13.6.82” by John Hoyland, “Oriental Garden, Kyoto” by Bruce McLean, “Handles” by Lisa Milroy, “Blotter” by Peter Doig and “Mirage” by Michael Raedecker. The tradition of John Moores Painting Competition was carried on, and it grew to be the most core exhibition area of Liverpool Biennale. Nowadays, John Moores Painting Competition has built solid partnership with National Museums Liverpool. The John Moores Contemporary Painting Exhibition is held every two years at the Walker Art Gallery of the National Gallery.

In China, Fine Arts Academy of Shanghai University is the partner of John Moores Painting Prize (China). The China division is committed to adhering to the operational philosophy and mechanism of the John Moores Painting Prize in Britain. The jury comprises three British judges and two Chinese judges. The selection will be conducted independently, and based only on the quality of the works. The whole selection process will remain anonymous till the winners come out. Every John MooresPainting Prize (China) will select one John Moores Special Prize winner, and four John Moores Prize winners.

Upholding the principles of openness, fair and just, along with international selection criterion, and the purposes to provide a stage for international cultural exchange, the John Moores Painting Prize (China) has been successfully held for four years, from 2010 to 2016. Participants come from all provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The number of the participants keeps increasing every year in thousands. Artists all over the country responded actively and participated extensively. The award-winning works and the artistic accomplishments of the winners were well recognized by international judges, which pave the way for more excellent Chinese artists to present their achievements on international stages.

Prize-winning works are collected by John Moores University and its partner Shanghai University. Some renowned foreign collectors, large Chinese enterprises and individuals are also collecting these works. Now, the John Moores Painting Prize (China) wins high favor among various fine arts academies, art museums, galleries, cultural institutions and collectors, and earns huge approbation in the art circle. In the future, John Moores Painting Prize (China) could be the best choice to appreciate Chinese contemporary painting.