<p>Doryun Chong, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at M+&nbsp;</p>

Doryun Chong, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at M+ 

Wednesday 29 June 2016

Deputy Director and Chief Curator at Hong Kong’s new M+ museum, Doryun Chong, has been appointed as the international judge for this year’s Walters Prize, New Zealand’s contemporary art prize.

Chong, who was previously Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA in New York, will announce the winning artist at the Walters Prize award dinner on Friday 30 September. 

The Walters Prize 2016 exhibition showcasing the work of the four finalists opens at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki on Saturday 16 July. Entry is free.

Auckland Art Gallery Director Rhana Devenport says she is delighted to announce Chong, who has an exceptional reputation internationally, as the Walters Prize 2016 judge.

‘As an active and innovative curator of contemporary art, Chong is poised to play a pivotal role in the shaping of art in the Asia-Pacific region over the coming years, so we’re excited to be fostering this connection.’

Chong says he is deeply honoured to be invited as the international judge for the Walters Prize 2016.

‘I am thrilled because this opportunity will allow me not only to join the illustrious roster of past judges, who are all curators I greatly admire, but also to reconnect with and rediscover the vibrant community of artists in New Zealand I was able to learn about on my previous visits,’ he says.

Devenport says the selection of Chong continues a track record of high-calibre judges for the Walters Prize since its inception in 2002.

‘Through the Walters Prize, these judges have brought a wealth of idea generation and alternate perspectives to the conversations about art in New Zealand,’ she says.

The winning artist, as judged by Chong, will receive $50,000. All four finalists receive $5,000.

The four finalists were nominated by an independent jury for the following works:

  • Joyce Campbell, Flightdream, 2015, exhibited at: Two Rooms, Auckland, 24 September to 24 October 2015
  • Nathan Pohio, Raise the anchor, unfurl the sails, set course to the centre of an ever setting sun!, 2015, exhibited at: SCAPE 8: New Intimacies, Christchurch, 3 October to 15 November 2015
  • Lisa Reihana, in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015, exhibited at: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2 May to 30 August 2015
  • Shannon Te Ao, Two shoots that stretch far out, 2013–14, exhibited at: the 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire, 21 March to 9 June 2014.


Walters Prize information

The Walters Prize is New Zealand’s most prestigious contemporary art prize and 2016 marks the eighth iteration of the biennial award at Auckland Art Gallery. The Walters Prize awards the most outstanding contribution made to contemporary art in New Zealand by an artist in the two years preceding the prize.

The artist who produces the winning artwork receives $50,000, while each finalist receives $5,000 as recognition for being shortlisted.

The Walters Prize was initiated to help create a greater understanding of contemporary art in New Zealand and to make contemporary art a more widely recognised, debated and prominent feature of the country’s cultural life.


The Walters Prize was established in 2002 by founding benefactors and principal donors Erika and Robin Congreve and Dame Jenny Gibbs, together with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. From 2004 Dayle Mace became a major donor, providing an award to each of the finalist artists. Founding sponsors were EY, who dedicated their support until 2010 and Saatchi & Saatchi, whose relationship with the Prize continued until the end of the 2014. Auckland Contemporary Arts Trust provided support as a principal donor and Elevation Capital joined as a major sponsor of the 2014 Walters Prize. More recently, Christopher and Charlotte Swasbrook have moved to support the prize as major donors. 

Previous winners

2014: Luke Willis Thompson for inthisholeonthisislandwhereiam, 2012
2012: Kate Newby for Crawl out your window, 2010
2010: Dan Arps for Explaining Things, 2008
2008: Peter Robinson for Ack, 2006
2006: Francis Upritchard for Doomed, Doomed, All Doomed, 2005
2004: et al. for restricted access from abnormal mass delusions?, 2003
2002: Yvonne Todd for Asthma & Eczema, 2001

Doryun Chong Bio

Doryun Chong was appointed in July 2013 as the inaugural Chief Curator at M+, a new museum of visual culture, which will open its Herzog and de Meuron-designed building in 2019 in the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong. In January 2015, he was promoted to Deputy Director and Chief Curator, M+. He oversees all curatorial activities and programs including acquisitions, exhibitions, learning and public programs, and digital initiatives encompassing the three main disciplinary areas of design and architecture, moving image, and visual art. The most recent exhibitions he co-curated include Mobile M+: Live Art and Tsang Kin-Wah: The Infinite Nothing, Hong Kong’s participation in the 2015 Venice Biennale. 

Prior to joining M+, Chong was Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, where he organized projects including the critically acclaimed exhibition, Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde (2012) and acquired a diverse range of works, many of them non-western, for the museum’s collection. From 2003 to 2009, Chong held various positions as curator in the Visual Arts department at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Some of the exhibitions he organized at the Walker include: House of Oracles: A Huang Yong Ping Retrospective (2005); Brave New Worlds (2007); Tetsumi Kudo: Garden of Metamorphosis (2008); and Haegue Yang: Integrity of the Insider (2009). His writings have appeared in journals such as Artforum, Afterall, The Exhibitionist, and Parkett, and international museum and biennale publications by the Auckland Triennial, the Gwangju Biennale, the Sharjah Biennial, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, and National Museum of Modern And Contemporary Art, Korea. He has served on numerous prize juries, including recently the Hugo Boss Prize, Absolut Art Award, and Contemporary Chinese Art Award. He is currently serving as one of five curatorial 'Companions' for the 57th Carnegie International, scheduled to open in 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

322.07 KB PDF file