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AW Asia Announces the Sale of a Collection of Chinese Contemporary Photographs to MoMA

New York — The Museum of Modern Art, New York, has acquired a historically significant group of Chinese contemporary photographs from AW Asia, a New York-based organization devoted to the promotion of Chinese contemporary art.

The works are the first examples of Chinese contemporary photography to enter the museum's permanent collection.

For the acquisition, MoMA curators selected twenty-eight photographs by eleven artists from the AW Asia collection. Many of those represented emerged as historic figures of the Chinese vanguard of the 1990s. The artists in the collection are Ai Weiwei, Hai Bo, Hong Hao, Hong Lei, Huang Yan, Rong Rong, Sheng Qi, Weng Fen, Zhang Dali, Zhang Peili, and Zheng Guogu.

Twenty-three works were purchased by MoMA and five works were donated by AW Asia.

“Clearly, the work of Chinese artists has become an integral part of global culture,” says Larry Warsh, founder of AW Asia. “AW Asia is pleased to have been able to play a role in this acquisition, so that this significant art is reflected in one of the world's premier photography collections.”

“We feel this to be an important step as the Museum of Modern Art is one of the most important museums in the world, and it is our hope and our goal that other museums will follow in their lead”, adds Warsh.

AW Asia promotes awareness of the work of Chinese avant-garde artists through institutional loans, curatorial projects, educational programs, and publications, including U-TURN, a new periodical that chronicles the development of Chinese art from 1979 to the present. The AW Asia collection, encompassing works in a range of media, serves as the basis for traveling exhibitions, educational programs, and ongoing installations at the organization's space in New York's Chelsea art district.

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