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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 March, 2004, 19:37 GMT 20:37 UK
Dust artist wins first Artes Mundi
Artes Mundi winner, Xu Bing
Xu Bing used Ground Zero dust to make his installation
A man whose artwork is made from dust collected near Ground Zero in New York has become the first winner of a 40,000 award for visual artists.

Xu Bing clinched the Artes Mundi (Arts of the World) Prize for the specially-commissioned piece.

He was one of 10 finalists for the award, which aims to establish Wales as a pioneer in the support of the arts.

Bing, who is from China but now lives and works in America, was presented with the award on Sunday evening.

Janine Antoni, New York
Lee Bul, Seoul
Tim Davies, Swansea
Jacqueline Fraser, New Zealand
Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Vietnam
Michal Rovner, New York & Israel
Berni Searle, Cape Town
Fiona Tan, Netherlands
Kara Walker, New York
Xu Bing, New York

His installation, "Where does the dust collect itself?" was especially made for the Artes Mundi Prize contest.

He covered the museum's floor with the dust he had collected from the 11 September 2001 terror attacks in New York.

The surface of the settled dust was then punctuated by the Chinese verse, "As there is nothing from the first, where does the dust collect itself?"

Bing, who was born in 1955, is described as a print-maker and installation artist with a particular interest in how linguistic nuances can affect cultural differences.

He has exhibited at the Venice Biennale of 1993, the Yokohama Triennale of 2002, and has also shown at the V&A, at the Smithsonian Institute, and in Spain, Japan, Australia and South Africa.

Wales' First Minister, Rhodri Morgan, presented Bing with the award at the National Museum & Gallery in Cardiff, where all 10 contestants' pieces are on display.

Where Does The Dust Collect Itself?
Collage of Xu Bing's 'Where does the dust collect itself'

Mr Morgan said the award had raised Wales' profile in the international art world.

He said: "This innovative exhibition has been a milestone in the recognition of contemporary art and artists here in Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government is pleased to have given its support to the Artes Mundi Prize.

"Bringing together this wide selection of contemporary art from across the world is a major new initiative and establishes Wales as a pioneer in support of the arts."

The award - twice that of the Turner Prize - is paid for by a number of Welsh organisations, including the Arts Council of Wales, the Welsh Development Agency and the Welsh Assembly Government.

It is described as being "established to celebrate visual culture within a global context".

A further 30,000 has been made available by the Derek Williams Trust to purchase works by one or more of the shortlisted artists for the National Collections of Wales.

Possible exhibition purchases

The exhibition includes a variety of media, film and video installations, and sculpture.

One Welsh artist was in contention - Tim Davies, 43, from Swansea.

Mr Davies won the National Eisteddfod's gold medal for fine art in 2003 and was the only contender from the UK and one of only two from Europe.

More than 350 artists from more than 60 countries entered the competition.

The selectors for the winner were: Lisa Corrin, Deputy Director of Art, Seattle Art Museum; Marlene Dumas, an artist based in the Netherlands; Okwui Enwezor (Chair of the Jury), publisher and editor of Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art; and Michael Tooby, Director of the National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff.

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