Fine Art graduates awarded €100,000 prize from Chanel
16 December 2021
Artist collective Keiken, made up of three Fine Art graduates, has been awarded the Chanel Next Prize, and €100,000.
Artist collective Keiken, which is made up of Falmouth Fine Art graduates Tanya Cruz and Isabel Ramos, and MA Illustration: Authorial Practice graduate Hana Omori have been awarded the Chanel Next Prize, a global award that recognises game‐changing artists who are radically redefining their fields.
The award was handed out to 10 artists who work across film, music, performance and visual art. Keiken were the only artist collective to receive the award.
Each winner receives €100,000, as well as the added bonus of accessing Chanel’s network of mentors, which will be selected by the brand over the next 20 months. Recipients of the award can use the prize money for any project of their choosing.
Each of the winners were nominated by an advisory board of 25 international leaders in the cultural sector, working across various fields. The 10 winners were then selected by actress Tilda Swinton, artist Cao Fei and architect David Adjaye.
It’s a remarkable achievement for the three graduates, who started Keiken in Isabel Ramos’ “bright pink, flamingo wallpaper(ed)” bedroom while at Falmouth University.
Commenting on their win, the collective wrote on Instagram that “One day we were in Issy’s bedroom and got out a sketchbook and spent the whole day making the most important spider diagram of our lives… connecting what we felt interconnected us together.
“The word we landed on was ‘experience’… we somehow knew this was at the core of a practice we were yet to form.”
Tanya, Hana and Isabel hail from Mexico, Japan and the UK respectively. This cultural diversity and broad range of perspectives is wrapped up in the name Keikan, which is the Japanese word for experience.
And experiences are precisely what the group deal in. They are currently building and imagining a ‘metaverse’ (a fully immersive virtual space of multiple worlds) to simulate new structures and ways of existing, and to test-drive possible futures.
Keiken create this metaverse through a combination of filmmaking, gaming, installation, Extended Reality (XR), blockchain and performance. Through these varied mediums, they explore how societal introjection – which is the unconscious adoption of ideas or attitudes in society – governs the way we feel, think and perceive.
The metaverse may conjure up dystopian narratives in many readers minds, but Keiken member Isabel recently spoke to the Royal Academy of Arts about how building the metaverse could re-structure the outdated global hierarchies that exist in the world.
As Isabel explains, “we’ve got this deep-rooted nature of hierarchy that’s a third of a billion years old… how can we create a more positive and inclusive and less oppressive future in consideration of not just a human centric planet, but one that also cares for the animals and all living things?”