Rolex stated that the purpose of establishing this special project in 2002 was to ‘contribute to global culture’. This complements the brand’s tradition of “supporting great individuals”. Rolex’s main marketing method over the years is to use world-renowned successful people in various industries as the protagonist of the advertisement, as well as the Rolex Award for Talent.
What a luxurious lineup! Imagine John Baldessari, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Trisha Brown, Sir Colin Davis (Sir Colin Davis), Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Brian Eno, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, William William Forsythe, Stephen Frears, Sir Peter Hall, David Hockney, Rebecca Horn, Anish Kapoor, Jiří Kylián, Toni Morrison, MiraNair, Youssou N’Dour, Jessye Norman, Martin Scorsese, Peter Sellars, álvaro Siza, Wally Soin Wole Soyinka, Julie Taymor, Saburo Teshigawara, Kate Valk, Horse Writers, film producers, actors, musicians, and dance writers such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Robert Wilson, Zhang Yimou, and Pinchas Zukerman Home and artist appear side by side. What brings them together across continents from different industries? They have all served as mentors for the Rolex Creative Arts Recommended Funding Program.
Finalist in Dance: Eduardo Fukushima (Brazil), selected by mentor Lin Huaimin (Taiwan)
Eduardo Fukushima is a dancer and choreographer from Brazil. He is 28 years old and graduated in 2011 from the Department of Physical Art of the Catholic University of Sao Paulo. He studied modern dance with some of Brazil’s top dancers and created his first solo performance in 2004. Recent dance works, Both Contentions (2008) and How to Overcome the Great Tiredness? (2009/2010), have won widespread acclaim.
Finalist in the film category: Sara Fgaier (Italy), selected by mentor Walter Murch (USA)
Sara Fgaier, a 29-year-old Italian film editor, graduated from the Faculty of Film History at the University of Bologna and learned her professional skills through self-study. The first film she edited was directed by Pietro Marcello’s La bocca del lupo (wolfmouth, 2009), a poetic award-winning documentary. In 2011, she edited films including Il silenzio di Pelešjan (the silent Perezhan) by Pietro Marcello, and Il treno va a Mosca (a train to Moscow) by Michele Manzolini and Federico Ferrone.
Rolex stated that the purpose of launching this special project in 2002 was “to contribute to global culture”. This goes hand in hand with the brand’s tradition of ‘supporting the best individuals.’ Rolex’s main marketing method over the years is to use world-renowned successful people in various industries as the protagonist of the advertisement, as well as the Rolex Award for Talent. For 35 years, this project has been aimed at ‘improving life or protecting the natural and cultural heritage of the planet’ and supporting innovative personal behaviors around the world. Since its establishment in 1976, the Rolex Awards, which are awarded every two years, have received 30,000 applications from 154 countries and 120 awards.
In some ways, the Rolex Creative Funding Program is the little brother of the Rolex Awards, even though it only covers the cultural realm. This year, buildings have been added to the five fields of dance, film, literature, music and visual arts. Every two years, a committee of outstanding artists and art workers makes a list of mentor candidates in each area. If they agree to cooperate, Rolex will work with them to select young artists they want to work with. This process is very important, because each instructor should take at least 6 weeks from his precious time to work with the selected students.
Literary student finalist: Naomi Alderman (UK), selected by mentor Margaret Atwood (Canada)
Naomi Alderman, 37, graduated from Oxford University in 1996 and received a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of East Anglia in 2003. Three years later, she published the novel Disobedience, which vividly portrays the contradiction and fusion between religion and modern life. The novel won her the 2006 Orange Award for New Writers. She was also named Young Writer of the Year by the Sunday Times in 2007. The novel was later translated into ten languages and distributed. In 2010, she launched her new book, The Lessons, which explores the struggle between rights and wealth. The novel The Liars’Gospel, which describes Jesus from a Pharisee’s perspective, is also coming soon.
Finalist in Music: Dina El Wedidi (Egypt), selected by mentor Gilberto Gil (Brazil)
Egyptian singer and songwriter Dina El Wedidi, 24, began writing songs when she was a girl and studying Oriental languages at the University of Cairo. Her songs are full of attention to the real politics of Egypt. From 2007 to 2010, she worked as a singer and actor at the ElWarsha Theatre Troupe, performed Egyptian folk music, and performed on unusual occasions such as Cairo prison. During this period (2009-2010), she performed classic Egyptian and Arabic songs in collaboration with the Habayebna band, before setting up her own band in 2011.
Young artists, ie future students, cannot apply directly. Panels of experts in various fields of art select candidates around the world and then encourage them to submit applications. After evaluation by the review members, three candidates are suggested to each mentor. The tutor makes the final decision after meeting each person individually.
This personalized screening provides the basis for future guidance. Unlike the school environment ranked by high and low, this project provides a well-known exchange and true dialogue between artists of different ages and cultures. The goal is to help young artists develop and strengthen their artistic path, rather than simply copying and imitating others.
On the economic side, each candidate will receive funding of 25,000 Swiss francs, as well as travel and other expenses, during the one-year mentoring period. At the end of the year, each candidate will receive another 25,000 Swiss francs for specific projects. As for the mentor, each can receive 50,000 Swiss francs.
Finalist in Drama: Michal Borczuch (Poland), selected by mentor: Patrice Chéreau (France)
Polish drama director Michal Borczuch, 32, holds master’s degrees from the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts and the Solsky Theatre Academy and currently teaches at the Solsky Theatre Academy. He has been rehearsing for the Polish Theatre and the International Cultural Festival since 2005, initially focusing on the work of contemporary Polish playwrights and later turning to classic drama. His works break the rules and challenge fashion trends and tastes. His latest adaptations include Brand, The City, The Chosen Ones (2011), and Freud-inspired Hans, Dora and Wolf (2012).
Visual arts student finalist: Mateo López (Colombia), selected by mentor William Kentridge (South Africa)
Colombian visual artist Mateo López, 33, studied architecture at the University of Javierana for one year, but eventually graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of the Andean University. In his early years studying architecture, he was able to view painting from the perspective of time and space, and replaced the two-dimensional with a three-dimensional perspective. Mateo López often places his studio in a public place, blending footage from his personal journey into his work. His series Viaje sin movimiento (Travelling without movement, 2008-2010) is in the collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
This year’s Rolex Creative Advice Funding Program adds construction. The mentor chosen for this subject is Kashima. She is one of the most influential figures in contemporary architecture, and recently she won the ‘Nobel Prize’-Pritzker Prize in Architecture, with her colleague Tate Nishizawa who co-founded the Tokyo SANAA Office. The Rolex Learning Center at the Lausanne Institute of Technology is the project she designed at the firm. Rolex is the main private sponsor of this ‘future library.’
The student chosen by Kajima Kojima-was in progress at the time of writing, and the results are to be determined-will work with her to complete the Home for All project initiated by her and other Japanese architects. The project will provide needed accommodation for people hit by the East Japan Tsunami in 2011.
Kazuyo Sejima and theRolexLearning Center (EPFL)
In addition to Kazushima, the mentors of this year’s Rolex Creative Arts Sponsorship Program are: Margaret Atwood (literature), Patrice Chéreau (drama art), Gilberto Gil (music), William Kentridge (visual art), Lin Huaimin (dance) and Walter Murch (movie).