Big Ben Award 2018 Candidates Announced: Lang Lang, Justin Bieber, Kelly Wang, Leo Appel, Yuzuru Hanyu, Negin Khapalwak, Diana Wang, Kangyang Steven Zhang and Rupert Hoogewerf Shortlisted for the Global Outstanding Young Persons

October 15, 2018 —

Yesterday, the Big Ben Award Committee held a press conference in London to announce parts of candidates of the 2018 Big Ben Award.

Pianist Lang Lang, singer Justin Bieber, art promoter Kelly Wang, and “Hurun China Rich List” founder Rupert Hoogewerf among others were shortlisted as the candidates of Global Outstanding Young Persons Prize of BBA for their remarkable contribution, as the BBA Committee Deputy Director, Christian Vinante said.

Negin Khpalwak is a female conductor leading the Zohra – the first all-female orchestra from Afghanistan. The orchestra played at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2017. Kangyang Steven Zhang is the board member of Inter Milan following a successful M&A between Italian and Chinese business tycoons.

Kelly Wang, renowned cultural celebrity, was shortlisted by Big Ben Award for her insightful vision, active promotion of cultural exchanges between China and abroad and remarkable contribution to the presentation of Chinese artists on the global art scene. More than a personal honor, the selection also marks the acknowledgment for her contribution to the development of Chinese arts and culture.

Leading the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Leo Appel played at the BBC Proms in France. Yuzuru Hanyu, the first two-time Olympic men’s figure skating champion from Asia. Regarded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest figure skater in history, Hanyu has broken world records twelve times.

Diana Wang is the first Chinese fashion designer to open a studio in the world’s most famous department store Harrods. She won 2017 BBA UK Ten Outstanding Chinese Young Persons Prize and World Ten Outstanding Chinese Young Designer Prize.

Established in 2008 by professor Yinya Jonsson Li and others, the Big Ben Award and its global coordinator, British Chinese Youth Federation, endeavors to establish and promote models of high achievers and brands (cities and companies) around the world. The Committee has established models of excellence in various fields, such as technology, economy, education, culture, medicine and sports, etc. The BBA aims to praise excellent persons by outstanding achievements in work and society with their strong sense of social responsibility. The BBA also hosts charity events for helping young couple family in life trouble or youth with disabilities.

Hailed as the “most beautiful cultural promoter” and as one of the candidates of 2018 Big Ben Award to be focused, Kelly Wang is the founder of LIAN Contemporary Art Space in Shanghai, which has launched an international artist-in-residency programme and so far supported quite a lot of international artists. Kelly Wang is also a sponsor of international art museums, art collector, chief cultural consultant of Baroque concert, and producer of “Papa’s Time Machine”. Fully dedicated into the promotion of cultural exchanges and art education, Kelly Wang is truly worthy of the name of “cultural promoter”.

On October 2016, Kelly Wang had a dialogue entitled “Culture and Value” with Dr. Hans d’Orville, special advisor to the director-general of UNESCO, at the Shanghai Powerstation of Art. Kelly Wang and Dr. Hans d’Orville have been friends for years and the dialogue, taking philosopher Wittgenstein’s book as a point of departure, put a focus on the communication between Chinese and western cultures.

Kelly Wang has supported a series of international cultural exchange programmes including “Contemporary Visions – Italian Artists in China” at SPSI Art Museum, “Vive le Capital – The Bank Show”, “I Feel Good – Solo Exhibition of Liu Guangyun” at Minsheng Art Museum, Xu Bing’s “Phoenix” project at the Venice Biennale, “Lights of Time – Hu Jieming Solo Exhibition” at Aurora Museum, Art in the City project “Stop Making Sense” and “City of Amnesia” at the West Bund Art & Design. Moreover, she is the founder of LIAN Contemporary Art Space and launches an international artist-in-residency programme that has supported 23 artists from abroad and presented “False Firmament”, the first solo exhibition of Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde in China in collaboration with the Netherlands Consulate General in Shanghai.

On August 2017, “Sound of Baroque” was presented at the Aurora Museum. The event was sponsored by LIAN Culture and Kelly Wang was invited to take the role as chief cultural consultant of the event. According to Kelly Wang: “The presentation of ‘Sound of Baroque’ is good for the promotion of music education in China, and it’s a great honor to work with the distinguished professors from the Juilliard School.”

Moreover, the Big Ben Award has also released a list of distinguished awardees and presenters for its first charity ceremony, including: Don McCarthy (Former Chairman of House of Frasers), Wendi Deng Murdoch (Chinese-American movie producer, ex-wife of News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch), David Tyler (Chairman of Sainsbury’s), violinist Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn Nicholson, pianist Yundi LI (the youngest winner of the International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition), world snooker champion Junhui DING, YAO Ming (Chair of China Basketball Association, and former NBA Player), Sanpower Leo Lei Yue, Yick Kuen Peter Lam (Chair of Royal China Group UK), Hong Kong famous pop singer Eason CHAN, world snooker champion Marco Fu, Phoenix TV presenters Lele Li and Scarlett Zhao, international presenter Lindsay Liu, international opera singer Isabella Wang, Angelica Anton (CEO of Silk Group), Maurizio Bragagni MBE (Tratos Group CEO), Molly Samuel MBE (8 times Karate World Champion), Chinese TV Host HE Jiong, Olympic Diving Champion Aisen Chen, Olympic Pingpong Champion Yaping Deng, Olympic Female volleyball Champion Lang Ping and more.

Released by the BBA Committee, the other prize candidates of Big Ben Award 2018 include Rt. Hon Mark Field MP of UK Parliament and Sir George Iacobescu.

To be hosted by Rt. Hon Robert Courts, most award winners will be announced by January 2019 at the BBA charity ceremony held in the UK Parliament.

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