act graduate alan kwan wins 2015 schnitzer prize

Alien Abduction Simulator. image courtesy of Alan Kwan.

Congratulations to ACT graduate student, Alan Kwan, winner of the 2015 Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts.

Born in 1990, Alan Kwan is a digital media artist who is currently studying in the Art, Culture & Technology program of MIT . He works at the intersection of virtual reality, cinema, and new media.

His recent projects, which combine film, video game and emerging technologies such as life-logging and brainwave sensors, have been shown at exhibitions around the world, including the Ars Electronica Festival in Austria, ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Germany, and Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Shanghai, and were also featured in major media including Discovery Channel, WIRED, Popular Science, and Boston Globe. In 2014, he received the Hong Kong Arts Development Council Award for Young Artist (Media Art), and the Asian Cultural Council Fellowship to pursue his graduate studies at MIT.

Kwan started making short films at the age of nine and is also an independent film director whose works have been showcased and awarded at film festivals such as the International Video Art Festival Camaguey, the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Hong Kong Independent Short Film and Video Awards (ifva). In late 2011, he was invited to attend the Asian Producer’s Lab at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival in Korea.

For more info on Alan’s work, visit his website and watch his artist statement video.


The Schnitzer Prize was established in 1996 through an endowment from Harold and Arlene Schnitzer of Portland, Oregon. Schnitzer, a real estate investor, graduated from MIT in 1944 with a degree in metallurgy. The prizes are awarded to MIT students, undergraduate and graduate, for excellence in a body of artistic work.

Work by the winners of the Schnitzer Prizes will be exhibited a the Wiesner Student Art Gallery at the end of May, and will remain in the gallery until the end of July, 2015.

For more info on the Schnitzer Prize and other arts opportunities at MIT, visit Arts at MIT.