The winner of the 2018 Shansi Prize is Milin Zhou for her capstone paper “Returns on Chinese 20th Century Art 2008-2017.”
Milin’s paper examines the role Chinese art plays in the global art market. By integrating her interest in art history with her training in economics, Milin’s work provides new insight to an under-researched topic. In her submission, she shared, “While a lot of studies have been conducted on the investment of Western paintings, research on the returns of Asian art is relatively scarce. Since Asian art is an important emerging art market over the past ten years, more awaits to be discovered about the nature and potential of this market.”
In addition to assessing the impact of Milin’s work to multiple disciplines, the Shansi Prize Committee took close note of how she meticulously worked with her data. Professor Viplav Saini, Milin’s advisor who nominated her for the Prize, further commented on the rigor of her work. He informed the Committee that he “was impressed with Milin's independence in surveying the literature, assembling the dataset, and learning the relevant techniques to analyze the data.” He further added, “every time Milin encountered a grey area in her analysis, she made sure to devise a deliberate and creative path forward.”
After Oberlin, Milin plans to continue exploring her interests in Asian art and hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Art History.