Date posted: September 13, 2016 Author: jolanta

    American filmmaker Martin Scorsese, Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer, and Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha also receive prestigious global cultural award

    NEW YORK, NY: September 13, 2016 — The Japan Art Association announces that American photographer Cindy Sherman and French sculptor Annette Messager have won the 2016 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award. Ms. Sherman is one of the most important photographers working today, famous for her decades-long practice of photographing herself in different guises as a way to explore media stereotypes. Ms. Messager is renowned for her installation work incorporating photographs, prints and drawings, and other materials of daily life in an effort to highlight the complexities of the human condition.

    Ms. Sherman and Ms. Messager are joined by three other internationally celebrated cultural figures: American filmmaker Martin Scorsese, considered one of the most significant and influential filmmakers in cinema history; American Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer, whom The New York Times has called “one of the most respected musicians of our time”; and Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, a founder of the Brutalist movement in São Paolo known for his innovative work with concrete and steel. Biographies of all the winners can be found here.

    At a ceremony in Tokyo on October 18, 2016, His Imperial Highness Prince Hitachi, honorary patron of the Japan Art Association, and his wife, Her Imperial Highness Princess Hitachi, will present each winner of the Praemium Imperiale, which brings with it 15 million yen (approximately $143,000), with a specially-designed gold medal and a testimonial letter.

    Now in its 28th year, the Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award is one of the most prestigious international prizes in the fields of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music and Theatre/Film. It has become a powerful voice for the importance of cultural expression in today’s world, bringing international attention to the arts in much the same way as the Nobel Prize brings attention to the sciences.

    The Japan Art Association also announces that Malaysia’s Five Arts Centre has won the 2016 Grant for Young Artists, which brings with it 5 million yen (approximately $48000). The award, which was created in 1997 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Praemium Imperiale, recognizes a group or institution that encourages young people’s involvement in the arts.


    Born in 1954, Cindy Sherman first came to the public’s attention with her series of black-and-white photographs, Untitled Film Stills, all featuring images of the artist herself in various guises and in settings designed to look like scenes from actual movies. The portraits were created after many hours of careful research into locations and costumes and presented unique, thought-provoking imagery. Ms. Sherman welcomes the debate that her works often provoke, saying “I want people to imagine different stories looking at my work.” In 2012 she was the subject of a large-scale retrospective at MoMA. More recently she has exhibited 20 new images, her first new body of work since 2012. The pieces, created over a two-month period, feature Ms. Sherman in poses and landscapes reminiscent of the stylized photos of actresses in the 1920s.


    Born in 1943, Annette Messager has created a body of work that highlights the inner conflicts of the human condition and, in particular, the question of what constitutes a woman’s identity. Her work frequently demonstrates a surreal, playful or humorous character often connected to memory or poetry. In 1982, she broke new ground with an ambitious, large-scale work entitled Chimaeras that fused photomontage and fantasy. She has continued to work with stereotypically feminine materials and motifs, combining pieces of clothing, stuffed toys, embroidery and yarn with photographs of fragmented body parts and animal taxidermy to create powerfully affecting pieces. Ms. Messager has exhibited widely and was the subject of a major solo show at the Mori Art Museum in Japan in 2008. In 2005 she won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale.

    The Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award

    The 2016 Praemium Imperiale laureates join 139 of the greatest cultural figures of the 20th and 21st centuries. They include Ingmar Bergman, Leonard Bernstein, Peter Brook, Anthony Caro, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Norman Foster, Athol Fugard, Frank Gehry, Jean-Luc Godard, David Hockney, Willem de Kooning, Akira Kurosawa, Renzo Piano, Robert Rauschenberg, Mstislav Rostropovich and Ravi Shankar. A complete list of winners can be found here.

    “The Praemium Imperiale honors the greatest artists of our time,” said Hisashi Hieda , chairman of the Japan Art Association. “Their glorious creations remind us that art is a universal language, bridging geographic boundaries and enhancing all our lives.”

    The Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award was created in 1988 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Japan Art Association and to honor the late Prince Takamatsu, who was the association’s honorary patron for 58 years.

    Cultural and International Leaders Nominate Winners

    The winners of the Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award are chosen by the Japan Art Association from a group of artists nominated by advisors from United States, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. Each advisor is guided by the recommendations of a nominating committee comprising cultural leaders from his home country.

    Leading the American nominating committee is William Luers, a former president of the United Nations Association of America and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a retired American ambassador and diplomat. This is Mr. Luers’ 15th year as American Advisor since succeeding David Rockefeller, Jr., now an honorary advisor.

    Said Mr. Luers, “The Praemium Imperiale, perhaps more than any other award, brings attention to the importance and power of the arts, affirming the ability of creative minds from around the world to move us and make us think.”

    In addition to Mr. Luers, the international advisory panel includes the statesmen and business leaders Lamberto Dini, a former Italian prime minister; Christopher Patten, Chancellor of the University of Oxford and former Chairman of the BBC Trust; Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, President of Germany’s Goethe-Institut; former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin; and Yasuhiro Nakasone, a former Prime Minister of Japan.

    The honorary advisors are Jacques Chirac, former President of France; philanthropist David Rockefeller, former CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank; David Rockefeller, Jr., a philanthropist and environmentalist; and François Pinault, founder of Kering, the French retail conglomerate.

    2016 Grant for Young Artists

    Malaysia’s Five Arts Centre is the 20th winner of the Japan Art Association’s Grant for Young Artists, a sister award to the Praemium Imperiale that recognizes a group or institution which encourages young people’s involvement in the arts. Worth 5 million yen (approximately $48,000), the award was created in 1997 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Praemium Imperiale.

    Previous winners of the Grant for Young Artists include the Instituto Superior de Arte (Cuba); the Lodz Film School (Lodz, Poland); the Vietnam National Conservatory of Music (Vietnam); the Ulster Youth Orchestra (Northern Ireland); The Sphinx Organization (Detroit (MI) USA), which develops young Black and Latino classical musicians; and the Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia). A complete list of winners can be found here.

    The Japan Art Association

    What is now known as the Japan Art Association was created in 1879 by the Meiji Emperor, who had become concerned that Western influences were threatening to eclipse Japanese art forms and traditional crafts. Eager to encourage Japanese artists and to forge relations with other countries, the Emperor created the precursor to today’s art association. Since then, the organization and its museum have played an active role in Japan’s cultural life, presenting exhibitions of traditional arts and of art from abroad. In 1988, on the association’s 100th anniversary, its leaders created the Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award in honor of the late Prince Takamatsu, who had served as honorary patron for 58 years. His wish that Japan promote world peace through the arts is the guiding principle of the Japan Art Association.

    Courtesy of www.praemiumimperiale.org

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