praemium imperiale art awards 2011
praemium imperiale art awards 2011 praemium imperiale art awards 2011
nov 06, 2011

praemium imperiale art awards 2011

the 2011 praemium imperiale international art awards ceremony from left to right: bill viola, anish kapoor, ricardo legorreta, seiji ozawa, judi dench image courtesy of the japan art association and the sankei shimbun




designboom has just received photographs from the awards ceremony for the 2011 praemium imperiale international art awards. presented in tokyo on wednesday, october 19th, the annual prize is offered by the imperial family of japan to artists in painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and theatre/film, five areas of achievement not covered by the nobel prizes.


this year’s laureates are india-born, UK-based artist anish kapoor for sculpture, american painter bill viola, mexican architect ricardo legorreta, japanese conductor seiji ozawa for music, and british actress judi dench. his imperial highness prince hitachi, honorary patron of the japan art association, presented each laureate with a gold medal and diploma. the award also carries a prize of 15 million yen (approximately 195,000 USD).

the praemium imperiale recognizes artists working in five areas of achievement not covered by the nobel prizes: sculpture, painting, architecture, music, and theatre/film




candidates for the praemium imperiale are nominated by a panel of international advisors, including william h. luers, former US ambassador and president of the united nations association as well as the metropolitan museum of art; and honorary advisors david rockefeller jr.; jacques chirac, former president and prime minister of france; helmut schmidt, former german chancellor; and richard von weizsäcker, first president of the reunited germany. the praemium imperiale was created in 1988 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the japan art association and to honor the late prince takamatsu, who served as the association’s honorary patron since 1930.

artist anish kapoor receives his award from his imperial highness prince hitachi image courtesy of the japan art association and the sankei shimbun




read more about anish kapoor in designboom’s previous coverage of his work.

artist bill viola receives his award image courtesy of the japan art association and the sankei shimbun




bill viola discusses art, technological innovation, and his working process in an interview with designboom. ‘art is the universal language of mankind. […] the age of computers is a very dangerous time for us because computers work on ‘yes or no’, ‘1 or 0’. there’s no ‘maybe’, ‘perhaps’, or ‘both’, it’s only ‘yes or ‘no’. I think this is affecting our consciousness, because nature doesn’t work that way. nature works on ‘maybe’ and poetry comes from ‘maybe’, not from a hard fixed order. those kind of transitions and thresholds are very, very important in my work.‘ – bill viola

architect ricardo legorreta receives his award image courtesy of the japan art association and the sankei shimbun



the winning artists speak at a press event in tokyo prior to the awards ceremony


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