YOKOHAMA, Japan - Ishu Han, a Tokyo-based artist, has been named the Grand Prix winner of the Nissan Art Award 2020 competition.
Han received the award yesterday in a virtual ceremony. A jury of leading figures from the international art world selected his entry 'where are you now' as the winner through an online judging process.
According to the jury, Han's work 'succinctly yet vividly visualizes the feelings of confusion and solitude rampant in current society, transforming a personal experience into a universal and poetic statement.' The jury praised the work for interweaving a rich sensibility into an incredibly minimal form of expression.
The Nissan Art Award is presented to emerging artists to further their careers, enhance their presence in the international art world and create a social environment where people familiarize themselves with art. It aims to celebrate new developments in Japanese contemporary art and help provoke debate.
'I was born in Shanghai and started living in Japan in my childhood, and met others,' Han said upon receiving the Grand Prix award. 'Migration became the constant theme of my work. I am delighted to receive this award now and here, in this place.'
Lawrence Rinder, a member of the jury, said not being able to view the artwork in person this year was a challenge.
'I feel that we did as well as possible under the circumstances,' Rinder said. 'It was important to move ahead with this award despite the difficulties. Art will continue to be made, and we must continue to affirm its importance.'
For finalists in all three previous editions, the Nissan Art Award has served as a steppingstone to appearances at major art festivals, exhibitions and fairs around the world, as well as influential art publications.
Nissan also adds the works of art to its collection for exhibiting internally and externally, with the aim of providing a point of reference on Japanese contemporary art in the international art scene.
'I am very proud of Nissan's strong and continuous commitment to the arts, recognizing it as a provocative and beautiful reflection of our society,' said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's senior vice president for global design. 'I was so moved by the artists this year and their personal and sincere view of the world from their eyes. As our founder said many decades ago, passion and sincerity is so powerful a force that it can move the heavens.'
The Grand Prix recipient is offered the opportunity to take part in an artist residency overseas. Award organizers are closely monitoring the current pandemic situation and hope to realize this opportunity after considering how to best promote Han's activities overseas under the present circumstances.
The Audience Award, chosen by exhibition visitors, was not given this time.
Han's winning entry and works by the other finalists are now on display at the Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama.
Nissan Art Award 2020 finalists
Ishu Han (Grand Prix winner)
Nissan Art Award 2020 Finalists Exhibition
Dates: Aug. 1 - Sept. 22, 2020
Venue: Nissan Pavilion, Yokohama
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd
Koji Okuda or Azusa Momose
Nissan Art Award Project Office
Overseas media relations: Yoshiko Nawa (Relay Relay)
Tel: +81-90-8565-9161 / Fax: +81-3-3780-0266
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