Japan’s Nissan Art Award announces 2015 finalists

7 emerging artists make the final list for the Nissan Art Award 2015.

The Nissan Art Award Jury met in Venice at the beginning of May to choose the finalists for the 2nd edition of the prize. The artists will be creating new works to be exhibited in Yokohama in November 2015, when the Grand Prize Winner will also be announced.

The five international jury members and the executives from Nissan. Photo: Pietro Savorelli. Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

The five international jury members and the executives from Nissan. Photo: Pietro Savorelli. Image courtesy Nissan Art Award.

On 17 June 2015, Japan’s Nissan Art Award announced its 2015 finalists. The seven artists represent a diverse group of emerging Japanese artists – from the animation of painter and film artist Takashi Ishida, to the sewn maps of Sayaka Akiyama and the sculptural works of Takahiro Iwasaki.

The seven artists will be producing new work for an exhibition taking place from 14 November to 27 December 2015 at BankART Studio NYK in Yokohama – with the Grand Prize Winner and the Audience Award set to be unveiled on 24 November. A total of 33 candidates had been nominated by a committee of eminent Japanese and international curators and institutional directors. The final seven were selected by a jury composed of five international art professionals, including:

Sayaka Akiyama, ”ALUKU. my walk, my everyday   TOKYO STATION - TOKYO STATION July to September, 2012" (detail), 2012, various threads and various materials I found in around Tokyo station and Sagamiono.  Sublimation printed on polyester fabric, 95 x 90 x 90 cm. Photo: Hideto Nagatsuka.

Sayaka Akiyama, ‘ALUKU. My Walk, My Everyday’ (detail), 2012, various threads and various materials found in around Tokyo station and Sagamiono. Sublimation printed on polyester fabric, 95 x 90 x 90 cm. Photo: Hideto Nagatsuka.

The 2015 finalists

The finalists reveal the wide range of media and ideas currently permeating Japan’s contemporary art scene. As quoted in the press release, Chairman of the Jury Fumio Nanjo said:

It was quite a difficult challenge for us to select a small number of finalists from such an interesting and innovative group of artists. In the end we chose seven artists whose approach or language is poetic, delicate and new.

  • Sayaka Akiyama (b. 1971, Hyogo) creates maps and installations with materials collected from the field. She weaves her experiences of living in different places into what she calls “the footpath of time” through intricately sewn maps.
  • Tsuyoshi Hisakado (b. 1981, Kyoto) manipulates sound, light and objects to compose theatrical, immersive installations that bring memories and stories alive.
  • Takashi Ishida (b. 1972, Tokyo) is a painter and film artist, who uses line drawing and animation to superimpose frames of multiplying lines onto spaces, transforming and bending the quality of the space and our perceptions of it.
  • Takahiro Iwasaki (b. 1975, Hiroshima) creates complex miniature sculptures by re-producing everyday architectural forms, such as steel electric towers and historical Japanese shrines and temples.
  • Futoshi Miyagi (b. 1981, Okinawa) works with photography, video, objects, texts and installation, to explore the nature of memory, as well as issues of nationality, ethnicity and identity.
  • Yuko Mohri (b. 1980, Kanagawa) collects everyday items and machine parts from around the world and re-assembles them into complex installations conveying intangible energies such as magnetism, gravity, light and temperature.
  • Tomoko Yoneda (b. 1965, Hyogo) is based in London and creates poetic photographic works that “record the times”, by projecting memories and histories associated with real places and subjects into her works.
Takashi Ishida, 'Burning Chair', 2013, single channel video. © Takashi Ishida, 2013

Takashi Ishida, ‘Burning Chair’, 2013, single channel video. © Takashi Ishida, 2013

About the Nissan Art Award

The Nissan Art Award is a biennial prize first established in 2013 to encourage the career of an emerging generation of Japanese artists, both living in and outside of Japan. The award principally focuses on the last two years of each artist’s career and aims to enhance their presence on the international art circuit, as well as to create an environment where more people can become familiar with arts and culture. The finalists of the first edition included Noriko Ambe, Meiro Koizumi, Hiroyuki Masuyama, Aiko Miyanaga, Tatzu Nishi, Taro Shinoda, Hiraku Suzuki and Eiji Watanabe. Aiko Miyanaga was the 2013 Grand Prize Winner.

Each of this year’s seven artists will receive a cash award of one million yen and will produce new works with a budget of an additional one million yen. The Grand Prize Winner for 2015 will receive a three million yen award as well as being awarded a two-month residency with the Camden Arts Centre in London in 2016.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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Related Topics: Japanese artists, contemporary art in Japan, art prizes, awards, news

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