Mona Hatoum Awarded 2019 Praemium Imperiale Prize
By Lauren Long
On September 17, the Japan Art Association announced British-Palestinian sculptor and installation artist Mona Hatoum as one of the five recipients of the 31st annual Praemium Imperiale prize, bestowed by the Association and the Japanese imperial family in recognition of outstanding international figures working in sculpture, painting, music, film/theater, and architecture. The laureates will each receive JPY 15 million (USD 138,630).
Born in Beirut to a Palestinian family and later stranded in London when the Lebanese Civil War broke out, Hatoum uses a diverse range of materials in her sculptural installations, often imbuing everyday objects with a sense of threat as commentary on political instability, repression, displacement, and alienation. She was featured in a major solo survey co-organized by London’s Tate Modern, Paris’s Centre Pompidou, and Helsinki’s Kiasma that ran from 2015 to 2017 at the three venues. Hatoum was also honored with the Hiroshima Art Prize in 2017.
The other laureates are Japanese Kabuki actor Bando Tamasaburo, German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter; South African painter William Kentridge; and American husband-and-wife architect duo Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. Additionally, the French musical education program Démos was awarded the Grant for Young Artists, valued at JPY 5 million (USD 46,210).
The Praemium Imperiale’s award ceremony is slated to take place in Japan this October.
Lauren Long is ArtAsiaPacific’s news and web editor.
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