£500,000 award given by the Japan Art Association under the honorary patronage of His Imperial Highness Prince Hitachi, younger brother of the Emperor Emeritus of Japan
Sculpture Laureate Ai Weiwei to curate Koestler Arts: Freedom exhibition featuring works by people in the UK’s criminal justice system (Southbank Centre, 27 October – 18 December)
The Kronberg Academy Foundation receives Grant for Young Artists; soloists of the Kronberg Academy to perform at Wigmore Hall on Sunday 6 November A picture containing person, wall, indoor, person  Description automatically generated

The Japan Art Association and Lord Patten of Barnes, Praemium Imperiale’s International Advisor in the UK, have today announced the recipients of the 2022 Praemium Imperiale Awards: Architecture: Kazuyo SEJIMA + Ryue NISHIZAWA / SANAA (Japan) Music: Krystian ZIMERMAN (Poland) Painting: Giulio PAOLINI (Italy) Sculpture: AI Weiwei (China) Theatre/Film: Wim WENDERS (Germany) Each Laureate receives an honorarium of 15 million Yen (c. £100,000). The awards are given by the Japan Art Association under the honorary patronage of HIH Prince Hitachi, younger brother of the Emperor Emeritus of Japan. Lord Patten remarked: ‘In these deeply polarising times, artists’ ability to command attention, inspire reflection and bring solace is more crucial than ever. Praemium Imperiale testifies to the important contribution that Japan has made in honouring achievement in the arts. I would like to pay tribute to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an International Advisor to the Award and a true champion of the arts.’ This autumn, the Chinese artist, activist and filmmaker, Ai Weiwei will curate an exhibition of art by people in the UK’s criminal justice system at Southbank Centre (27 October – 18 December) to mark the 60th anniversary of the Koestler Awards, an annual programme encouraging people from the UK’s criminal justice system to change their lives through the arts. The vision for this year’s exhibition, Koestler Arts: Freedom, is inspired by Ai Weiwei’s visit to the Koestler Arts building, which currently holds over 6,500 artworks entered into this year’s awards. During his curation period, the artist also visited HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs, which is situated next to the Koestler Arts Centre. Having visited many prisons around the world, as well as experiencing his own restriction of freedom during a period of secret detention and constant surveillance in China, this additional visit to HMP Wormwood Scrubs helped to strengthen and confirm the vision for the exhibition. Coinciding with the announcement of the Awards, the Music Laureate, the Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman marks the 140th anniversary of his compatriot Karol Szymanowski with a new recording released globally on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Karol Szymanowski: Piano Works reveals the multifaced nature of the composer’s pianistic language, featuring Mazurkas and Masques spanning the period from 1899 to the mid-1920s. In addition to the Praemium Imperiale Awards, the 5 million Yen (c. £33,000) Grant for Young Artists has been awarded to The Kronberg Academy Foundation in Germany, established in 1993 by cellist Pablo Casals’s widow, Marta Casals Istomin and cellists Raimund Trenkler and Mstislav Rostropovich, to offer advanced training for exceptionally gifted young violinists, violists, cellists and pianists. Young soloists from the Academy will perform at London’s Wigmore Hall on Sunday 6 November. Since 1989, the Praemium Imperiale Awards have been given annually in the categories of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music and Theatre/Film; covering fields of achievement not represented by the Nobel Prizes. The Laureates are selected from a list submitted by six International Advisors to the Japan Art Association. In order to maintain the Awards’ mandate to select candidates who have made a major international impact in their particular field, the International Advisors for the Awards and their committees are committed to looking beyond their own national boundaries for ground-breaking artists to recommend to the Japan Art Association. Previous British winners include David Hockney, Mona Hatoum, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, David Chipperfield, Judi Dench, Anthony Caro and Tony Cragg.