Photo Flash: Mikhail Baryshnikov Honored by Japan's Prince Hitachi

At a ceremony in Tokyo today, His Imperial Highness Prince Hitachi, honorary patron of the Japan Art Association, paid homage to the winners of the Association's 2017 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award. This year's laureates are legendary performer Mikhail Baryshnikov, world music star Youssou N'Dour, architect Rafael Moneo, visual artist Shirin Neshat and sculptor El Anatsui. Scroll down for photos from the awards ceremony!

N'Dour and Anatsui are the first artists from Senegal and Ghana, respectively, and Neshat the first Iranian woman, to receive the Praemium Imperiale.

Now in its 29th year, the Praemium Imperiale celebrates lifetime achievement in Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music, and Theatre/Film/Dance, categories not recognized by the Nobel Prize. The award has become a powerful voice for the importance of cultural expression in today's world, bringing international attention to the arts in much the same way as the Nobel Prize brings attention to the sciences.

At the Tokyo ceremony, Prince Hitachi awarded each laureate specially-designed gold medal, a testimonial letter and a check for 15 million yen (approximately $136,000). Biographies of the 2017 winners can be found here.

The 2017 Praemium Imperiale laureates join 144 of the greatest cultural figures of the 20th and 21st centuries. They include Ingmar Bergman, Leonard Bernstein, Peter Brook, Anthony Caro, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Norman Foster, Athol Fugard, Frank Gehry, Jean-Luc Godard, David Hockney, Willem De Kooning, Akira Kurosawa, Renzo Piano, Robert Rauschenberg, Mstislav Rostropovich and Ravi Shankar. A complete list of winners can be found here.

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 was the Association's honorary patron for almost six decades. The Association chooses the winners based on the recommendations of International Advisors in England, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and the United States. The Advisors, leading figures with a deep interest or involvement in the arts, are guided by the recommendations of nominating committees comprising cultural leaders from each Advisor's home country.

For information about the Japan Art Association and the Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award, visit www.PraemiumImperiale.org.

What is now known as the Japan Art Association was created in 1879, on the advice of the Meiji Emperor, to encourage Japanese artists and to forge relations with other countries. The organization and its museum have played an active role in Japan's cultural life, presenting exhibitions of traditional arts and art from abroad. In 1988, on its 100th anniversary, the Association created the Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award in honor of the late Prince Takamatsu, who had served as honorary patron for 58 years.

Photo Credit: The Japan Art Association/The Sankei Shimbun

Photo Flash: Mikhail Baryshnikov Honored by Japan's Prince Hitachi
Mikhail Baryshnikov receives his award

Photo Flash: Mikhail Baryshnikov Honored by Japan's Prince Hitachi
Mikhail Baryshnikov receives his award

Photo Flash: Mikhail Baryshnikov Honored by Japan's Prince Hitachi
All recipients of the 2017 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award


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