Pioneering Video Artist Nalini Malani Awarded Japan’s $700,000 Kyoto Prize

Indian artist Nalini Malani has been awarded this year’s Kyoto Prize, Japan’s highest private award, which carries a $700,000 purse.

Malani is among India’s first video artists, though her practice has extended to include theater, installations, paintings, and drawings. She is being recognized for her “phantasmagorical spaces with approachable art forms” as well as her “pioneered artistic expression that brings the voices of the voiceless to more people,” per the press release.

“She is active globally as a non-Western artist, contributing greatly to current trends reconsidering Western-centrism in art,” the release continues.

Malani, who came to India as a refugee during the partition of India and Pakistan, studied art in Mumbai and Paris, before returning to India, wherein she began to address the country’s socio-political issues in her work.

The Kyoto Prize, commonly called Japan’s Nobel, is an annual grant aimed at recognizing lifetime achievements in the arts and sciences across three categories, including advanced technology, basic sciences, and arts and philosophy. The award is endowed with 100 million yen ($695,290) per category.

Since the prize first began in 1984, its notable recipients have included artists Nam June Paik, Tadao Ando, and Joan Jonas.

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