The largest cash prize in contemporary visual arts, the US$1 million Nomura Art Award is given by the decision of an independent, international jury to an artist who has created a body of work of major cultural significance. To help this artist take on new challenges and embrace change, the prize money is used in whole or in part to support an ambitious new project that the winner did not previously have the means to realize.
Nomura’s heritage of engagement with the arts dates to the company’s founding in 1925 by Tokushichi Nomura II, an avid practitioner of the tea ceremony and supporter of Noh theater. The company today connects markets in the East and West through an integrated global network spanning more than 30 countries. In the spirit of its long legacy of encouraging and nurturing creativity, Nomura established the annual Nomura Art Award in 2019.
In announcing the award, Hajime Ikeda, Senior Managing Director of Nomura, said: “We offer this Award to Doris Salcedo in recognition of the deeply meaningful and formally inventive body of work she has created over the past quarter of a century. By selecting her to receive the first Nomura Art Award, the jury has perfectly understood our goal of fostering innovation and striving to deliver a better tomorrow.”
Doris Salcedo said: “The news that I had been chosen to receive the inaugural Nomura Art Award was entirely unexpected and filled me with overwhelming humility and gratitude for the generosity and responsibility that come with this great honor. Producing projects capable of honoring the experience of victims of violence requires a large investment in time and organization, sometimes with many collaborators. Because of this Award, I am now able to move ahead much more quickly than I had expected with a project that is important to me, and that I hope will touch many people. I offer my deepest thanks to Nomura and to the members of the jury.”
Speaking on behalf of the jury, Nicholas Serota said: “For more than thirty years, Doris Salcedo has been making sculptures and installations that capture the anguish associated with the loss of loved ones and preserve the memory of traumatic events in the long civil war in Colombia. However, her language has an empathy and her materials an everyday character that give her work a universal meaning that speaks to people across the world.”