2014 Hasselblad Award of $156K Given to Miyako Ishiuchi

By Conor Risch

© Ishiuchi Miyako
"Mother's #3," from Miyako Ishiuchi's series "Mothers," which was shown at the 2005 Venice Biennale.

The Hasselblad Foundation has presented Japanese photographer Miyako Ishiuchi with the 2014 Hasselblad Award, a prize of 1 million Swedish Krona (approx. $156,000). The award was given at a ceremony in Japan yesterday.

“During a period of 35 years Miyako Ishiuchi has established an international career, which is both impressive and highly significant,” said a statement released by the Foundation. “Her strength of character and uncompromising vision has resulted in some of the most powerful as well as personal representations of postwar Japan.” Noting that Isiuchi has been a role model for young women artists in the male-dominated field of photography in Japan, the statement added, “She has continued to innovate, explore and agitate throughout her career, both in terms of ideas and of her style and approach.”

Ishiuchi was born in 1947 and raised in Yokosuka, home to a significant postwar American military base. One of her first series, “Yokosuka Story,” concerned the American occupation of her hometown. Other work included “Mother,” a documentation of her mother’s possessions, which was selected to represent Japan in the 2005 Venice Biennale.

The award committee included Foam Amsterdam’s Marcel Feil, Tate Modern’s Simon Baker, gallerist Sunhee Choi, Henk Slager of Utrecht Graduate School of Art and Design, and art historian and curator Jiyoon Lee.

In addition to the cash award, The Hasselblad Foundation released a book of Ishiuchi’s work and opened an exhibition of her photographs at the Gothenburg Museum of Art in Sweden.

The Hasselblad Award was presented to Joan Fontcuberta in 2013 and Paul Graham in 2012. Other winners of the prize have included Sophie Calle, Robert Adams, Nan Goldin, Jeff Wall, Cindy Sherman and Robert Frank.

The Hasselblad Foundation was established in 1979 to promote research and teaching in the natural sciences and photography through awards, scholarships and grants.

Related: Joan Fontcuberta Wins $143,000 Hasselblad Prize
Paul Graham Wins $150K Hasselblad Prize

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