About Nissan Art Award 2020

Nissan Art Award

The Nissan Art Award is an award presented to the emerging generation of artists to further their careers, enhance their presence in the international art world and create a social environment where people familiarize themselves with art. The award is intended to celebrate new developments in Japanese contemporary art and help provoke debate about visual art by promoting creative emerging artists. Through a prolonged commitment, the award can contribute towards outlining a history of Japanese contemporary art and artists, focusing particularly on their activities in the past two years. As a continuation of the award, Nissan Motor Corporation also adds the works of art to its collection for exhibiting internally and externally with the aim of providing a point of reference on Japanese contemporary art in the international art scene.
Not only the Grand Prix winners, for all of the previous three editions’ finalists the award has served as a steppingstone to appearances at major art festivals, exhibitions and fairs around the world as well as influential art publications.

Nissan Art Award 2020

Nissan Art Award 2020 Facts

Organized and Sponsored by
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Directed, Coordinated and Exhibition Curated by
Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]

Exhibition Overview

Exhibition Period
August 1 - September 22, 2020
Nissan Pavilion (Minatomirai 6-2-1, Nishi-ku, Yokohama)
Exhibition Support
Light and Licht Ltd.,
City of Yokohama Culture and Tourism Bureau

Artist Nominations and First Selection

At the end of December 2018, a panel of ten nominators each selected three candidate artists.
Comprising curators, members of non-profit art organizations, the varied panel members have followed the careers of Japanese artists* in a global context.
Thereafter, from among the twenty eight candidates, five finalists were chosen in the first selection round at the beginning of May in Venice, Italy by five globally renowned jury members.
*From this edition, the definition of Japanese artists has broadened to not only Japanese passport holders, but also international passport holders based in Japan for more than two years in total (could be over several years and does not need to be in succession.)

Production and Exhibition of New Works

The five finalists will each receive prize money of one million JPY as well as a further one million JPY to pay for the production of new works of art, which are included in an exhibition of the finalists’ work in July 2020.

Final Selection and Award Ceremony

The jury selects the grand prize winner based on the exhibition.


Finalists: 1 million yen
Grand Prix: A total value of 5 million yen
(comprising finalist prize money and additional 2 million yen as well as an overseas residency program* with expert counseling and subsidy for travel, living and research costs) and a trophy
*Subject to change. In light of the ongoing and evolving situation with the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, the organizers are now considering alternative ways to further the overseas career of artists and a decision will be made in consultation with the eventual winner of the 2020 award.

Nissan Art Aword Trophy


Nissan Art Award 2020 Trophy
Following on from the past two editions, Keita Suzuki has designed the Nissan Art Award trophy. The trophy is made in partnership with a Japanese traditional workshop Kaikado in Kyoto. It is made out of copper, hammered in Japanese traditional way. The shape represents the design of 2017 trophy, themed around the eternity of creation that continues unbroken from generation to generation. After a process of discussion between Suzuki and Nissan, the trophy has realized a fusion of traditional craftsmanship with innovative design.

Keita Suzuki/Product designer, born in 1982. Influenced by his grandfather, he has gained big interests in the beauty of Japanese and Asian art and crafts since his childhood. Founded Product Design Center in 2012, he deals with product design as well as planning and engineering with both domestic and international companies. He held a solo exhibition at Yanagi Sori Memorial Design Center, as the first designer to exhibit at the place apart from Yanagi himself. His train and product designs for Sagami Railway 20000 series achieved Laurel Prize 2019.


Archive materials from the exhibition can be downloaded from below.

Archive video
Exhibition catalogue


Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
Twin Bldg. Daikanyama B-403, 30-8 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0033 Japan
TEL:+81 (0)3-6277-5561 / FAX:+81 (0)3-3780-0266

About Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]
AIT was begun in 2001, with the idea that Tokyo lacked spaces in which to think about, learn and discuss art at the time. We aim to create a new alternative platform where artists, curators, critics, collectors, students, and a larger audience can access contemporary art through a range of programs and events in Tokyo and beyond.

Nissan Art Award Contact


TEL:+81 (0)3-6277-5561 / FAX:+81 (0)3-3780-0266

Press Contact

Global Communication Division

TEL:+81 (0)45-523-5521


TEL:+81 (0)90-8565-9161 / FAX:+81 (0)3-3780-0266

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