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Juries / Nomination Committee

Jury’s Comments on the First Selection

The five emerging contemporary artists among 28 candidates were selected at the first selection round taken place in Venice in May 2019.
The jury brought together a wide range of members with different perspectives and backgrounds, which led to a very open discussion and highly meaningful judging process.
“We have a wonderfully diverse group of artists this year, representing a wide range of media – from performance to woodcut to physical sculptures,” said Lawrence Rinder, a member of the international jury for the award. “They are five extremely strong artists, and it will be very exciting to see what they produce.” “The five selected artists are a snapshot of diversity of voice, certainly in terms of issues that artists are dealing with, not just in Japan but in the world,” said jury member Suhanya Raffel.

Jury’s Comments on the First Selection

Each of the five finalists for the Nissan Art Award 2020 chosen at the first selection stage received prize money of 1 million yen as well as a further 1 million yen to pay for the production of artworks. An exhibition was then held, featuring the finalists’ new works. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the overseas-based members of the international jury were unable to come to Japan to complete the final selection in person. The judging process was instead conducted online and the winner of the Grand Prix announced on August 26, 2020.
Looking back on the selection, Lawrence Rinder, one of the members of the international jury, said: “While not being able to see the work in person was certainly detrimental, I feel that we did as well as possible under the circumstances. It was important to move ahead with this award despite the difficulties. Regardless of COVID, art will continue to be made and we must continue to affirm its importance through awards such as this one.”
To read the statement by the international jury in full, see here.

4 photo credits
Photo: Yukiko Koshima

International Jury Members

  • Fumio Nanjo
Fumio Nanjo

Senior Advisor, Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan) / Jury Chair

Fumio Nanjo took office of the Mori Art Museum in November 2006 until 2019, and was appointed a special advisor of the museum in 2020. His main achievements include Commissioner of the Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1997), Commissioner at the Taipei Biennale (1998), member of jury committee of the Turner Prize (1998), Artistic Director of the Yokohama Triennale (2001), jury member of the Golden Lion Prize of the Venice Biennale (2005), Artistic Director of the Singapore Biennale (2006/2008) and Curatorial Director of the Honolulu Biennial (2017). Publications include Asian Contemporary Art Report: China, India, Middle East and Japan (2010) and A Life with Art (2012).

  • Jean de Loisy (Paris, France)
    © Pierre-Anthony Allard
Jean de Loisy

Director, École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA)(Paris, France)

Jean de Loisy has been Director of Beaux- Arts de Paris since January 2019. He was previously President of the Palais de Tokyo (2011-2018) and has held various functions in many cultural institutions (Centre Pompidou, Fondation Cartier, etc.). As part of his activities as independent curator, Jean de Loisy has participated in numerous international events including the Venice Biennale in 1993 and in 2011, organized the Biennale of Gwangju as well as landmark historical exhibitions such as "Out of bounds – art and Life" (1995), "Traces of the Sacred" at the Centre Georges Pompidou (2008) or "La Beauté" in Avignon (2000), "Monumenta/Anish Kapoor" at the Grand Palais (2011), "The Masters of Disorder" at the Museum of the Quay Branly (2012), "Simple Forms" in Centre Pompidou-Metz (2014), "A Brief History of the Future" at the Louvre Museum in 2015 or "Monumenta/Huang Yong Ping" at the Grand Palais in 2016.

  • Suhanya Raffel

Suhanya Raffel

Museum Director, M+(Hong Kong)

Suhanya Raffel is the Director of M+ Hong Kong since November 2016. Her curatorial career began in 1984 and she has over 30 years of experience as a museum curator and leader. Prior to joining M+, Ms. Raffel was Deputy Director and Director of Collections at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (2013-2016) and Acting Director of the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2012). She is currently a Trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust and the Lunuganga Trust, Sri Lanka and a member of the board of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM), Barcelona, Spain.

  • Ute Meta Bauer

Ute Meta Bauer

Founding Director, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore/
Professor, Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design and Media (Singapore)

Prior to her present post, Ute Meta Bauer was Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, where she also served as Founding Director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (2005–13). For more than three decades, Bauer has worked as curator of exhibitions and presentations, connecting contemporary art, film, video, and sound through transdisciplinary formats including as co-curator of Documenta11 and the 3rd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. She also co-curated the US Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale featuring eminent artist Joan Jonas. She publishes regularly on artistic and curatorial practice. Bauer was an expedition leader of TBA21-Academy The Current (2015–18) exploring the Pacific Archipelago and littorals that are most impacted by climate change and human interventions in their environments.

  • Lawrence Rinder (California, U.S.A.)
    Photo: Peter Cavagnaro
Lawrence Rinder

Former Director and Chief Curator, Berkeley Museum and Pacific Film Archive(California, U.S.A.)

Lawrence Rinder is a former director and chief curator of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), a position he has held since 2008 until July 2020. His curatorial contributions while serving as BAMPFA director include organizing Architecture of Life (2016), The Possible (2014) with David Wilson, the first mid-career survey of Barry McGee (2012) with Dena Beard and In a Different Light with Nayland Blake. He has held positions at the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, where he was chief curator of the Whitney Biennial (2002) and organized exhibitions including The American Effect: Global Perspectives on the United States, 1990–2003 and Tim Hawkinson, He was the founding director of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at California College of the Arts, San Francisco, where he also served as dean. His writing on art has appeared in nest, Artforum, The Village Voice, Fillip, Atlantica, and Flash Art, among other publications. Art Life, a collection of his essays, was published by Gregory R. Miller in 2005. He has also published poetry, fiction, and a play, co-authored with Kevin Killian.

Candidates Nomination Committee Members

A panel of ten nominators, comprising curators, researchers and members of non-profit art organizations, each selected three candidate artists.
There were twenty-eight candidates for the first selection round, since two artists declined due to the unforeseen circumstances.

Arata Hasegawa

Independent Curator

Azusa Hashimoto

Curator, The National Museum of Art, Osaka

Minoru Hatanaka

Chief Curator, NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC]

Tomo Imai

Curator, Arts Maebashi

Yu Iseki

Curator, Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito

Eriko Kimura

Curator, Yokohama Museum of Art / Curatorial Head, Yokohama Triennale 2020

Roger McDonald

Arts Initiative Tokyo [AIT]

Hajime Nariai

Curator, Tokyo Station Gallery

Hiroko Tasaka

Curator, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

Kazuhiko Yoshizaki

Curator, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]

Listed in alphabetical order of surnames after the Chair

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