ISLAMABAD: Pakistani artist Shahzia Sikander has won the Fukuoka Arts and Culture Prize of 2022 for coming up with innovative ways of using digital technology in traditional miniature painting.

This was announced by the Japanese Embassy.

The prize was established in 1990 by the Japanese Fukuoka City International Foundation. It is given to individuals, groups or organisations for their splendid work in preserving Asian culture. One of the reasons why it was established is to promote not only the culture of Asia but create opportunities for people to learn more cultures of Asian countries.

This year marked the 32nd anniversary of the inception of the prize. Over the last 31 years, the prize was presented to 118 leading figures in their respective fields.

Besides Ms Sikander, this year’s prize laureates include Japanese Taiko Drummer Hayashi Eitetsu, who won the Grand Prize and Historian Prof Timon Screech from the United Kingdom who won the Academic Prize. In September this year, the laureates would be invited to Fukuoka, Japan officially to receive their respective awards.

Three other Pakistanis have been given the prize in the past. Qawwali maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Late), Dr Uxi Mufti, specialist in the preservation of folk heritage and Yasmeen Lari, architect, architectural historian and heritage conservationist.

Born in Lahore, Ms Sikander received her bachelor’s degree in 1991 from the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore. She was awarded Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence) by the Pakistani government in 2005 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the field of arts. She now lives in New York.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2022

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