Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr. Paul Mashatile MP, Congratulates William Kentridge on receiving the Coveted Kyoto Award for Arts and Philosophy

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12 Nov 2010

“Heartiest Congratulations to William Kentridge for being awarded this year’s prestigious Kyoto Award in the category of arts and philosophy”, said Minister Paul Mashatile, upon hearing that he received this award, comparable to the Nobel Prize, Japan’s highest private award for global achievements given out annually.

William Kentridge was given this award for his famous body of work, known as “drawings-in-motion” reflecting the history and social circumstances of South Africa. The Kyoto Foundation stated that though his work focused on South Africa, “they had acquired universality through their deep insight and profound reflections on the nature of human existence”.

Kentridge, the world renowned South African artist has received numerous international prizes and accolades. He has exhibited at various international platforms and galleries, he has produced several films of his drawings, directed operas, plays and has been prolific in his creative work. In much of his work created pre-1994, his characters depicted an emotional and political struggle portraying the social injustices of the period.   He also wrote “Ubu and the Truth Commission” in the period of the Truth Commission. He stated at that time, “I would repeat my mistrust in the worth of Good Ideas. And state a belief that somewhere between relying on pure chance on the one hand, and the execution of a programme on the other, lies the most uncertain but the most fertile ground for the work we do [...]. I think I have shown that it is not the clear light or reason or even aesthetic sensibility which determines how one works, but a constellation of factors only some of which we can change at will.”

“South Africa is proud to have an artist of Kentridge’s calibre”, stated Minister Mashatile, “We hope that this encourages other artists to create original bodies of work to gain both national and international recognition”.