On June 1, New York-based video artist Kimsooja was awarded the 2015 Ho-Am Prize in Seoul. The prize, established in 1990 by the Korean conglomerate Samsung and named after the pen-name of its late founder Lee Byung-chull, is awarded to “people of Korean heritage who have contributed to the enrichment of culture and arts for humankind.” As part of the Ho-Am Prize, Kimsooja was presented with a special diploma, a pure gold medal and a cash prize of KRW 300 million (USD 275,000).
Often referred to as the Korean Nobel Prize, the annual award is given to one recipient from each of the following five fields: science; engineering; medicine; the arts; and community service. The Ho-Am Prize for the Arts encompasses a broad range of genres, including literature, music, visual art, design, dance and theater. Kimsooja is only the third visual artist, and the first female artist, to win the Ho-Am Prize for the Arts, with the other two being Lee Ufan in 2001 and Nam June Paik in 1995.