The winner of the third annual Loewe Foundation Craft Prize has been praised for combining traditional techniques and a contemporary aesthetic in his prize-winning piece.

Japanese artist Genta Ishizuka, who is based in Kyoto, won the €50,000 international craft award for his 2018 work, Surface Tactility #11. Chosen from 29 finalists, he was presented the prize at an awards ceremony in Tokyo today.

The prize recognises what the organisers describe as ‘fundamentally important contributions to the development of contemporary craft’. It spans ceramics, jewellery, textiles, woodwork, glass, metalwork, furniture, papercraft and lacquer.

Commenting on this year’s winner, Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson said: “Ishizuka’s work proves that craft can be open and shows the freedom of creation. His use of an ancient lacquer technique in a contemporary form breaks conventions and represents a new sculptural vision in craft.”

The jury also agreed upon special mentions for two UK-based artists.

Edinburgh-based Harry Morgan, who graduated in Glass from Edinburgh College of Art in 2014, was selected for the 2018 work Untitled from his ‘Dichotomy Series’.

The jury said: “This radical work by Harry Morgan is a paradoxical confrontation of materials which don’t belong together. He brings a craft spirit to common materials.”

Kazuhito Takadoi, who has a BA in Art and Garden Design from Leeds Metropolitan University, was chosen for the work KADO (Angle), also from 2018.

The jury admired the work for “being a craft without a name”, drawing attention to how Takadoi is involved in the piece from conception, from growing the material in his garden to creating the object itself.

Each ‘special mention’ artist receives €5,000.

The jury for this year’s prize included Anderson and Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, London.

The other jurors were: Anatxu Zabalbeascoa (chairwoman), architecture and design correspondent for El País; Benedetta Tagliabue, architect and Pritzker Prize jury member; Hong-Nam Kim, president of the National Trust of Korea; 2018 prize winner Jennifer Lee; Naoto Fukasawa, designer and director of the Japan Folk Crafts Museum; Patricia Urquiola, architect and industrial designer; Wang Shu, architect and Pritzker Prize jury member; and Wolfgang Lösche, head of exhibition and fairs at the Chamber of Skilled Trades, Munich.

The winner and shortlisted works are exhibited at Isamu Noguchi’s indoor stone garden, ‘Heaven’, at the Sogetsu Kaikan in Tokyo until 22 July 2019.

1. Genta Ishizuka, Surface Tactility #11, 2018, winner of Loewe Foundation Craft Prize 2019
2. Harry Morgan, Untitled, from Dichotomy Series, 2018, special mention in Loewe Foundation Craft Prize 2019
3. Kazuhito Takadoi, KADO (Angle), 2018, special mention in Loewe Foundation Craft Prize 2019

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