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Issey Miyake, Merce Cunningham among Japanese arts prize winners

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TOKYO, Oct 17 (AFP) - Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake and American choreographer Merce Cunningham were among the winners of the 17th Praemium Imperiale art awards announced Monday.

American painter Robert Ryman, Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi and Argentine pianist Martha Argerich were also honored.

Despite being better known for cat-walk fashions, Miyake scooped the prize for sculpture as the Japanese Art Association, which awards the prizes, lauded him for designs going "far beyond the boundaries of fashion".

"In his over three decades in design, Miyake has explored the relationship between clothing and the human body and has worked at the intersection of art and fashion, nature and technology, innovation and tradition by using both experimental and traditional materials," it said.

"That the borders among art divisions are becoming more ambiguous shows the progress in world culture," former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone told a gathering at the Tokyo National Museum.

Cunningham, who presented his first New York solo concert with American composer John Cage in April 1944 and set up his own dance company in 1953, won the theater and film award.

Miyake, who was born in Hiroshima in 1938, said that he was "delighted" when he heard he had won, praising the organizers for making a broad-minded judgement he said was fit for the 21st century.

"I hope it will be applied to other divisions," he added.

Each recipient will receive 15 million yen (130,000 dollars) and a medal at an award presentation ceremony to be held on Tuesday in Tokyo.



COPYRIGHT 2005 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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