The Korea Herald


National Academy of Arts names 2024 award winners, new members

By Moon Ki-hoon

Published : June 28, 2024 - 16:01

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Director-filmmaker Lee Jang-ho speaks at a press conference in Seoul, May 27 (Yonhap) Director-filmmaker Lee Jang-ho speaks at a press conference in Seoul, May 27 (Yonhap)

The National Academy of Arts, South Korea's premier artists society affiliated with the Culture Ministry, announced Thursday its annual roster of honorees, celebrating both venerated masters and emerging talents across the arts spectrum.

The Academy's prestigious annual award, instituted in 1955 to honor lifelong artistic contributions, recognized four individuals who have left indelible marks on Korea’s cultural landscape. Each recipient receives a grant of 50 million won ($38,000) in one of four categories: literature, fine arts, music, and performance.

Director Lee Jang-ho was honored for his era-defining contributions to 1970s and '80s Korean cinema. His 1974 film "Heavenly Homecoming to Stars," an iconic tale of urban melodrama, is widely considered a watershed piece in Korea's youth culture.

In the fine arts, painter-sculptor Suh Yong-sun earned the accolade for his four-decade career chronicling quotidian life, offering a lens into the lived experiences of everyday Koreans. The literature award went to Kim Myeong-in, a poet acclaimed for his portrayal of marginalized peoples against the backdrop of Korea's tumultuous modern history.

In a nod to the future, the Academy also nominated six artists aged under 45 for its third annual Young Artist Award, spanning disciplines from creative writing to traditional music performance.

In a separate announcement, the Academy welcomed nine new members into its ranks, bringing its membership to a total of 80. Notable among this year’s inductees are Shin Koo, 88, and Ahn Sung-ki, 72, veteran actors whose faces have become synonymous with Korean cinema over their illustrious 60-plus year careers.

The award ceremony is scheduled to take place on Sept. 5 at the NAA headquarters in Seoul.