Award Ceremony 2002

The Fukuoka Prize 2002 Award ceremony

September 19, 2002 (14:00 - 16:00)
ACROS Fukuoka Symphony Hall

After being greeted by a nysucak performance by Fukuoka Seiryo High School Orchestra in the lobby of the Hall, the ceremony began with attendance by approximately 1,200 people including representatives from embassies of the laureates' countries, exchange students in Fukuoka,k international exchange organizations, business circles, universities, local organizations as well as the citizens of Fukuoka City.

Following an introduction of the laureates' profiles on a video screen, the laureates were presented with their prizes by representatives form the organizing committee. Also, speeches were made by guests, H. E. Mr. Nishimura Mutsuyoshi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, adn Mr. Aso Wataru, Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture praising the laureates' contributions. Each of the laureates expressed thier joy upon receiving the prizes in their acceptance speeches and shared their view with the citizens of Fukuoka City.

 A special artistic performance of Niko (erhu) by Ms. Chen Min added an extratouch to the ceremony.

Acceptance Speech by ZHANG Yimou (Grand Prize)

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

I am very grateful to have this opportunity to visit Fukuoka City and be awarded the Grand Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes. I am extremely honored and grateful to receive such an honor you bestow on me.

I would like to note that there are some other Chinese laureates who have been awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize, for example, Ba Jin, Fei Xiaotong, Wang Zhongshu whom I respect and feel I must follow. I would say that I am rather unaccomplished compared with them.

Receiving the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize is great encouragement for me and I look upon this as a new starting point for me.

I have a very strong devotion to my work as a film director. I believe my work itself promotes exchange and interaction among people and nations. My greatest with is to create fine films, to help people around the world understand China through my films, and moreover, to integrate Chinese film into world culture.

The Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes provide us an opportunity to exchange our own culture and to learn from each other, promoting a fusion of different cultures throughout the world.

Through this ceremony, I hope that Chinese and Western cultures are able to integrate further and the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes become even more substantial year after year.

In closing, I would like to express my great appreciation for receiving this prize and for the support given to me over so many years.

I will hereon endeavor to create many finer works and present them to you all.

Thank you very much.

Acceptance Speech by Kingsley Muthumuni DE SILVA (Academic Prize)

Permit me to begin this short address by expressing my sincerest thnks to the Fukuoka Asian Culture Preze Committee for making this award to me on this occasion. I am deeply honoured and very grateful.  The pleasure of winning it on this occasion is all the greater when one looks at the previous winners, distinguished persons, a who's who of the best in the scholarship on Asia. I am the first winner of this award from Sri Lanka. Just as I am very conscious of this fact, I am also aware that I am the second historian from South Asia to win it.

As a Sri Lankan I am a citizen of an island with a long and fascinating though though troubled history. I nrecent year it is often referred to as a high conflict country. By concentrating so much on the conflict we turn attention away from the many positive aspects of its history and achievements, not least in the last 70 years or so. Despite the onflict the island remains one of Asia's more robust democracies, where citizens have had universal suffrage at general leections since 1931, and where a two party system has prevailed since independence, one of the few countries of Asia with such a record. Its record in social welfare for the people at large is unique in South Asia.

As a university teacher I have spent a lifetime studying the history of my country, and writing on it. I have spent a lifetime reflecting on and teaching the history of my country. To write its history from the earliest times to the present day has been a rich and challenging experience. To write of its troubles of today and of ccenturies past has been a humbling experience. But there is a wider perspective stretching beyond the island, and that comes in recognising that in studying Sri Lanka you study the essence of the history of South and Southeast Asia. In writing on the history of Sri Lanka you write about the play of powerful historical forces, political, economic and cultural on the affairs of a small island through several centuries not least five centuries of colonial rule in parts or the whole of the island. We also write about this small island's cultural influence on Southeast  Asia and beyond, the common link being Buddhism. That culture also links us to Japan.

In thinking of the troubles of Sri Lanka --- the ethnic conflict as it is called --- I and a few colleagues helped in establishing a research institute, the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, to study these problems going beyond Sri Lanka to other nations, in all parts of the world, afflicted by these same maladies. The institute is now 20 years old and has earned a wide international reputation for its work. Apart from my assistance in founding this institute my commitment to its work over 20 years has been among the most satisfying experiences of my life.

Let me thank the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize Committee once again for the great honour they have conferred on me, in recognizing the work I have done as a historian, and as a student of ethnicity and ethnic conflict.

Acceptance Speech by Anthony REID (Academic Prize)

It is immensely humbling for an Asianist to be honoured in this spectacular way through the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes.

Asia is the world's great treasury of diverse ancient and modern cultures, some endangered or even dying , others vibrantly alive and dynamically changing. Even in its 13 years to date, the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize Committee has been able to honour only a small minority of those diverse cultural traditions, art forms, and new media like the cartoons of Mr. Lat or the filmic sagas of Mr. Zhang.

It is therefore a particularly generous spirit that has moved the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize Committee nevertheless sometimes to award its prizes to people like myself who do not represent or articulate any Asian art or science at all, but rather observe them from outside. About every two yeart the committee appears to have done this, honoring by my count four Americans, two Australians, one Englishman and one Irishman. All of us are students of one or more Asian cultures and societies, but we write and teach in English for readers and students who are predominantly not Asian, at least in the usual sense. At best we may document and explicate Asian cultures, we cannot create and animate them as Mr. Zhang and Mr. Lat do. I am doubly grateful, therefore, that even the scribbling of an outsider can be so honoured.

I said "in the usual sense" because I felt as I made those remarks that they are already outdated. English has become one of Asia's most widely and creatively used languages; people of Asian decsent have distinguished themselves as members of every society of the world; and we are all increasingly citizens of a global village in which separtating what is Asian, of Australia, or Japanese, is difficult if not impossible. To take only the most recent of these "non - Asian" Fukuoka prizewinners, Benedict Anderson was officially Irish, but born in China, lived and researched in Indonesia and Thailand, and taught in the United States. Stanley Tambiah was born and raised in Sri Lanka, researched in Southeast Asia and also taught in the United States Wang Gungwu and myself proudly decloare ourselves Australian, but both of us were born elsewhere - he in Indonesia and I in New Zealand.

He taught in Malaysia, Australia and Hong Kong; and I in Malaysia, Australia and the United States, and now both of us coincidentally work in Singapore. I am grateful to live at a time when boundaries are so frequently crossed and moved, and in places where cultures are so profusely juxtaposed and intermingled.

The Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes are an exceptionally generous and imaginative initiative. I am particularly pleased to have been honoured in Japan, where I have had some of my most powerful learning experiences.

As an 18 - year - old student I visited for the firs time, travelling by sea on a Japanese freighter, the Tenwa Maru, carrying scrap iron from New Zealand. My brother and I were the only non - Japanese aboard, and for three weeks we learned the importance of language as well as the powerful bonds that link humans across barriers of cmoprehension and culture. I have visited many times since, and continued to learn about life and culture from my Japanese friends.

I thank the people of Fukuoka for making this worderful event possible, and allowing my wife and I to be part of it. We feel extraordinarily privileged and honoured.

Acceptance Speech by Lat (Arts and Culture Prize)

A cartoonist is a humorist who can draw if you could call it drawing doodling is more appropriate in most cases!  He is a comedian who laughs to himself in the privacy of his own room without having to show his face on TV or appear on stage or radio.  Needless to say, he is an artist who can paint in oil but would rather, due to this unusual penchant for observing mannerism of people, sketch and create laughter instead. The cartoonist expresses his feelings through his drawings.

He specializes in certain fields namely political cartoons, topical cartoons, social commentary, satire, comic strip and TV or film animation.

I have been an editorial cartoonist in the newspaper The New Straits Times in Malaysia for 28 years. I draw at home in my room, alone. For this job all I need is a piece of drawing paper, a pencil, some felt pens, a brush, a bottle of ink and a BIG audience. And the audience is of course society itself, regular people regular readers.

The subject has always been on this topic: How Difficult it is for Us Individuals to Fit into Today’s Society Today’s World! The cartoonist believes that in coping with current events, everyday life, home, neighborhood, township, government and the economy many of us would feel like the vagabond character played by Charlie Chaplin in his classic silent, black and white comedies of old. Such ideas and opinions voiced out thru cartoon drawings form the bond that connects the cartoonist and his audience.

Born in a little village in Malaysia, I started drawing cartoons at the age 12 this hobby, sketching, aroused an excitement in me. A drawing completed was a drawing proudly shown around to family and friends. By the time I was 13 years old, I already had my childish cartoons appearing in the popular movie magazines and comic books. There was no monetary reward for these cartoons that were used in the magazines we were paid with free cinema tickets by the publisher. And I was very happy and proud indeed.

It was out of the interest for cartoon art and the need to impress the family and the neighborhood kids. But there were a few things I didn’t think of at that time: a) that I would become a professional doodler till old age and b) that my drawings and I would eventually travel to far away corners of the earth, happily making contact with international communities. Needless to say, making a lot of friends all over the world.

And so till today I continue drawing and being a free - lance cartoonist, very independent, being my own boss there is that freedom I possess. Free to draw as I like but how much freedom do I have and need? Undoubtedly, after 28 years of experience, I know what NOT to draw  because our whole purpose is to pick out the positive things that are in common among us (so that we understand more about one another), reach out for each other’s hand in friendship and definitely not to condemn anybody. The subjects of religion, customs and traditions which are the personal belongings of ethnic groups are best left alone to each his own.

This Arts and Culture Prize proves that the people and Government of Fukuoka endorses Cartoon Art as one of the most effective mediums of communication in today’s world and a special way of promoting international understanding. It is indeed a great honor for me to be the recipient of this Award. Thank you.

Celebration Banquet 2002

September 19, 2002 (18:00 - 19:30)
Hotel Nikko Fukuoka "Tsukushi - no - ma" room

The four honorable laureates and their accompanying persons received a warm welcome form approximately 220 guests who attended the banquet.

Representing the organizers, Mr. Kawai Tatsuo, Chairman of the Yokatopia Foundation delivered his greetings and H. E. Mr. Karunatilaka Amunugama, Ambassador of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka served as the toastmaster on behalf of all the distinguished guests.

 The banquet proceeded in a friendly atmosphere where laureats and guests enhanced their friendships.

Download the Anuual Report 2002

You can download the annual report 2002 in Adobe PDF to check all the events and programs of the Fukuoka Prize 2002.

Download the Anuual Report 2002

Official program reports

Click to see more 2002 reports.