Professor Kim Won-yong is a leading Asian anthropologist and art historian.
Before World War II, anthropological research and studies on the colonial Korean Peninsula had been predominantly led by Japanese scholars. After the war, the leadership in this area of study was handed over to Korean archaeologists. During this development period, Professor Kim took the initiative in establishing a new system of archaeology in Korea. His pioneering work in the area of pottery chronicles, a fundamental and important subject in archaeology, was that of the Shilla pottery of the Three Kingdoms Period. It has given a new direction to archaeology in Korea. While conducting research of important historical ruins throughout Asia, his area of focus expanded to include art history.
Such academic efforts have born fruits in the books, "Korean Art History" and "The Summary on Korean Archaeology". These two volumes are worthy of high evaluation as achievements in the formation and systematization of archaeology and art history by a Korean scholar for the first time. His excavations on the Paleolithic Chongokni Site, the Tomb of King Muryong of Paekche and many other important sites contributed to the world's acknowledgement of the unique history and culture, as well as patterns and cosmopolitanism of the Korean Peninsula.
The scientific achievements of Professor Kim are seen most intensily in his books, "Korean Archaeological Studies" and "Study of Korean Art History". The viewpoint in these works defines the position of Korea's archaeology and study of art history in East Asia. This, of course, led him to the concern about ancient culture in China and Japan. In particular, his advice upon the discoveries of Takamatsuzuka Tomb, Fujinoki Tomb and Yoshinogari Site was considered inspiring.
Furthermore, Professor Kim has been appointed to numerous important positions in scientific and cultural institutions in Korea and has been very active in giving lectures and speeches in Japan, the United States and Europe. This has contributed greatly to fostering an interest among the younger generation and to inspiring academic studies at home and abroad.
Thus, Professor Kim's distinguished achievements have contributed to the systematization and advancement of Korean archaeology and study of art history in East Asia, and further, to the world's recognition of the significance of Asian Culture. Those accomplishments surely makes Professor Kim Won-yong worthy of the Grand Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes.