Master Kong Nay, Fukuoka Prize 2017 Arts and Culture Prize Laureate, has passed away on the 28th June 2024.

Having survived the turbulence of Cambodia’s history, Master Kong Nay has become one of few remaining heirs to the tradition of chapey musical performance, handing on this legacy to a new generation. Through his performance and composition, he has spread awareness, throughout the world, the charm and versatility of this music, and has also contributed greatly to the training of young musicians, and to the UN’s human rights activities and the events to support disabled people. 

In the Award Ceremony held in 2017, he has performed his original music titled ’For the Award Ceremony in Fukuoka’. In his public lecture ‘Cambodia’s Soul toward the Future: The World of Kong Nay’s Chapey Music’, he talked about the past of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. He then gave a live performance and gave a commentary about the chapey, a music instrument used to accompany his recitations, and about the rhyming lyrics he improvised   during performances. 

In memory of his many achievements, we would like to send our sincere condolences to his family. 

Secretariat of Fukuoka Prize Committee