Two architects from Japan and four other cultural figures from overseas have been awarded the Japan Art Association's annual prize for this year.
The association created the Praemium Imperiale awards in 1988 to honor artists in painting, sculpture, architecture and music, as well as theater and film.
The winners of the 33rd awards were announced in Tokyo on Thursday.
Sejima Kazuyo and Nishizawa Ryue, co-leaders of architectural unit SANAA, won the architecture prize. They have created innovative architecture, such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in the city of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture.
At a news conference, Nishizawa said that it was an honor to receive the prestigious prize. He said designing architecture involves the efforts of many people so he feels he received the prize on behalf of the group.
Italian artist Giulio Paolini won the painting category. Ai Weiwei, a contemporary artist and social activist from China, won the sculpture category.
Polish-born pianist Krystian Zimerman received the music prize, and German film director Wim Wenders is the recipient of the theater and film prize.
The awards ceremony will be held on October 19 in Tokyo.
The annual award was created in memory of the late Prince Takamatsu, a granduncle of Emperor Naruhito.

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