The CAF Artist Award is an award intended for artists involved in the field of contemporary art. Implemented since 2015, the award is aimed at artists who are 10~15 years into their career after graduating from educational institutions such as university and graduate school. The objective of the CAF Artist Award is to select talented artists who would become pillars of the next generation, and to further provide them with the opportunity of working in an international context.
The “10~15 years post university graduation” period is both the most important and the most difficult period within an artist’s career. It is a stage in which the artist has progressed beyond the point of belonging to the “up-and-coming” realm, and is anticipated to progress and succeed further in their practice. Rather than simply honoring the works of mature and already developed artists, we established the “CAF Award” in our hopes to select talented artists who would become pillars of the next generation from among those struggling in the midst of this difficult and crucial period of their career, and provide them with the opportunity of working internationally.
There were approximately 250 entries to the award, and the judging process had been extremely difficult with many of the works submitted by artists already active in their career. The six finalists who advanced to the final stage had all differed in the genre of their work, career, and personal backgrounds. After extensive and heated discussions between members of the judging panel, we are now pleased to announce the winner of the Grand Prize.
We would also like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest gratitude to the kind understanding and consideration we have received towards our activities. We thank you in advance for your warm and continuous support and future cooperation.
Contemporary Art Foundation
Born in Osaka, 1980. Matsushita holds a BA from Kyoto City University of Arts. Recent solo exhibitions include ”MARIKO” matchbaco (Tokyo, 2015), 「楽園とその他の実験」Yoyogi Art Gallery (Tokyo, 2014), and「幼い頃に切除すればそれは大きく美しくなる」Gallery Fukka (Tokyo, 2013). The second solo exhibition by Mariko Matsushita at matchbaco will be held in October.
I am deeply thankful for receiving such a big award.
The little Mariko is also exhausted, but is very happy.
It’s not only a result of her efforts, but is also due to everyone’s understanding.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all who have supported me, and also to all the judges.
Finally, I would like to close by noting little Mariko’s words.
“I would like to live as much as I can
Art is like the wings of Icarus
The more I fly, the more the sun comes to kill me
Even so, I want to fly to the furthest edge of the ocean and have my heart grasped by fear
I want to be pierced by the instant flash of coldness of the abyss into which the ocean pours like a deep black waterfall.”
Comment from jurors：
Over the last 30 years of Delfina Studios and Foundation, we have nurtured the careers of young artists and supported them to develop their practice. We are happy to be partnering with Contemporary Art Foundation on their 2nd Artist Award, which is being awarded to Mariko (please put her last name here). By selected Mariko, the jury - as well as the CAF - have made a point in awarding an emerging artist whose work could be considerably transformed by the opportunity. The CAFAA this year is therefore focused on artistic transformation and growth, which is an important statement to make as an organisation since the success of the award may not immediately visible. However, during the artist interviews, Mariko demonstrated her potential, as well as her interest in widening her practice beyond painting and into performance, writing and installation. We look forward to witnessing this shift in her work over the next few years.
I believed that anyone of the six finalists had the potential to win the prize. That is why the final presentation, or in other words the artist’s presence, had been the key deciding factor. The underlying premise of art is indeed the life of the person who creates it. Watching Mariko Matsushita’s unwitting performance as she appeared before us adorned in red clothes, standing before the painting to spit out words in her clumsy English that unmistakably for this day continued to seemingly bleed in their desperation, had made me painstakingly recognize how the premise of art lies in the life of its creator. Sputniko! had commented that Matsushita had reminded her of Kusama in her youth. She is someone who cannot live without engaging in the act of painting. She is someone who is both salvaged and manipulated by painting, yet remains unknown to others as she paints solely for herself. She cannot make a living from her paintings, and will be unable to do so forever. When Aaron had asked her, “How do you feel about the paintings leaving you to be in the hands of others?” she had replied, “In the beginning it had been painful, but now I want to grant them to others.” She had indeed used the word “grant.” It was at this very moment that I decided she was the one for the award. I thought to myself, it’s NOW OR NEVER! I am not presenting her with the award in anticipation of her future. Mariko Matsushita had essentially transformed her future in the mere 30 minutes that she stood before our eyes.
I found myself being deeply moved having met Mariko Matsushita in person and engaging in discussions for the final review. Her English is not fluent. There is also much room for growth in her works. Nevertheless, she had confronted the judges with a level of intensity almost as if putting her very own life on the line. I had sensed her strong will to create works and to live with them, which in turn had served as a certain reminder to myself personally as an artist.
I very much look forward to her future to see what will happen, and to see the miracles she may realize. I feel that perhaps challenging herself to work with the medium of performance in addition to painting will open up a new path for her. I would like to continue following her practice to see how she will develop further upon going to London.
The founding Director of Delfina Foundation, where he develops, curates and oversees its interrelated programme of residencies, exhibitions and public platforms. Independently and through Delfina Foundation, he has sat on numerous boards, committees and advisory groups such as All Change Arts, Shubbak, Davidoff Art Initiative, Caspian Arts Foundation, and the Young Arab Theatre Fund.
Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts (B.A.) in 1984. Started living and working at his studio in Kunitachi, Tokyo in 1985. Received the VOCA Encouragement Prize (1994) and Bienal Internacional de Artes de São Paulo (1996). Moved to Ghent, Belgium, at the invitation of Jan Hoet in 1997~2006. Back to Japan in 2006 and built the studio at Tomonoura in Hiroshima. Lives and works in Tokyo and Hiroshima.
British/Japanese artist who creates machines, robotics, music and video exploring issues surrounding technology and pop culture. MIT Media Lab Assistant Professor. Sputniko! has continued to produce playful and cross-boundary work examining technology of everyday life, and has presented her film and installation works internationally in museums such as New York MoMA, and Museum of Contemporary Art.
The purpose of the Contemporary Art Foundation Artist Award (CAFAA) is to select a promising artist and provide the opportunity to advance their careers. This year the CAF is working in partnership with the Delfina Foundation and in addition to the 3 million yen prize money, the Grand Prix winner will receive an opportunity to have a 3month residency from July 2017 to September 2017 at the Delfina Foundation in London.
Delfina Foundation (DF) is more than London’s largest international residency programme – it is a home where the next generation of contemporary artists, curators and thinkers are supported and promoted.
Based in two newly renovated Edwardian houses in central London, DF is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to fostering artistic talent and facilitating exchange through residencies and public programmes ranging from workshops to exhibitions, both in the UK and with international partners.
Founded by arts philanthropist Delfina Entrecanales CBE, DF is the successor to Delfina Studio Trust. From 1988 to 2006, Delfina Studio held an unprecedented record for supporting artists through residencies and exhibitions, including more than a dozen Turner Prize nominees.（Delfina Foundation http://delfinafoundation.com）