Architect wins 2008 Ho-Am Art Prize

Niki May Young
Wednesday 23 Jul 2008

Prominent architect first to win prestigious Korean Art Prize

Korean American Architect Kyu Sung Woo has been named the winner of the 2008 Ho-Am Prize in the Arts. The Ho-Am Prize in the Arts recognizes Koreans who have made outstanding contributions to the promotion of culture and the arts through their creative efforts and accomplishments. He is the first architect to receive this prestigious award, which is often considered to be the Korean equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

Kyu Sung Woo is the most prominent Korean American architect practicing in both Korea and the United States. His architecture and urban design work represent a style informed by nature. By resisting ornamentation and exaggeration, Woo combines the minimalist ideals of the West with the quiet spaces of the East. His utilization of light, space, and movement combine to create a unique and meditative experience.

Kyu Sung Woo Architects, based in Cambridge, MA, boasts a wide range of completed projects in the United States including the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, the Graduate Student Housing at 10 Akron Street at Harvard University, the Heller School at Brandeis University and the Arts of Korea Gallery at the New York Metropolitan Museum. Representative works in Korea include the new 1.4 million sq ft Asian Culture Complex, still under construction, Stone Cloud and the Whanki Museum. Kyu Sung has also participated in a number of exhibitions including the 8th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.

The Ho-Am Prize is an annual award bestowed upon five ethnic Koreans living at home or abroad in the categories of science, engineering, medicine, the arts and community service. The award was first established in 1990, in honor of Byung-Chul Lee, founder of Samsung Corporation, and his lifelong commitment to the promotion of public benefit programs. Past winners of the Ho-Am Prize in the Arts include educational pioneer Won-Yong Kim, video artist Nam-June Paik, painter Lee Ulfan, dancer Sue Jin Kang, the Bucheon Philharmonic, playwright Oh Tae-Sok and most recently in 2007, novelist Yi Chong-jun. Ho-Am Prize winners receive a gold medal, a laureate diploma, and 200 million Korean won (about €126,000 EURO).

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