Four out of five artists honoured in annual awards are from UK
Zaha Hadid has been named one of the five new 2009 Laureates, winning the Japanese Praemium Imperiale award for architecture.
The Japan Art Association chooses five new Laureates each year from countries all over the world. This year, four out of five of the Laureates are from the UK though three of those four, including Hadid were some from countries originally outside the UK.
On 22 October the Laureates will attend an Awards Ceremony in Japan, which will also be attended by the honorary patron of the Japan Art Association, Prince Hitachi, who is the younger brother of the present Emperor of Japan.
Previous UK Laureates are David Hockney, James Stirling, Anthony Caro, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Richard Attenborough, John Gielgud, Peter Brook, Richard Rogers, Tony Cragg, Norman Foster, Bridget Riley and Richard Hamilton - representing the UK's rich and diverse artistic heritage.
The Laureates for 2009 are:
Painting: Hiroshi Sugimoto
Sculpture: Richard Long
Architecture: Zaha Hadid
Music: Alfred Brendel
Theatre/film: Tom Stoppard