Jonathan Watkins, director of Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery, is one of the judges for a new competition which will give British artists the opportunity to show their work in Japan.

The Daiwa Foundation Art Prize will not only offer the winner an award of £5,000 and their first solo show in Japan, but will also provide a period of support and introductions to key individuals and organisations within the Japanese contemporary art world.

In its inaugural year, the prize is open to all British artists resident in the United Kingdom who have not previously had a solo exhibition in Japan.

Artists applying for the prize are required to submit documentation of four recent works, in any medium (including painting, photography, drawing, sculpture, installation and video), a supporting CV and personal statement.

The judging panel will select a shortlist of three artists whose work will be exhibited at the Daiwa Foundation Japan House Gallery in London, with the winner to be announced in June 2009.

The winner will then go to Japan in August and exhibit at the Tomio Koyama Gallery in Tokyo.

The gallery represents artists such as Franz Ackerman, Benjamin Butler, Ernesto Neto, Yoshitomo Nara, Mika Ninagawa and Mika Kato.

As well as Jonathan Watkins, the panel of judges includes Mami Kataoka, who has curated exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery in London and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo; Tomio Koyama, a gallery owner and art collector, who represents many major contemporary Japanese and international artists; Joanna Pitman, art critic for The Times and its former correspondent in Japan; and Edmund de Waal, artist potter, curator, writer and professor of ceramics at the University of Westminster.

The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation is a charity, established in 1988 with a generous benefaction from Daiwa Securities Co Ltd.

Its purpose is to support closer links between Britain and Japan in all fields of activity, including the visual arts.

Professor Marie Conte-Helm, director general of the Daiwa Foundation, comments: “The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation is pleased to be offering opportunities for British artists in Japan through this creative visual arts initiative.

“We believe that this prize will open new doors and contribute to the career development of British artists by providing introductions and insights into the Japanese art world”.

* The closing date for entries is March 2, 2009. For further information and an application form, visit