The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said Thursday that Lee U-fan, a Korean artist based in Japan, was selected as the recipient of the Order of Culture Merit, Geumgwan (first class).
17 others were also chosen as recipients of the Orders of Culture Merit.
Lee is a minimalist painter, sculptor and academic. Though he began as a philosopher, he has been highly esteemed for his contribution to Korean monochrome paintings and to the development of contemporary art in Japan.
He studied at Seoul National University and Nihon University and has served as a visiting professor at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He is currently a professor at the Tama Art University in Tokyo.
He received the UNESCO Prize at the Shanghai Biennale in 2000 and the Praemium Imperiale in painting the next year. He was a prominent theorist and proponent of the 20th century Mono-ha movement in Japan.
The award ceremony will be held on Saturday at Culture Station Seoul 284.