2014 May. 23
Medal Design Finalist: Ekuan Kenji

 The thoughts given to Tang Prize should be embodied in the medal. The motif representing the Tang era, in which China achieved great power and development in its history, was sought. Japanese were influenced very much by Tang for the cultural foundation of the nation as well. Having set highest rank among the motifs was Flower Arabesque as the most appropriate representation of the culture in the era. I decided to have the beautiful and dignified pattern to express Dr. Samuel Yin‘s and his people‘s precious resolution.

The message on the medal flank, to encourage a new future for global humanity by the centuries-honored philosophy of China, was set to mean the important Tang Prize concept on the Chinese philosophies nurtured in its history.

Medal Design: Ekuan Kenji

The package was designed to embody the wish of building the new world led by Tang Prize with the theme of Taoist Cosmology. The Tang Prize concept, to contribute Chinese culture and history to the world future, was also expressed by the materials such as jade and rosewood in the updated design structure. The package also can be displayed as it is in the acrylic cover. The cover is also effective to showcase the openwork of the jade and the medal.

I used the flower arabesque, engraved in the monument of the master monk Daichi (736), in the medal design. When observing the beautiful arabesque pattern, broadly opened international characteristics of China in the period was learned through the accumulated delineation of many regional cultures. The arabesque also has the symbolic nature of the international aspects of eternal growth. So I have come to firmly believe these backgrounds rightly express the Tang Prize mind that broadens the horizon of the world‘s culture based on Chinese philosophy. In the practical expression of the idea, strong originality and Asian beauty were sought by openwork through precision casting technique inspired by ancient Chinese casting technologies.

In the reverse side of the medal, to express the four prizes, seal scripts of the Qin era were used. The Chinese characters with huge cultural wealth had been widely used to describe Chinese thoughts. Especially the characters in the Qin era, in the transition from pictographs to ideographs, had attracted even people outside of Chinese-character-culture for their linguistic performance in common. The design depicted the ideas and the aesthetics born from long history of China in the single medal, including important historical periods. The logotype styles from the three periods —the flower arabesque of the Tang era connecting the obverse and reverse of the medal, the cursive scripts of Mi Fei of the Sung era, and seal scripts of the Qin era— all reflected the thoughts and aesthetic of those periods. All characters and patterns including an alphabet were reproduced in the same manner crafted in those periods such as V-groove-engraving.

 Medal Design: Ekuan Kenji