Iconic curved tower a coup for architect
His latest project is an icon before it is complete. Ma Yansong's curvy design for a 50-storey tower block in Mississauga, Canada, was nicknamed 'the Marilyn Monroe building' when it won the design contract, the first ever landed by a mainland architect for a landmark building abroad. It unleashed a flood of orders for Beijing architecture firm MAD's bold founding director, winner of the Style architecture and design award.
All 500 apartments sold out on the first day and the developer ordered a second tower from Mr Ma.
'We are trying to use this proposal to criticise the modern cities of North America, which are full of box-like structures,' he said. 'We are trying to link the high-rise with nature, the human body and organic things, not industrial steel and concrete.'
Performing arts award winner Yundi Li made waves at 18 as the youngest winner of the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. He studied under pianist Arie Vardi in Germany, had his US debut at Carnegie Hall at 21 and gives 100 concerts a year. Born in Chongqing to a family of steelworkers, he is 25 and became a Hong Kong citizen in 2006.
'Style is very important for musicians,' Li said. 'How you perform - that is your individual style, your personal identity. I like the romantic composers because their music is the most beautiful, the most elegant.'
Taiwanese figurative sculptor Ju Ming, winner of the visual arts award, won acclaim in the 1970s as one of the island's 'Ten Outstanding Youths' for his energetic multimedia sculptures on the theme of tai chi. Now 72, he is known internationally for his brightly coloured Living World sculptures in bronze, steel and painted wood.
Ju said he never thought he would win an award in his 70s. 'My works have western elements such as space and motion, but in spirit they are Chinese. I think it is very important to have this spirit and young artists often overlook it. But I don't believe in inspiration. If one day I find that I don't have any ideas, I will take a break from art.'