Guest of Honour Sebastian Faulks opened the envelopes last night at 20th Century Theatre, London, to announce six new recipients of the 2016 Arts Foundation Fellowship Awards.
Winners were Deborah Smith (Literary Translation), Vann Kwok (Jewellery Design), Carmen Hijosa (Materials Innovation), Ruth Ewan (Art in Urban Space), Laura Ducceschi (Producers of Live Music) and Gregory Sinclair (Children's Theatre).
The fellowships are given to support the creative practice of the artists, giving essential breathing space with no strings attached. Each category was introduced by one member of the judging panels which were specific to each art form, Jude Kelly CBE (Southbank), Simon Andrews (Christies), Joao Wilbert (Google Creative Lab), Michaela Crimmin (Culture + Conflict), Amanda Hopkinson (National Translation Day) and Gabriel Prokofiev (Nonclassical). The runners up didn't leave empty handed either, each receiving cheques of £1,000.
Deborah Smith, the recipient of this year's Literary Translation Fellowship happens to be the UK's sole translator of Korean Literature. Her most recent translation of South Korean author Han Kang’s 'Human Acts' (Portobello Books 2016) is out now and was described as ‘a rare and astonishing book, sensitively translated by Deborah Smith’ by The Observer, with the FT highlighting her ‘spare, lyrical prose’.
Deborah Smith has a BA in English from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Korean Studies from SOAS. Since 2011 she has been studying for a PhD at SOAS, focusing on contemporary Korean fiction, and has also been translating literary works from Korean into English. She is the recipient of the ICF Korean Literature Translation Fellowship 2012-13, and her translation of “His First Love” by Bae Suah was published in 2012 by the Asia Literary Review.
'Human Acts' is Deborah’s second published translation of Hann Kang’s work, the previous being the highly acclaimed 'The Vegetarian' (Portobello Books 2015) and the next, a short story, 'The Fruit of My Woman' due to be published by Granta later this year. Further to this she has worked closely with Korean writer Bae Suah translating 'The Essayists Desk' and 'The Low Hills of Seoul', both awaiting publication and Ahn Do-hyun’s 'The Salmon Who Dared to Leap Higher' (Pan Macmillan 2015).
Sources: Banipal.com & Arts Foundation UK