London’s V&A has announced its shortlist of 11 artists and designers for the upcoming Jameel Prize 2016.
Now in its fourth edition, the Jameel Prize awards artists and designers inspired by Islamic traditions of art, craft and design. The Prize is supported by Art Jameel and usually takes place at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2016, the exhibition and award will launch at the Pera Museum in Istanbul.
The biennial Jameel Prize is an international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic traditions, open to artists of any ethnic, religious or cultural background. It was founded in 2009 by the Victoria & Albert Museum in partnership with Art Jameel, the founding partner of Edge of Arabia, The Crossway Foundation, Jeddah Art Week and The Archive. One of Community Jameel’s initiatives, Art Jameel fosters and promotes contemporary art and creative entrepreneurship across the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey) region. The patron of the Jameel Prize is influential British-Iranian architect Zaha Hadid.
The Prize aims, as written on the V&A website,
to explore the relationship between Islamic traditions of art, craft and design and contemporary work as part of a wider debate about Islamic culture and its role today.
The Jameel Prize, with its selection of contemporary art, complements the V&A’s Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art, opened in 2006, which houses one of the world’s greatest collections of art from the Middle East with pieces dating back to as far as the 1850s.
The Prize awards GBP25,000 to its winner, selected from a shortlist of nominated finalists whose works are exhibited in an international touring exhibition, which kicks off at the V&A. Previous editions of the Prize exhibition have toured to venues in the Middle East, North Africa, France, Spain, the United States and Russia. The artists and designers are nominated by leading curators, artists, designers and cultural figures from across the world who are specialists of art and design inspired by Islamic tradition.
The Jameel Prize 4
Marking the first time the Prize is launched at an external venue, the fourth Jameel Prize’s exhibition will be on display from 8 June to 14 August 2016 at the Pera Museum in Istanbul, founded by the Suna and Ínan Kıraç Foundation in 2005, where the winner will be announced on 7 June 2016. The exhibition will then tour to the V&A and other venues worldwide. The works on show range from delicate paper collages to an animated video installation with marionettes and from ceramics, calligraphy and sculpture to an artist’s books.
The 11 shortlisted artists and designers for 2016 were selected from among 280 nominations by an independent panel of judges, chaired by V&A Director Martin Roth, and include:
- David Chalmers Alesworth (b. 1957, England) – a visual artist whose work is based around his research on garden history and landscape.
- Rasheed Araeen (b. 1935, Pakistan) – a recognised pioneer of minimalist sculpture in Britain.
- Lara Assouad (Lebanon) – a graphic and type designer who creates Arabic typefaces expressing a contemporary ‘Arab’ visual language.
- Canan (b. 1970, Turkey) – an artist whose practice is informed by her position as one of the leading defenders of women’s rights in Turkey.
- Cevdet Erek (b. 1974, Turkey) – an artist working specifically with sound, space and rhythm.
- Sahand Hesamiyan (b. 1977, Iran) – a sculptor whose work re-interprets traditional Iranian geometrical shapes.
- Lucia Koch (b. 1966, Brazil) – an artist who creates architectural interventions by covering façades, skylights and windows with translucent materials and filters, investigating issues of light and spatiality.
- Ghulam Mohammad (b. 1987, Pakistan) – an artist who uses words and language as a medium to create paper collage.
- Shahpour Pouyan (b. 1980, Iran) – an artist who works with different media including ceramics and metalwork inspired by traditional Islamic art.
- Wael Shawky (b. 1971, Egypt) – an artist who uses drawings, objects and marionettes for animated films based on the book The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf (1983), one of which is on show at the 2016 Prize.
- Bahia Shehab (Lebanon/Egypt) – an artist and associate professor of graphic design at The American University in Cairo whose work focuses on ancient Arabic script and how it might be used to solve contemporary design issues.
This year’s shortlist includes not just a diversity of practices from sound to film to minimalist sculptures, but also evidences a growing confidence in the artists, many with strong reputations in the global art world, to assert their multiple identities – both contemporary and rooted in Muslim cultures. This is a welcome development, and suggests that platforms such as the Jameel Prize can contribute to expanding our collective ideas of what ‘global’ visual culture looks like.
Past Jameel Prize awardees
The winner of the first Jameel Prize was Afruz Amighi for her work 1001 Pages (2008), an intricate hand-cut screen made from the woven plastic used to construct refugee tents. Rachid Koraïchi won the Prize in 2011, for his work Les Maîtres Invisibles (The Invisible Masters, 2008), a group of embroidered cloth banners displaying Arabic calligraphy and symbols and ciphers to explore the lives and legacies of the 14 great mystics of Islam. In 2013 the Jameel Prize was awarded for the first time to designers; Dice Kayek, a Turkish fashion label established in 1992 by Ece and Ayşe Ege, won for their collection Istanbul Contrast evoking Istanbul’s architectural and artistic heritage.
C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia
Related Topics: Pakistani artists, Egyptian artists, Brazilian artists, English artists, Lebanese artists, Iranian artists, Turkish artists, art awards, art prizes, museum shows, touring exhibitions, events in London, events in Istanbul, news
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