The ten finalists for the V&A’s Jameel Prize were announced in March 2011 during West Asian art fair, Art Dubai. Judges pulled the selection from almost 200 nominees working in Islamic art based in countries including the United States, Spain, Nigeria, Egypt and Pakistan.

Click here to read more about the Jameel Prize on the V&A’s website.

Work by the shortlisted artists will be shown at the V&A from 21 July until 25 September, 2011 and the winner will be announced on 12 September. The Jameel Prize, awarded every two years and initiated by Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel in 2009, recognises talent in new Islamic art. Worth £25,000, the prize and associated exhibition are supported by the Jameel Foundation.

Noor Ali Chagani
b. 1982, Karachi, Pakistan


Noor Ali Chagani, 'Life Line', 2010, terracotta bricks, nylon wires, 213.4 x 91.4 x 45.7cm. Image courtesy artist/Green Cardamom.

Ali Chagani has lived and worked in Lahore, Pakistan, since 2005. He graduated in 2004 from the Sir Syed University of Information and Technology (SSEUT), Karachi with a BE in Computer Science. He completed a BFA at the National College of Arts, Lahore in 2008, specialising in Mughal, Persian and Indian miniature painting. Since graduating he has exhibited both nationally and internationally, holding group shows in London, France, Italy, Dubai, America, India and Pakistan. Chagani’s sculptural works are inspired by the traditions of Mughal miniature painting and he uses tiny handmade bricks, laboriously repeated to form a miniature grid, to build his three dimensional designs.

Click here to read more about Noor Ali Chagani.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
b. 1923, Qazvin, Iran


Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, 'Birds of Paradise', 2008, mirror mosaic, reverse glass painting, 180 x 129 cm (each). Image courtesy Rose Issa Projects.

Farmanfarmaian lived in the USA for many years before returning to live and work in Tehran in 2000. She studied at the Fine Arts College at Tehran University (1944-46); Parsons School of Design, New York (1946-49) and Cornell University, New York (1948-51). She worked for ten years as a commercial artist and designer in New York before returning to Iran in 1957, where she discovered the art of geometric mirror mosaics. Her most recent solo displays include “Recent Works”, Rose Issa Projects, London (2010) and “Geometry of Hope”, Leighton House Museum, London (2008). Her work is held in many public collections around the world.

Click here to read more about Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian.

Bita Ghezelayagh
b. 1966, Florence, Italy


Bita Ghezelayagh, 'Felt Memories III', 2008/9, 1001 metal prints, embroidery and silk screen on felt, 102 x 116 cm. Image courtesy Rose Issa Projects.

Ghezelayagh moved to Tehran in 1968 and now lives and works between Tehran and London. The artist left Iran in 1984 to study Architecture at Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris La Villette. In 2003, she started working in the traditional Iranian craft of felt-making and has held solo exhibitions of her work throughout Great Britain and in Tehran. Ghezelayagh’s felt costumes combine talismanic symbols, silk screen printing and embroidery and her work is heavily influenced by post-revolutionary visual popular culture.

Click here to read more about Bita Ghezelayagh.

Babak Golkar
b. 1977, California, USA


Babak Golkar, 'Negotiating the Space for Possible: Coexistences No. 2', 2009, Persian carpet, wood, plexiglass, paint, 119 x 110 x 47 cm. Image courtesy Collection SANZIANY @ A.Riklin-Foundation.

Golkar lives and works in North Vancouver, Canada, obtaining an MFA in 2005 at the University of British Columbia. In 2011, Golkar’s work will be on show in a number of solo and group exhibitions and at international art fairs worldwide. The artist works across a range of media including drawing, video, performance and site-specific installations and is also a teacher. Having lived between Canada and the Middle East since 1996, his Iranian heritage has influenced his work, which attempts to negotiate the space between cultures. More recently he has developed a specific interest in connecting art and architecture.

Click here to read more about Babak Golkar.

Aisha Khalid
b. 1972, Faisalabad, Pakistan


Aisha Khalid, 'Name, Class, Subject', 2009, Wasli paper and gold leaf, 25 x 19 cm. Image courtesy artist/CorGallery/Raking Leaves.

Khalid lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan. After graduating with a BA in Fine Arts in 1997 from the National College of Arts, Lahore, she completed a post graduate degree in 2002 from Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. Her work is included in the 2011 Sharjah Biennial, UAE, has been exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions and is in public, corporate and individual collections worldwide. In 2010, she was awarded the Birgit Skiöld Memorial Trust Award of Excellence at the London Art Book Fair. Khalid’s practice, with roots in Mughal miniature painting, is diverse, ranging from small-scale paintings on paper to newer media such as video.

Click here to read more about Aisha Khalid.

Hayv Kahraman
b. 1981, Baghdad, Iraq


Hayv Kahraman, 'Migrant 8', 2010, oil on panel, 115 x 178 cm. Image courtesy artist.

Kahraman lives and works in San Francisco, USA. She graduated in web design from the University of Umeå, Sweden in 2006 and in graphic design from the Accademia di Arte e Design di Firenze, Italy in 2005. Her work has been seen in recent group and solo exhibitions, including in biennales and fairs, in Dubai, France, Italy, London, and the US. Kahraman’s work is held in public collections around the world including The Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE, Saatchi Gallery, London and MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar. Kahraman’s practice spans painting, drawing and sculpture, and takes reference from Japanese and Islamic art and the Italian Renaissance.

Click here to read more about Hayv Kahraman.

Rachid Koraïchi
b. 1947, Ain Beida, Algeria

Rachid Koraïchi, 'The Invisible Masters', 2008, cotton applique, 348 x 200 cm. Photo by Jonathan Greet. Image courtesy October Gallery.

Koraïchi lives and works between Tunisia and France and has exhibited in many international group exhibitions. His work is included in major public collections worldwide such as the British Museum, London, the National Museum for African Art, Washington DC and the Museum of Islamic Arts, Doha. Although his aesthetics are deeply rooted in his multicultural Algerian heritage, Koraïchi is a truly cosmopolitan artist with a global outlook. The starting point for his work is calligraphy but his practice extends to ceramics, textiles and metalwork.

Click here to read more about Rachid Koraïchi.

Hazem El Mestikawy
b. 1965, Cairo, Egypt


Hazem El Mestikawy, 'Bridge', 2009, cardboard and newspaper, 145 x 100 x 13.5 cm. Courtesy the artist.

El Mestikawy lives and works in between Cairo and Vienna. He graduated with a BA in Art and Education, Sculpture and Design, from Menya University, Egypt in 1986. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world including in Japan, Dubai, Vienna, Cairo, Marseille, Buenos Aires and Switzerland. He was awarded the Grand Prize of the 13th Asian Art Biennale, Bangladesh in 2008 and the Grand Prize of Installation of the 11th Salon for Youth, Cairo in 1999. El Mestikawy uses recycled cardboard and paper and glue to create intricate geometric sculptural installations that are influenced by ancient Egyptian, Islamic and contemporary art and architecture.

Click here to read more about Hazem El Mestikawy.

Hadieh Shafie
b. 1969, Tehran, Iran


Hadieh Shafie, '22500 and Two scroll books', 2011, ink on paper, printed and hand written Farsi text, 122 x 122 x 6.5 cm. Image courtesy artist.

Shafie lives and works in the United States. She graduated from the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York in 1999 with a MFA in Painting. Hadieh then accepted a fellowship at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) where she received a second MFA in Imaging and Digital Arts in 2004, focussing on video installation and performance art. Shafie has exhibited internationally and in the US. Although she works in a variety of media, a constant element of her work is the significance of process, repetition and time, all rooted in an influence of Islamic art and craft.

Click here to read more about Hadieh Shafie.

Soody Sharifi
b. 1955, Tehran, Iran


Soody Sharifi, 'Fashion Week', 2010, digital collage, 101.6 x 152.4 cm. Image courtesy artist.

Sharifi lives and works in Houston, Texas. She graduated with a BSc in Industrial Engineering from the University of Houston in 1982 and completed a MFA in Studio Photography from the University of Houston in 2004. She has since exhibited nationally and internationally. As a photographer, Sharifi’s work deals primarily with the paradoxes and contradictions inherent in living between two cultures.

Click here to read more about Soody Sharifi.

The selection for this year’s Jameel Prize finalist list was made by judges Dina Bakhoum (Conservation Programme Manager, Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Cairo), Wassan Al Khudairi (Mathaf Acting Director & Chief Curator), Navid Akhtar (Executive Director of Gazelle Media) and Afruz Amighi (Artist & Jameel Prize 2009 Winner).

What do you think of their choices? Would you have chosen different artists? Who? Leave your comments below.


Related Topics: Islamic art, art prizes

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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