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  • Feb 07, 2018

Shortlist of Jameel Prize 5 Released

On February 6, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) revealed the eight candidates—comprising artists, designers and an architect—who have been shortlisted for the 2018 Jameel Prize: Kamrooz Aram, Hayv Kahraman, Hala Kaiksow, Mehdi Moutashar, Naqsh Collective, Younes Rahmoun, Wardha Shabbir and Marina Tabassum.

Now in its fifth edition, the Jameel Prize is an international award for contemporary artists and designers who are inspired by Islamic visual culture. Founded in partnership with Art Jameel, a nonprofit that cultivates contemporary art practice in West Asia and North Africa. The prize was conceived after the renovation of the V&A Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art, which presents artifacts and art from the Middle East.

This year’s finalists of the Jameel Prize hail from many corners of the world. Kamrooz Aram is a New York-based Iranian artist working in a variety of art forms, including painting, collage, drawing and installation, looking to challenge the Western interpretation of art historical canon. Iraqi-born painter Hayv Kahraman combines references drawn from Islamic art as well as Japanese woodblock prints and the Italian Renaissance; her work covers gender issues, mass migration and other hardships faced by individuals of Middle Eastern heritage living in diaspora.

Portrait of KAMROOZ ARAM. Courtesy the artist and Green Art Gallery, Dubai.

Bahraini fashion designer Hala Kaiksow launched her sustainable womenswear label in 2016, and offers reinterpretations of traditional garments, which are made with the assistance of artisans in her home country. Iraqi-born, Arles-based artist Mehdi Moutashar creates work that is influenced by the geometric abstraction that he encounters in Paris, melding it with the sophisticated geometry in Islamic visual traditions and Arabic calligraphy.

Naqsh Collective is a Jordan-based sister duo comprised of architect Nisreen and graphic designer Nermeen Abudail. Their creations draw on the embroidery traditions of Jordan and Palestine. Moroccan artist Younes Rahmoun is a multimedia practitioner who creates installations featuring geometric and numeric-based patterns from Islamic tradition.

Pakistani artist Wardha Shabbir, who was trained in the techniques of miniature painting, creates images that are packed with symbolic meaning. Dhaka-based Marina Tabassum is the first architect to be shortlisted for the Jameel Prize.

The winner will receive GBP 25,000 (USD 35,000) when they are announced on June 27. This will be followed by an exhibition of all eight finalists’ work from June 28 to November 25, 2018, at the V&A.

Sophie von Wunster is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

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