Leading curators, designers, artists and cultural figures from across the world were invited to nominate applicants for the fourth edition of the Jameel Prize, a GBP 25,000 (USD 35,500) international award for contemporary artists and designers who draw from Islamic traditions of craft and design. On January 19, London’s Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum announced the shortlist of the 11 nominees for 2016.
Selected from over 280 artists and designers suggested by a panel of judges that included Hammad Nasar, head of research and programs at Hong Kong’s Asia Art Archive, and V&A director Martin Roth, the shortlisted artists include: David Chalmers Alesworth (UK/Pakistan), Rasheed Araeen (UK/Pakistan), Lara Assouad (United Arab Emirates), Canan (Turkey), Cevdet Erek (Turkey), Sahand Hesamiyan (Iran), Lucia Koch (Brazil), Ghulam Mohammad (Pakistan), Shahpour Pouyan (Iran/USA), Wael Shawky (Egypt) and Bahia Shehab (Egypt). With nominations received from countries as far ranging as Afganistan, Mali, Puerto Rico and Thailand, Nasar notes that the Jameel Prize acts as a platform to “[expand] our collective ideas of what ‘global’ visual culture looks like.”
Spanning across a diversity of practices, from delicate paper collages to a video installation with marionettes, in addition to ceramics, calligraphy, sculpture and books, works by the shortlisted artists will be shown in a touring exhibition, whose first stop will be Istanbul’s Pera Museum in June. From the works presented in the exhibition, the committee of five judges will select the winner of the Jameel Prize. The 2016 edition of the award also marks a new component, as it will be the first time the Jameel Prize exhibition will be shown in institutions outside of the V&A.
The biannual Jameel Prize was first launched in 2009 by the V&A, in partnership with the privately-run initiative Art Jameel, as a way to raise awareness of the flourishing interaction between contemporary culture and Islamic heritage. Previous winners include the Turkish fashion label Dice Kayek (2014), Algerian artist Rachid Koraïchi (2011) and Iranian artist Afruz Amighi (2009).