Art Jameel and V&A Museum announce shortlist of artists for Jameel Prize 5

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The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), in partnership with Art Jameel, has announced the shortlist for the Jameel Prize 5, the international prize for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic tradition.

Eight finalists have been shortlisted for the Dh 128,000 (£25,000 ) prize, which is awarded every two years.

The artists are: Kamrooz Aram, Hayv Kahraman, Hala Kaiksow, Mehdi Moutashar, naqsh collective, Younes Rahmoun, Wardha Shabbir and Marina Tabassum.

The shortlist is diverse and for the first time features an architect. Other practices represented in the shortlist include painting and fashion design, while sources of inspiration range from embroidered shawls to Arabic calligraphy. Multi-media installations evoke the symbolism of light and challenge Western approaches to art history.

Rich Islamic tradition

This great variety reflects the richness of Islamic tradition as a source for contemporary creativity, highlighting the influence of our shared cultural past on contemporary artistic views of the world.

The fifth edition of the Jameel Prize will debut at the V&A, London, where the winner will be announced on June 27, 2018.

The accompanying exhibition, showcasing the work of the eight shortlisted artists and designers, will run from June 28 until November 25, 2018.

The exhibition will then tour to museums globally, including to the Jameel Arts Centre, in Dubai, in 2019.

The panel of judges, chaired by V&A Director, Tristram Hunt, selected the shortlist. He said: “The Jameel Prize continues to gain momentum. This – the fifth edition of the Prize – has attracted nearly 400 nominations from around the world, and for the first time, the shortlist features work from Bangladesh, Bahrain and Jordan. This year’s outstanding shortlist displays real diversity; the judges found beauty, spirituality, complexity, humour and humanity. The V&A is delighted to continue its partnership with Art Jameel in recognition of the extraordinary contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic tradition.”

Jameel Prize and past winners

The Jameel Prize, founded in partnership with Art Jameel, was conceived after the renovation of the V&A’s Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art. The gallery is an outstanding presentation of the rich artistic heritage of the Islamic Middle East, and the Prize aims to raise awareness of the thriving interaction between contemporary practice and the great historical legacy of the region. It has also contributed to a broader understanding of Islamic culture as well as its place in the contemporary world.

Launched in 2009, 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.

In 2011, Rachid Koraïchi was awarded the prize, for his work Les Maîtres Invisibles (The Invisible Masters, 2008), a group of embroidered cloth banners which display Arabic calligraphy and symbols and ciphers to explore the lives and legacies of the 14 great mystics of Islam.

In 2013, the winner of Jameel Prize 3 was Dice Kayek, a Turkish fashion label established in 1992 by Ece and Ayşe Ege for their series Istanbul Contrast, a collection that evokes Istanbul’s architectural and artistic heritage. This was the first time the Jameel Prize was awarded to designers.

In 2016, the winner of Jameel Prize 4 was Ghulam Mohammad, who trained in the Islamic tradition of miniature painting, for his works of paper collage.