Next month the Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey presents an exhibition of works by the eleven artists and designers shortlisted for the fourth edition of the prestigious Jameel Prize: David Chalmers Alesworth, Rasheed Araeen, Lara Assouad, CANAN, Cevdet Erek, Sahand Hesamiyan, Lucia Koch, Ghulam Mohammad, Shahpour Pouyan, Wael Shawky and Bahia Shehab.

image David Chalmers Alesworth, Hyde Park Kashan 1862, Pile carpet, embroidery, 2011 / Courtesy of Fundación AMA, Santiago, Chile. Photo: David Chalmers Alesworth

This is the first time that the V&A’s Jameel Prize is launched at an external venue and the exhibition will in future rotate between the V&A and guest venues around the world. Awarded every two years, the Jameel Prize, founded in partnership with Art Jameel, is a £25,000 international art prize for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic traditions of art, craft and design. The winner of Jameel Prize 4 is announced at the Pera Museum on 7 June 2016.

V&A Director and chair of the Jameel Prize 4 judges, Martin Roth, said: “Since the V&A launched the Jameel Prize in 2009, the international touring exhibition has been seen by over 172,000 visitors around the world. To take the successful international element of the prize a step further we are delighted that the Pera Museum is the first host venue to announce the winner of the Jameel Prize. The V&A enjoys an excellent relationship with the Pera Museum which is well known for mixing Ottoman tradition with contemporary art and design.”

image Rasheed Araeen, Al-GhazaliAl-GhazaliAl-GhazaliAl-Ghazali, Acrylic on canvas, 2010-11 / Courtesy of Rasheed Araeen. Photo: Vipul Sangoi

image Ruler Day Night (Start 14 September) Cevdet Erek, Wood, ink on Perspex, 2011 / Courtesy of the artist and AKINCI, Amsterdam. Photo: Peter Cox

Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, said, “Over the centuries, Islamic culture provided many influential ideas that contributed to the formation of our world, and Islamic tradition continues to be a vital source of artistic ideas today. Our aim with the Jameel Prize is to encourage artists and designers around the world to explore this great heritage. With the Jameel Prize, too, we provide a forum for celebrating what has been achieved in art, craft and design inspired by Islamic tradition.”

The exhibition features over 30 works that reflect the diversity of the shortlist. The works on show range from delicate paper collages and video work with marionettes to ceramics, sculpture and artist’s books. The Jameel Prize 4 exhibition is curated by Tim Stanley, senior curator for the V&A’s Middle Eastern collection, with Salma Tuqan, the V&A’s curator of Middle Eastern contemporary art and design.

image Lara Assouad, Modular Arabic Alphabet, Photograph, 2015 / Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Sebastian Ebbinghaus

image CANAN, Resistance on Istiklal Street, 2014, Ink, colours and gold on special paper / Courtesy of the artist and Rampa. Photo by André Carvalho and Tugba Karatop - Chroma

The V&A announced the shortlist for Jameel Prize 4 in January 2016. Over 200 entries were received from countries as diverse as Puerto Rico, Mali, Pakistan, Turkey and Thailand. A panel of judges, chaired by V&A Director, Martin Roth, selected the shortlist of eleven artists and designers.

One of the judges, Hammad Nasar, Head of Research and Programmes at Asia Art Archive (AAA), Hong Kong, commented: “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.”

image Lucia Koch, Mostruário (acrilico-espelho) / Showcase (acrylic-mirror) from the series Materiais de Construção / Construction Materials, Steel sliding frames, mirrored acrylic, 2012 / Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler. Photo: Everton Ballardin

image Wael Shawky, Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo, HD video, 2012 / © Wael Shawky, Courtesy of Lisson Gallery

Since its launch in 2009, each edition of the Prize has been seen on international tour. Most recently, the Jameel Prize 3 exhibition visited the National Library in Singapore (2015); the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, UAE (2015); and two venues in Russia, the Hermitage-Kazan Exhibition Centre in Kazan and the New Manège in Moscow (2014). At the V&A and on tour in 2014 and 2015, the exhibition was seen by 183,178 visitors.

The Jameel Prize is a £25,000 international art prize for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic traditions of craft and design. 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 work Istanbul Contrast, a collection that evokes Istanbul’s architectural and artistic heritage. This was the first time the Jameel Prize was awarded to designers.

image Ghulam Mohammad, Untitled, Paper collage and Iranian ink on wasli, 2014 / Private Collection. Photo by Usman Javaid

image Shahpour Pouyan, Untitled (Part of Unthinkable Thought series), Glazed high fired ceramic, 2014 / Courtesy of the Artist and Lawrie Shabibi

The Jameel Prize is supported by Art Jameel. The prize was conceived after the renovation of the V&A’s Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art, which opened in July 2006 and will be celebrating its tenth anniversary this summer. 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.

A short film about the artists’ work can be viewed online at www.vam.ac.uk/jameelprize4

The late Zaha Hadid, award winning architect, was Patron of the Jameel Prize. The judges are: The judges are:

  • Alan Caiger-Smith, potter
  • Ece and Ayşe Ege, founders of the fashion label Dice Kayek and winners of Jameel Prize 3
  • Rose Issa, curator, writer, publisher and producer
  • Hammad Nasar, curator, writer and Head of Research and Programmes at Asia Art Archive (AAA), Hong Kong
  • Martin Roth, Director of the V&A

One of the judges, Hammad Nasar, Head of Research and Programmes at Asia Art Archive (AAA), Hong Kong, commented: “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.”

image Bahia Shehab, A Thousand Times No (2010), Artist’s book / Courtesy of the artist, Photo by Bahia Shehab

Since its launch in 2009, each edition of the Prize has been seen on international tour. Most recently, the Jameel Prize 3 exhibition visited the National Library in Singapore (2015); the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, UAE (2015); and two venues in Russia, the Hermitage-Kazan Exhibition Centre in Kazan and the New Manège in Moscow (2014). At the V&A and on tour in 2014 and 2015, the exhibition was seen by 183,178 visitors.

The Jameel Prize is a £25,000 international art prize for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic traditions of craft and design. 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 work Istanbul Contrast, a collection that evokes Istanbul’s architectural and artistic heritage. This was the first time the Jameel Prize was awarded to designers.

image Sahand Hesamiyan, Nail, Steel, 2012 / Courtesy of the artist and The Third Line

The Jameel Prize is supported by Art Jameel. The prize was conceived after the renovation of the V&A’s Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art, which opened in July 2006. The gallery is an outstanding presentation of the rich artistic heritage of the Islamic world, and the prize aims to raise awareness of the thriving interaction between contemporary practice and this great historical heritage. It has also contributed to a broader understanding of Islamic culture and its place in the world.


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