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  • Jul 03, 2018

Mehdi Moutashar And Marina Tabassum Win Jameel Prize 5

MARINA TABASSUM is the first architect to receive the Jameel Prize, recognized for her work Prayer Hall, Bait ur Rouf Mosque Dhaka, Bangladesh (2012).

Arles-based Mehdi Moutashar, who is known for abstract works incorporating the geometry of Islamic visual tradition and Arabic calligraphy, was awarded for his work Deux plis à 120° (2012), made of two metal plates folded at 120 degrees.

This work made an intriguing pairing with the installation by Kamrooz Aram shown next to it at the V&A; both artists point to the relationships between Islamic Art and Modernist abstraction, with Aram further interrogating the institutional frameworks that attach different values to each. The impressive paintings by Hayv Kahramen on display also present the complexities of combining different styles and traditions, while giving insight to her own experience as part of the Iraqi diaspora.

Hala Kaiksow uses elements of national dress in her exhibited design for a Japan-influenced jumpsuit based on the Saudi Thobe al Nashal. Naqsh Collective reference regional identities by using elements of embroidery from Jordan as the basis of Shawl (2015), an elaborate screen made from incised walnut wood from Palestine.

Pakistani miniaturist Wardha Shabbir made a site-specific mural that extends her intense paintings of bushes to create a maze-like design, denoting an interest in the viewer’s whole sensory experience of the installation that is as central to the artist’s practice as the intricate details in the painting. Younes Rahmoun’s installation uses hats sourced from his hometown in Morocco in an arrangement illustrating Sufi mysticism that, with careful lighting, resembles nomadic tents in the desert when viewed from above. 

Previous winners of the Jameel Prize include the aforementioned Ghulam Mohammad, who works with paper-cutting and collage, as well as Turkish sisters Ece and Ayşe Ege, founders and designers of the fashion label Dice Kayek, who won for their garment designs evoking Istanbul’s architectural and artistic heritage.  

The works of the winners and the other shortlisted artists are currently on show at the V&A until November 25, before traveling worldwide, with stops including the Jameel Arts Center in Dubai from early to mid-2019.  

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