DAMASCUS.- The Jameel Prize 2009 an exhibition of contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition will open at the National Museum in Damascus, Syria, on 13 April 2010. The exhibition will feature work by the artists and designers short-listed for the Jameel Prize 2009.
This new £25,000 international art prize was launched by the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London in July 2009 and supported by the Jameel Foundation, the International entity of Abdulatif Jameel Community Service Programmes, and is the first award of its kind. The inaugural prize was won by New York-based Iranian-born artist Afruz Amighi for her submission, 1001 Pages (2008), which will be shown alongside works by the eight other finalists.
The exhibition was seen at the V&A in London in JulySeptember 2009 and at the National Museum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in January 2010 under the patronage of the Saudi Cultural and Information Ministry. After Damascus, the exhibition will go on display at the Beiteddine Palace in Lebanon (from 25 June 2010) and will then tour to venues in Sharjah, Istanbul and Casablanca. The exhibition in Riyadh was the first that the V&A has sent to Saudi Arabia, and this will also be the first exhibition that the Museum will send to Lebanon and Morocco.
The Jameel Prize is awarded every two years. Entry is by nomination, and the Prize is open to artists and designers of any nationality and creed. Over 100 nominations were made for the first Prize in 2009, and the names put forward came from countries as diverse as the USA, Germany, Lebanon, Uzbekistan and China. The Prize aims to raise awareness of the thriving interaction between contemporary practice and the rich artistic heritage of Islam, and to contribute to a broader debate about Islamic culture.
The nine finalists whose work is represented in the exhibition are Hamra Abbas, Reza Abedini, Afruz Amighi, Sevan Bıçakçı, Hassan Hajjaj, Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Susan Hefuna, Seher Shah and Camille Zakharia. Their work is varied, reflecting the richness and diversity of the Islamic traditions that inspired them. Their contributions show how dynamic Islamic tradition can be, and how complex and eloquent the art and design inspired by this tradition has become.