Ghulam Mohammad has been awarded the Jameel Art Prize 4, the biennial award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. The young Pakistan-based artist’s submissions were five intricate paper collage works, made by cutting individual words in Urdu and reconstructing them to create a new image, adding gold and silver leaf and ink. His process often sees him working up to 20 hours a day, seven days a week, in a room with no air conditioning under a single light bulb.
This year’s edition of the prize shines a light on the Turkish art scene, despite the country’s recent political upheaval and cultural censorship. For the first time, the related exhibition has opened not at the V&A—the prize’s partner institution—but at the private Pera Museum in Istanbul (until 14 August), before going on international tour. And two of the 11 shortlisted artists in the show are Turkish. CANAN, who describes herself as a feminist artist, has included two works—Resistance on Istiklal Street (2014) and Bosphorus Bridge (2014)—which use the visual language of the Ottoman miniature to depict scenes from the Gezi protests in 2013. The second artist, Cevdet Erek, works with sound, space and rhythm and has recently been chosen to represent Turkey at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
The Jameel Prize is organised by the V&A in partnership with Art Jameel and aims to develop cultural links around the world and promote cultural understanding. Leading international curators, designers, artists and cultural figures were invited to nominate applicants to the prize, and over 280 nominations were received.
- Ghulam Mohammad