First for Pakistani artist

ISTANBUL:Pakistani artist Ghulam Mohammad has won the prestigious Jameel Prize 4 for his works in contemporary Islamic art. The Prize was awarded to Ghulam Mohammad at a ceremony held at Pera Museum in Istanbul.

Award for Pakistani artist in Istanbul

Ghulam Mohammad (2nd from left) became the first Pakistani artist to win Jameel Prize 4. He received the award in a ceremony held in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo courtesy: Pakistan Embassy, Ankara)

The Jameel Prize is an international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. According to the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, London, which organizes the Jameel Prize and exhibition in partnership with Art Jameel every two years, “its aim is to explore the relationship between Islamic traditions of art, craft and design and contemporary work as part of a wider debate about Islamic culture and its role today.”

This is the first time an artist from Pakistan has won the Jameel Prize.

The Prize is open to artists and designers from any ethnic, religious or cultural background. The first Prize was awarded in 2009. The subsequent Prizes and exhibition of work of finalists were held at V&A, London. This is the first time the Prize and exhibition have been held at an external venue, i.e. Pera Museum in Istanbul, Turkey. 

The announcement about Jameel Prize 4 notes that over 280 nominations were received from around the world, while works of 11 artists were short-listed by a panel of judges, chaired by V&A Director, Martin Roth. According to the judges, Ghulam Mohammad’s work “stood out for its excellence of concept and execution.”

“Using second-hand books, Ghulam Mohammad’s intricate collages of paper cuttings of Urdu script pasted on Wasli paper create new meanings and celebrate the great heritage of Islamic art, craft and design,” the announcement by V&A noted. 

The eleven short-listed artists and designers included David Chalmers Alesworth, Rasheed Araeen, Lara Assouad, CANAN, Cevdet Erek, Sahand Hesamiyan, Lucia Koch, Ghulam Mohammad, Shahpour Pouyan, Wael Shawky and Bahia Shehab.

Asye and Ece Ege, founders of Turkish fashion label Dice Kayek and winners of Jameel Prize 3, presented the Prize to Ghulam Mohammad. 

Extremely delighted to hear the announcement, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Sohail Mahmood said this was “great news for Ghulam Mohammad, for Pakistan’s young artists, and for the broader art community in Pakistan.” “The fact that this took place in brotherly Turkey makes it even more special,” he said. 

Ambassador Sohail commended both V&A and Pera Museum for their collaboration in this edition of Jameel Award, adding that it would further showcase the creative genius of Pakistani artists, and especially of young artists whose works were being increasingly recognized internationally and adorned the best art galleries and museums of the world.

Five art works of Ghulam Mohammad as well as those of other 10 short-listed artists are now on display at Pera Museum (Istanbul) from 8 June to 14 August 2016.  

The V&A houses one of the world’s notable collections of Islamic art in its Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art. The late Zaha Hadid, award-winning architect, was Patron of the Jameel Prize. — (PR)