Bangladeshi-born, London-based artist Rana Begum has received The Abraaj Group Art Prize for 2017. Known for her colourful installations and her explorations in visual perception, Begum was selected from four shortlisted artists “for her ambitious proposal,” which will be presented in Dubai next year. The prize comes with a hefty 100,000 USD commission for a new work to be presented during Art Dubai (considered the highest in the world) and a monograph publication. The three other shortlisted artists are Doa Aly (Egypt), Sarah Abu Abdallah (Saudi Arabia) and Raha Raissnia (Iran).
Founded in 2008, The Abraaj Group Art Prize recognises artists from the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia, based on the quality and merits of a proposal rather than the evaluation of an already-completed body of work. Begum’s new commission will be exhibited with selected previous work by Aly, Abu Abdallah and Raissnia in The Abraaj Group Art Prize exhibition, curated by Omar Berrada and presented during Art Dubai from March 15-18, 2017.
The Abraaj Group Art Prize jury 2016-17 was formed of renowned international museum curators and directors. Chaired by Dubai-based curator and patron Dana Farouki, it comprises of Defne Ayas, Director and Curator of Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art; Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel; Nav Haq, 2016 Guest Curator of the Prize; Fayeeza Naqvi, Founding Trustee, Aman Foundation; Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at Serpentine Galleries; Sandhini Poddar, Art historian and Adjunct Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and Frederic Sicre, Managing Director, The Abraaj Group.
1. Rana Begum portrait by Ian Bartlett, 2014. Image via artrabbit.com
2. Doa Aly, The Girl Splendid In Walking, 2009, two-channel video projection, HD, 17 min. 42 sec. Image via Gypsum Gallery.
3. Raha Raissnia, Longing, 2015. 16 mm film, color, 20-minute loop, optical sound. Dimensions variable. Image via Miguel Abreu Gallery.
Sarah Abu Abdallah: ‘Saudi Automobile’, 2012