Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), in partnership with Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), has announced the winners of the eighth edition of The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2020. The winning trio are architecture students from the American University of Sharjah (AUS): Sara Mohamed from Egypt, Laura AlDhahi from Kuwait, and Sahil Rattha Singh from India.
The winning submission, titled Haweia – an Arabic term meaning “identity” – will be a sculptural installation with a smooth exterior façade of folded aluminum, contrasted with a complex interior of reflective surfaces and fins. The installation will serve as a lens through which visitors can contemplate their inner selves and discover different configurations of their Haweia as they move around and inside the piece. Haweia will officially be unveiled at NYUAD in November 2020, prior to the installation being taken on tour to Abu Dhabi Art and Umm Al Emarat Park.
H.E. Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation said: “Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award in its eighth edition is evidence of the continued momentum cultural work has in spite of the difficult circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. This Award reaffirms the value of culture as well as the aesthetic value of the arts."
The winners have been awarded USD 10,000 to complete their installation, working closely with museum professionals from The NYUAD Art Gallery alongside their mentor, Associate Professor at the American University of Sharjah’s Department of Architecture, Jason Carlow.
Members of this year’s selection committee included ADMAF Founder H.E. Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis, NYUAD Provost Fabio Piano, Director of Abu Dhabi Art Dyala Nusseibeh, artist Azza Al Qubaisi, and guest juror Kevin Jones, founder of Juniper Mind.
The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award is open to UAE-based students and recent graduates and was established as a launch pad for visual artists across the Emirates, encouraging new artwork and offering winners an insight into professional life as an artist from commission to exhibition.